The Paul Scherrer Institute PSI is the largest research institute for natural and engineering sciences within Switzerland. We perform cutting-edge research in the fields of matter and materials, energy and environment and human health. By performing fundamental and applied research, we work on sustainable solutions for major challenges facing society, science and economy. PSI is committed to the training of future generations. Therefore, about one quarter of our staff are post-docs, post-graduates or apprentices. Altogether, PSI employs 2100 people.
ESTIA is a polarized neutron reflectometer for tiny samples that is based on a novel focusing neutron optics concept. The instrument is designed and built by PSI as a Swiss in-kind contribution to ESS and is planned to receive first neutrons in 2022, at which point it will be operated by ESS.

For the Laboratory for Neutron Scattering and Imaging (LNS) at the Paul Scherrer Institute (PSI) in collaboration with the European Spallation Source ERIC (ESS) we are looking for an
Instrument Scientist for the ESTIA project
Your tasks
  • You will lead the ESTIA project as instrument scientist including technical, scientific and budget responsibility
  • You will oversee and guide the technical implementation with the aim to achieve the scientific goals of the instrument by closely working with the ESTIA lead engineer
  • Active participation in various committees at PSI, ESS and their partner institutions in order to define and implement the ESTIA instrument in the overall ESS project
  • You will define and conduct the initial commissioning of the instrument, insuring world class performance
  • After commissioning, you will support the ESS user program as a local contact on the ESTIA instrument
  • You will conduct your own research program that is aligned with the ESTIA science case and submit funding applications to external national and international funding bodies as principle investigator
Your profile
  • PhD in the physical sciences or biology with research interests and publication record aligned with the science case of the ESTIA instrument, preferably involving research in the field magnetism or membrane biophysics
  • Experience and technical interest in instrumentation and neutron reflectometry, preferably with using polarization analysis and time of flight techniques
  • Ability to work in a team with people from a variety of disciplines in an international collaboration is paramount
  • Well versed with communicating in the English language
  • Flexibility to travel and relocate; The project requires regular travel between ESS and PSI, and the primary work location will change from Switzerland to Sweden during employment
  • Knowledge of neutron scattering data treatment and modeling at a level sufficient to guide the development of instrument specific software
  • Programming experience in Python is advantageous
  • Experience in neutron optics and Monte Carlo ray tracing simulations would be desirable
  • Hands-on experience in sample preparation for reflectometry-related science is encouraged
We offer
As the ESTIA Instrument Scientist, you will lead the remaining phases of the instrument design project, take part in the pre-assembly of components at PSI, the installation and commissioning at the ESS facility in Lund, Sweden. After the instrument is transferred to ESS for the hot commissioning operation you will be the main responsible for realizing ESTIA’s full scientific potential and will lead the first scientific studies on the reflectometer.

The position will initially be a fixed-term contract at PSI of up to 1 year. This will be followed by a permanent position at the ESS, which will be subject to a 6-month probationary period. The workplace for the PSI contract will be Switzerland and for the ESS contract, it will be Sweden.

At PSI a team of engineers and technicians already familiar with the ESTIA project will support you and you will have access to neutron scattering experts familiar with the underlying concepts.

At ESS you will be employed in the Instrument Scientists Group alongside a team of other instrument scientists and postdocs working on the design, construction, commissioning and operation of the ESS suite of 15 instruments.

Our institution is based on an interdisciplinary, innovative and dynamic collaboration. You will profit from a systematic training on the job, in addition to personal development possibilities and our pronounced vocational training culture. If you wish to optimally combine work and family life or other personal interests, we are able to support you with our modern employment conditions and the on-site infrastructure.

For further information, please contact Prof Dr Michel Kenzelmann, phone +41 56 310 53 81.

Please submit your application online by 31 July 2020 for the position as an Instrument Scientist for the ESTIA project (index no. 3300-00).

Paul Scherrer Institut, Human Resources Management, Sevil Minniti, 5232 Villigen PSI, Switzerland