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 future technologies, energy and climate, health innovation and fundamentals of nature. 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 2200 people.
Join the multidisciplinary team of the Science IT Infrastructure and Services department to use your Python experience and love for research to enable SwissFEL scientists to record, analyse and interpret petabytes of data that drive new discoveries as a

Software Scientist / Research Software Engineer (Experiment Software Stack for SwissFEL)

Your tasks

You will join the Experiment IT Development and Operations group within the AWI department to play a central role in our collaboration with the Photon Science Division (PSD). You will improve and support the software stack used for experiments at SwissFEL, the Swiss Free-Electron Laser (FEL). This internationally recognised research facility is used by the scientific community to push the forefront of scientific discoveries as well as the state-of-the-art data science, computational research and development.
You will interface with scientists and specialists across a wide range of disciplines and backgrounds. You will act as translator and facilitator between the involved parties bridging gaps both in terms of collaborative discussions and code development. You will provide functional, reliable and efficient solutions to meet the demanding and diverse needs of FEL measurements, before, during and after experiments. 

Your main tasks will include:
  • Play a key role in the development and maintenance of the software stack that drives SwissFEL experiments, including the data acquisition (DAQ) and online analysis system sf-daq as well as the experiment control framework slic
  • Design and build a unified solution that enables scientists and device integrators to deploy, set up and configure detectors, DAQ server software, analysis packages, etc. including monitoring and trouble-shooting tools
  • Contribute to ongoing and future projects, for instance improving data acquisition and processing for large area detectors with innovative technologies (e.g. GPUs/FPGAs/edge computing) or the data analysis library sfdata
  • Collaborate closely with the scientists and other expert groups at PSI as well as colleagues from other national and international institutions

Your profile

You are an enthusiastic and talented team player with proven expertise in developing scientific software solutions in Python. You are motivated to support scientific discoveries by working in the interdisciplinary area among scientific software development, data science and high-performance computing at a large-scale facility.
Some of the following expertise would be advantageous:
  • Assimilating new ideas and demonstrated ability to turn them into practical, applied techniques
  • Understanding of the needs for supporting time-critical experiments (e.g. at large research facilities like an FEL)
  • Analysis and reduction of large-scale complex data and/or image processing as well as managing and organizing diverse data sources
  • Producing high-quality code and following good development practices (e.g. version control, CI/CD, test suites)
  • PhD degree in natural science, computer science, engineering or mathematics or equivalent professional experience developing scientific software with a diverse background in terms of fields of science, types of facility, techniques, etc.
  • Fluent in English (spoken and written) and either proficient in German or willing to learn it

We offer

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. 
This is a permanent position.

This position presents a great opportunity for you to learn from a multitude of disciplines and hone your skills in an exciting scientific environment.

For further information, please contact Dr Sven Augustin, phone +41 56 310 31 48 or email

Please submit your application online by 23 June 2024 for the position as a Software Scientist / Research Software Engineer (Experiment Software Stack for SwissFEL) (index no. 7901-00).

Paul Scherrer Institut, Human Resources Management, Mariusz Prus, 5232 Villigen PSI, Switzerland