Computational Physicist

Geneva, Switzerland
Closing date
23 Jan 2023

Job Details

Company Description

At CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, physicists and engineers are probing the fundamental structure of the universe. Using the world's largest and most complex scientific instruments, they study the basic constituents of matter - fundamental particles that are made to collide together at close to the speed of light. The process gives physicists clues about how particles interact, and provides insights into the fundamental laws of nature. Find out more on

Diversity has been an integral part of CERN's mission since its foundation and is an established value of the Organization.

This is your Quest. Deepen your knowledge and expertise faster than anywhere else on earth. Take Part!

Job Description

The High Field Magnets Programme at CERN requires a rigorous R&D into high performance, innovative quench protection systems. An understanding of superconducting strand or cable response to a change of its transport current and/or an external magnetic field is becoming increasingly important as more quench protection systems rely on this response as a key part of the protection method. For quench simulations, understanding a conductor response in heat generation (AC loss) or magnetic field distortion (magnetization) is needed. Examples of applications that rely on this response include magnets protected by CLIQ and/or quench-back and potentially magnets concepts with HTS or LTS‑HTS hybrids. For HTS in particular, Robel or more novel Twisted Stacked Tape Cable (TSTC) and Conductor on Round Core (CORC) are particularly relevant but not extensively studied with relevance for accelerator magnets and quench simulations.

Finite Element models could be used for calculating such a response as all necessary geometry, and physics details could be included. To keep model and simulation time practical, a development of FE formulation to capture physics involved is needed for approaches with 2D conductor models accounting for strand twist pitch and/or cable transposition length or a 3D thin shell approach where the HTS layer is collapsed into a surface. Such conductor level response needs to be included in large scale quench protection models. A potential avenue is a conductor and/or winding level homogenization approach dealing with equivalent material properties. An alternative approach is a multiscale-multimodel simulation, where a detailed conductor level model is coupled and responds to a large-scale, magnet-level quench simulation model.

The selected candidate will:

  • Develop Finite Element models at conductor level (LTS and HTS; wires, tapes and cables) to simulate AC loss and magnetization response to transport current and/or an external magnetic field change;
  • Develop methodology of coupling conductor-level simulations with full magnet size quench simulations. Homogenization and multi-scale approaches to be studied in detail;
  • Where possible, verify developed approaches against analytical solutions and other quench simulation tools;
  • Validate simulations with available measured data. Such validation will be done on the conductor or magnet level data depending on availability;
  • Develop a methodology for abstracting the complexity involved and integrating with existing quench simulation tools or developing a stand-alone conductor-level simulation tool.

More about the High Field Magnets project can be found at


Eligibility criteria:

  • You are a national of a CERN Member or Associate Member State;
  • You have a Master’s degree and between 2 and 6 years’ experience or PhD with up to 3 years of relevant experience in physics or engineering or other related field;
  • You should have a working knowledge of English or French.

Skills and/or knowledge:

Computational methods, Electromagnetic or multiphysics simulations, Finite element method and commercial or open-source tools, Superconducting conductors, Quench phenomena, Python, MATLAB, C, High-performance computing.

Additional Information

What we offer:

  • An employment contract of in principle 24 months, with a possible extension up to 36 months;
  • On-the-job and formal training at CERN as well as in-house language courses for English and/or French;
  • A monthly stipend ranging between 6050 and 6650 Swiss Francs per month (net of tax);
  • Coverage by CERN’s comprehensive health scheme (for yourself, your spouse and children), and membership of the CERN Pension Fund;
  • Depending on your individual circumstances: installation grant; family, child and infant allowances; payment of travel expenses at the beginning and end of contract;
  • 30 days of paid leave per year.

How to Apply:

You will need the following documents to complete your application:

  • A CV;
  • A scanned PDF of your most recent relevant qualification;
  • We recommend to add two recent letters of recommendation, giving an overview of your academic and/or professional achievements. You can upload these letters at the time of application if you have them to hand. You will also be provided with a link as soon as you have submitted your application to forward to your referees to upload their letters confidentially.

The earliest expected start date for selected candidates is May 2023.

Ready to take part? Then please submit your application by 23 January 2023 at  midnight (12.00 AM CEST). 


CERN profile imageAt CERN, physicists and engineers use the world’s largest and most complex scientific instruments to study the basic constituents of matter – the fundamental particles – to probe the underlying structure of the universe.

Working at CERN
CERN is a truly unique organization. A genuine collaboration between countries, universities and scientists, driven not by profit margins, but by a commitment to create and share knowledge.

People at CERN are part of immense scientific discoveries, answering some of life’s most complex questions and pushing the boundaries of understanding. Experts from every field come here to share in this ambition, and the nature of this collaborative, international community creates a genuine atmosphere of trust. People are free to work creatively and to trust in, and rely on, their colleagues across the organization.

History is being made at CERN – and the excitement is tangible, inspiring, overwhelming at times. It is the only place in the world that you can do this work in this way.

Why work for us
Today, CERN employs more than 2500 people, and if you visit us you will find more than 2500 different reasons why CERN is such a great place to work. Six key reasons that we believe will make you love working here are: challenge; purpose; imagination; integrity; collaboration; and quality of life.

What we are looking for
To conduct experiments of this scale and importance, CERN needs the very best talent in every part of our organization. If you’re interested in joining our technical or support teams, or if you’re an engineer or professional in any area from mechanics to accounting, this is more than an opportunity to develop your career. It’s an opportunity to develop knowledge and science on a global scale. In fact, it’s an opportunity like nowhere else on Earth.

Training and development
One of the four pillars of CERN’s mission is education: training the scientists of tomorrow. CERN offers various student and graduate programmes for all disciplines, ranging from engineering to administration, and operates a dedicated training programme for all staff joining the organization to ensure continued learning and development.

Student and graduate schemes
CERN offers summer student, technical student and administrative student opportunities, as well as fellowships and the Technician Training Experience.

The aim of these programmes is to provide a fantastic, enriching springboard for career development in CERN’s unique environment.

Geneva, Switzerland

Number of employees
c.2500 staff members; several hundred on graduate and student programmes

Positions recently recruited for
Computing engineer, radiofrequency engineer, process operator in cryogenics, web developer, mechanical engineer, administrative assistant, system administrator, power electronics engineer, scientific writer, applied physicist and many more!

Desired degree disciplines/class
From apprenticeship to PhD in a wide variety of domains

How to apply
Apply online at

Closing date
All year round

Tel +41 22 76 63 786

Find Us
+41 22 76 63 786
Esplanade des Particules 1
PO Box 1211
Geneva 23

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