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Maintenance and Support Engineer


  • Organization: ESO - European Southern Observatory
  • Location: Paranal
  • Grade: Mid level - Mid level
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Engineering
  • Closing Date: Closed

The successful applicant will be part of the Support and Quality Assurance Group within the MSE Department at the Paranal site of the La Silla Paranal Observatory. The MSE Department, with a workforce of 85 engineers and technicians, provides maintenance and technical support to the four 8m VLT telescopes, to the VLT Interferometer with its auxiliary telescopes, the VST and VISTA survey telescopes and to all instruments available for scientific observations. The Support and Quality Assurance Group is comprised of 5 engineers and is responsible for various "back-office" type supporting functions to the technical and scientific operations at large, in particular: planning technical activities including the contracted maintenance services, asset management in general through a Computerized Maintenance Management System (CMMS) and support to users, maintenance and reliability management, quality management and assurance on the site, outsourced contract management like the central (technical) warehouse (and the supply chain associated), support for documenting technical processes, etc.

For further information about working at ESO, see the podcast 'Engineers at ESO' at:

Main Duties and Responsibilities:

The selected candidate will have the following main duties:

  • Planning/scheduling activities for those preventive/corrective maintenance and engineering tasks either for MSE department and permanent contractors.
  • Quality assurance and quality control activities. Support to audit plan and inventory control audits
  • Support to CMMS administration including explore CMMS's unused potential for the observatory and project related to item configuration management.
  • Support to maintenance management including support to specialists of Maintenance in Condition of Operations (MCO).
  • Generation and analysis of MSE's Key Performance Indicators.
  • Support Integrated Operations Program as required.
  • Participate and contribute to Paranal System Engineering, Change Control Board and other activities as requested by Group Leader and Head of Department.
  • Any critical Paranal observatory activities for which your competencies are requested by your manager.

Reports to:

Support and Quality Assurance Group Leader.


The candidate has the order of 5 years of professional experience of large fleets, operational/productive facilities and ideally astronomical observatory environments, in the fields of planning, quality assurance, maintenance management and supply chain.

Key Competences:

The ideal candidate has several of the following competences (technical and soft):

  • General knowledge and experience on planning, quality assurance, maintenance management and supply chain management.
  • Good knowledge and experience on a CMMS and preferably IBM-MAXIMO.
  • Knowledge on operations management.
  • Knowledge on risk analysis.
  • Knowledge on process approach.
  • Interpersonal and team working skills.
  • Willing to learn new tools and methodologies.
  • Multidisciplinary thinking-acting (incorporate different groups or skills available in other groups when needed)
  • Computer skills for office Package.


University degree in engineering. Execution or Civilian Engineering from University or equivalent Institutions. Specialties: Industrial, mechanical, electronics, electrical or equivalent oriented to the necessities of the position.

Language Skills:

ESO is an international organization where the official language is English. The position requires good oral and written communication skills in English.

Remuneration and Contract:

We offer an attractive remuneration package including a competitive salary and educational benefits, as well as financial help in relocating the candidate's family, where applicable. ESO aims to support members of personnel in maintaining a good work-life balance. The initial contract is for a period of two years and is subject to medical clearance and successful completion of the probation period, with the possibility of indefinite extension . The title or grade may be subject to change according to qualification and the number of years of experience.

For further information, please visit

Duty Station:

Paranal Observatory located 120 km south of the city of Antofagasta, Chile. The nominal working schedule will be 8 days on duty and 6 days off duty (8x6) with accommodation provided on site, after a short induction period that could require 5 days on duty and 2 days off (5x2).

Career Path: Local Staff Member on path V


If you are interested in working in areas of frontline science and technology and in a stimulating international environment, please visit for further details.

Applicants are invited to apply online at Applications must be completed in English and should include a motivation letter and CV. Please note that the interviews will be conducted in English.

Closing date for applications is 8 October 2023.

Interviews are expected to start soon after this date.

ESO Values

An important element in any successful employment relationship is harmony in values between an organisation and its people.

The ESO values are:

ESO strives for excellence through innovation.

ESO provides outstanding services to its communities.

ESO fosters diversity & inclusion.

ESO believes in the key role of sustainability for its future.

Achieving the above are recognized as only possible on the basis of personal values and attitudes that we expect from our employees: respect, integrity, accountability, commitment, collaboration, and clear & open communication. Applicants to any ESO role are asked to reflect on their affinity with these values and advised they may be asked about them if called for interview.


ESO has established diversity as an important value of the Organisation, is committed to providing an equal opportunities environment and is actively seeking to promote a diverse, equitable and inclusive workforce. Please visit for further details.


No nationality is in principle excluded from employment at ESO, however, non-Chilean applicants to this role must reside in Chile and/or have a pertinent working permit, according to Chilean regulations at the time of their application.

ESO is committed to equal opportunities. The post is equally open to suitably qualified candidates irrespective of gender, age, disability, sexual orientation, ethnicity, or religion.

This vacancy is now closed.
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