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Computer Scientists in real-time and distributed computing for X-ray detector ca at European XFEL GmbH

Join the European XFEL

European XFEL is an international non-profit company located in the Hamburg area in Germany. It operates a 3.4 km-long X-ray laser, which produces X-rays of unique quality for studies in physics, chemistry, the life sciences, materials research and other disciplines. The diverse scientific facilities at European XFEL enable scientists from across the globe to carry out a wide range of experimental techniques.

To complete our Data Analysis group, we are looking for two

Computer Scientists in real-time and distributed computing for X-ray detector calibration (f/m/d)

The Position

The calibration of detector data is the first step of data analysis and an essential service we provide as a facility. It is of critical importance that facility users and scientists have access to accurate and reliably provided calibrated data to be able to conduct and analyse their experiments.

As part of the Data Analysis group, you will join the calibration software team with members from across the support department (Detector integration, Data management, Data analysis). The team has 3 major goals:

  • Improve the overall performance of the processing pipelines, including: benchmarking, performance evaluation, exploring new implementations, taking advantage of hardware and algorithmic optimisation, data distribution workflow, relevant configuration, etc.

  • Improve the user visibility of the calibration process and problems that can occur, including: Improving the overview and status of what's happening, exposeing more configuration to users and scientists, improving logging and reporting when something goes wrong, etc.

  • Improve the reliability and maintainability of the calibration system, including: software architectural rethinking, monitoring tools including hardware and software components interacting with the calibration process, user interface development, automated testing, etc.

The calibration service is mainly composed of 2 systems:

  • A real-time distributed system where data from detectors is corrected on-the-fly for real-time analysis. The challenges here are to improve performances (in order to increase the amount of data that can be processed in real time) and stability (to limit the downtime of the system).

  • A file-based calibration service running on a large HPC cluster where all of the data recorded (~PetaBytes) is being corrected and written to files. The challenges here are to improve performance, implement new correction algorithms provided by the detector group and improve integration to other EuXFEL services.


  • BSc, MSc or PhD in Computer Science, Natural Sciences, Mathematics or Engineering

  • at least 3 years of programming experience, ideally within a scientific context

  • good knowledge of Python, and C/C++ or at least one other programming language

  • experience in real-time data processing and/or in HPC environment

  • experience with software optimisation

  • experience with parallel and distributed development for data processing

  • experience with working in a Linux environment

  • experience with git or similar version control systems

  • strong communication and collaboration skills

  • strong oral and written English skills (language of work is English)

  • willingness to undertake shift work

The following are considered as assets:

  • experience with software architecture and software integration

  • experience with GPU programming

  • experience with software testing and continuous integration

  • experience in photon science and/or knowledge of X-ray detectors

  • experience in web development

  • experience with HDF5

Our offer

Become part of a vibrant international and multicultural team of scientists, engineers, technical and administrative staff. Be involved in cutting edge scientific and technical progress, participate in our international networks, and shape your life upon trust-based flexible working times and telecommuting options. Experience our atmosphere of tolerance and respect.

Salary and benefits are similar to those of public service organizations in Germany. In addition European XFEL provides a non-contributory company pension scheme, broad relocation benefits, as well as subsidized job-tickets and meals at our company restaurant. The European XFEL GmbH intends to achieve a widely international staff. Company language is English, non-German candidates hired from abroad receive an international allowance.

Reference number: E-255

Duration: These appointments are limited to 3 years.


Please apply online and provide a cover letter next to a CV in English, as well as your work certificates in one single PDF-file.

We invite applications from computer scientists with a keen interest in working in a scientific environment, or equally research scientists with convincing experience in software engineering.

Applicants with disabilities will be given preference over other equally qualified applicants The European XFEL GmbH is an equal opportunity and affirmative action employer and encourages applications from women.

Deadline: September 30th, 2020

For additional information, please contact Hans Fangohr (

Working place will be Schenefeld in the Hamburg metropolitan area. General information on working in Germany, the Hamburg area and the European XFEL can be found under

European XFEL GmbH
Holzkoppel 4, 22869 Schenefeld, Germany 

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