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Leib­niz-Insti­tut für Astro­phy­sik Pots­dam (AIP) - Tech­nical Sec­tion

The Leib­niz Insti­tute for Astro­phys­ics Pots­dam (AIP) is a pub­licly fun­ded Ger­man rese­arch insti­tute with a long his­tory, includ­ing the Ber­lin Obser­vat­ory and the Astro­phys­ical Obser­vat­ory Pots­dam. The lat­ter was the world's first obser­vat­ory to emphas­ize expli­citly the rese­arch area of astro­phys­ics. Today, the AIP has an inter­na­tio­nal repu­ta­tion as a com­pet­ence centre for the devel­op­ment of rese­arch tech­no­logy in the fields of spec­tro­scopy, robo­tic tele­scopes and E-Sci­ence. About 130 sci­ent­ists work on a vari­ety of astro­phys­ical top­ics such as mag­netic fields, solar and stel­lar phys­ics, stel­lar and galac­tic evol­u­tion and cos­mo­logy. As a mem­ber of staff of the AIP, you will have the advant­age of liv­ing very close to the Ber­lin met­ro­pol­itan area as well as enjoy­ing the calm, fam­ily-fri­endly area of Pots­dam-Babels­berg for your work place and res­id­ence.

Mech­an­ical Engin­eer (m/f/d)

The Leib­niz-Insti­tut für Astro­physik Pots­dam (AIP) invites applic­a­tions for the pos­i­tion of Mech­an­ical Engin­eer (m/f/d) for the devel­op­ment and sup­port of astro­nom­ical instru­ment­a­tion/tele­scope pro­jects. The suc­cess­ful can­did­ate will inter­act closely with AIP pro­ject teams and sci­ent­ists, col­lab­or­at­ing insti­tu­tions and sup­pli­ers.

Work­ing field:

The insti­tute has a strong record in the devel­op­ment of optical instru­ment­a­tion for state-of-the-art inter­na­tional tele­scope facil­it­ies, such as the European South­ern Obser­vat­ory in Chile, the Large Bin­ocu­lar Tele­scope in Ari­zona, the Hobby Eberly Tele­scope in Texas, the Calar Alto Tele­scopes in Spain and also oper­ates the robotic STELLA obser­vat­ory on Ten­erife. AIP will make sig­ni­fic­ant con­tri­bu­tions to the next gen­er­a­tion European Large Tele­scope (ELT) instru­ment­a­tion and is involved in space mis­sions such as Gaia, eRosita and Solar Orbiter. AIP spe­cial­ises in fibre-coupled pre­ci­sion, multi-chan­nel and integ­ral field spec­tro­scopic sys­tems, and examples of cur­rent instru­ment­a­tion pro­jects include: 4MOST (VISTA), ELT-HiReS, ELT-MOSAIC and GANS (GREGOR).
The suc­cess­ful can­did­ate will primar­ily work on the 4MOST pro­ject at AIP in col­lab­or­a­tion with the large local pro­ject team and extens­ive external part­ner net­work. Engin­eer­ing sup­port is required for com­ple­tion of the final design of the AIP sub-sys­tem con­tri­bu­tions to the 4MOST pro­ject and for devel­op­ment of the tool­ing and addi­tional equip­ment required for the man­u­fac­ture, assembly, integ­ra­tion and test­ing (MAIT) phases of those sub-sys­tems.
Your Tasks
  • Design mech­an­ical com­pon­ent, assembly and unit solu­tions based on the sys­tem/sub­sys­tem func­tional and per­form­ance require­ments and con­straints, and the crit­ical review of designs developed by other parties.
  • Design and develop opto-mech­an­ical and elec­tro-mech­an­ical sys­tems for com­plex instru­ment­a­tion using Com­puter Aided Design Tools (Autodesk Inventor® 3D CAD soft­ware).
  • Pro­duce fully detailed fab­ric­a­tion and assembly pack­ages for the com­pon­ents, assem­blies
includ­ing detailed man­u­fac­tur­ing and assembly draw­ings, parts lists and assembly pro­ced­ures.
  • Ana­lyse feas­ib­il­ity of products, using engin­eer­ing skills in the areas of pre­ci­sion mech­an­ics, dynam­ics, mater­i­als and struc­tures, ther­mo­dy­nam­ics, engin­eer­ing mod­el­ling includ­ing FEA using ANSYS, detailed tol­er­ance ana­lysis and know­ledge of machine shop pro­cesses.
  • Develop and val­id­ate man­u­fac­tur­ing, assembly, integ­ra­tion and test (MAIT), qual­ity assur­ance (QA) and risk mit­ig­a­tion pro­cesses, pro­ced­ures and safe prac­tices.
  • Over­sight of the pur­chase/man­u­fac­ture, assembly, integ­ra­tion and veri­fic­a­tion of mech­an­ical parts, com­pon­ent and assem­blies.
  • Write mech­an­ical design, ana­lysis, train­ing and main­ten­ance doc­u­ments for the design.
  • Inter­act in a multi-dis­cip­lin­ary team involving optical, elec­tronic, and soft­ware design and sup­port staff


Your pro­file must include:
  • A degree in mech­an­ical engin­eer­ing or equi­val­ent (Bach­elor or Mas­ter in engin­eer­ing or applied sci­ences, Dipl.-Ing. (FH))
  • Extens­ive exper­i­ence with mech­an­ical engin­eer­ing, design and detail­ing and pro­fi­ciency with pre­ci­sion mech­an­ics, dynam­ics, struc­tures, 
ther­mo­dy­nam­ics, engin­eer­ing mod­el­ling and machine shop pro­cesses. 

  • Extens­ive exper­i­ence crit­ical ana­lysis and val­id­a­tion of designs, includ­ing finite ele­ment ana­lysis, meas­ure­ment and pro­to­typ­ing.
  • Pro­fi­ciency with Autodesk Inventor® 3D CAD, Autodesk Vault and ANSYS® soft­ware is highly desir­able.
  • Famili­ar­ity with the EU machinery dir­ect­ive 2006/42/EC, the optical draw­ing stand­ard ISO 10110 and related stand­ards is desir­able
  • Abil­ity to doc­u­ment designs and write reports and pro­ced­ures using MS Office soft­ware.
  • Excel­lent inter­per­sonal and com­mu­nic­a­tion skills with the abil­ity to col­lab­or­ate effi­ciently and effect­ively with admin­is­trat­ive, tech­nical and sci­entific staff.
  • Demon­strated abil­ity to work as a mem­ber of multi-dis­cip­lin­ary (often inter­na­tional) teams in close col­lab­or­a­tion with optical, elec­tronic, soft­ware design and sup­port staff.
  • Flu­ency in spoken and writ­ten Eng­lish and Ger­man pro­fi­ciency is highly desir­able.

What we of­fer:

The AIP is an equal oppor­tun­ity employer and strives to main­tain a diverse, inclus­ive work envir­on­ment and cul­ture. AIP par­tic­u­larly encour­ages applic­a­tions from women. Pref­er­ence will also be given to people with dis­ab­il­it­ies with equal com­pet­ence. The appoint­ment could be either part or full time and could start in Octo­ber 2019 after the recruit­ment pro­cess is com­pleted. The appoint­ment would be for 2 years. Salary and social bene­fits are cal­cu­lated based on the Ger­man pub­lic ser­vice scale TV-L and com­men­sur­ate with qual­i­fic­a­tions and exper­i­ence in rela­tion to the pos­i­tion. Employer con­tri­bu­tions to med­ical, par­ental leave, and retire­ment bene­fits are included.

How to ap­ply:

To apply, please send your Cur­riculum Vitae and cop­ies of aca­demic degrees, cer­ti­fic­ates, a let­ter of ref­er­ence and any sup­port­ing doc­u­ments via our job portal at altern­at­ively via eMail to

Com­plete applic­a­tions received by 14th August 2019 will receive full con­sid­er­a­tion.