The Directorate of Programmes is responsible for the management and delivery of ESO's construction programmes and projects within ESO's matrix organization. The overall work is broken down into three programmes:
1) The ELT Construction Programme;
2) The Instrumentation Programme (which is the subject of this vacancy); and 3) The Technology Development Programme.
The ESO community is deeply involved in the development of instruments for the ESO observatories, with most projects delivered by collaborations between research institutes in the ESO member states and ESO in return for Guaranteed Time Observations. As Instrumentation Programme Manager, you will be an active astronomer and member of the ESO Faculty, able to understand the needs of the programme; you will be responsible for the planning and successful delivery of the entire optical/IR instrumentation programme (circa 30 MEUR per annum in the post ELT construction era). Specifically, you will be responsible for the delivery of new instruments for the ELT, VLT and La Silla as well as and upgrades to the existing instruments of La Silla and Paranal, including the required modifications to the observatory infrastructure.
You will work closely with the Consortium Principal Investigators, the ELT, VLT and VLTI Programme Scientists (who ensure the scientific drive of the Instrumentation Programme), and will provide strategic leadership and overall management, coordinating the work with external institutes, as well as the project managers, project engineers and project scientists from the Directorates of Programmes, Engineering and Science. You will be supported by two Deputy Programme Managers, one for ELT and one for the VLT/I instrumentation, a Programme Engineering Team and the Programme Planning and Controls Office of the Directorate of Programmes.
Main Duties and Responsibilities:
You will be responsible for:
Leading the Instrumentation Programme to ensure that it meets the needs of the ESO community;
Work to ensure that the lessons learned from past instrument projects are taken on board;
Proactively working to ensure the long-term effectiveness of the programme, including developing a sustainable approach to delivering ELT-class instrumentation;
Organising Programme level lessons learned exercises;
Preparation of a medium to long-term programme plan, working alongside the Programme Scientists, ensuring that effort and costs are properly included in ESO budgets and with plans;
Initiating new projects in collaboration with the Programme Scientists in line with the Programme goals;
Reporting on the delivery of the Programme to ESO's governing and advisory bodies;
Setting of the relative priorities of projects within the programme;
Ensuring safety and quality assurance is applied within the programme as agreed with Director of Programmes, including oversight of all projects;
Empowering the individual project teams within the programme;
Dealing with problems and difficulties outside the scope of the project teams and resolving conflicts where necessary;
Providing formal input to the appraisal and providing specific objectives for the ESO Project Managers and Project Scientists working on the Programme; and
Conducting an independent personal astronomy research programme with up to 50% of your time available.
ESO Director of Programmes.
Key Competences and Experience:
Essential Competences and Experience
A minimum of ten years' experience in leading/developing astronomical instrumentation and/or leading programmes of similar complexity, including dealing effectively with the differing views of the various stakeholders;
Leadership, and change management;
Motivated, proactive team player;
Excellent interpersonal and communicational skills, and a demonstrable ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships at all levels;
Strong negotiation and influencing skills;
Creative thinking and well developed problem-solving abilities,
Political intelligence and influence, being able to manage internal and external stakeholder relationships and mediate in discussions to resolve issues;
Ability to take difficult decisions balancing conflicting priorities and agendas of all stakeholders;
Capacity to work under pressure and ability to multi-task and manage various project elements simultaneously;
Strong ability to lead and engage teams that are culturally diverse and geographically distributed;
Creates synergies inside and outside the organisation ensuring that resources are used optimally, cost effectively and transparently;
Established record of management, including budget and staff management; and
Established track record of astronomical research and publication.
Desirable Competences and Experience:
Experience of ESO instrumentation would be an advantage.
PhD in astronomy.
An excellent command of written and spoken English is essential.
Remuneration and Contract:
We offer an attractive remuneration package including a competitive salary (tax free), comprehensive pension scheme and medical, educational, and other social benefits, as well as financial help in relocating your family and support to place your child/children in day-care.