Geotechnical Civil Engineer

Geotechnical Civil Engineer

Published Deadline Location
2 Nov today Amsterdam

Job description

Nikhef is looking for a Geotechnical Civil Engineer Introduction
At Nikhef, approximately 220 physicists and 75 technical staff members work together in an open and international scientific environment. Together, they perform theoretical and experimental research in the fields of particle and astroparticle physics. The Nikhef institute is a collaboration between six major Dutch universities and the Dutch Foundation for Scientific Research (NWO).

Nikhef participates in large research collaborations, such as at the Large Hadron Collider at CERN, and in experiments in the research fields of gravitational waves, cosmic rays and astroparticle physics. Knowledge and technology transfer to third parties, i.e. industry, society and the general public, is an integral part of Nikhef’s mission.

Nikhef is co-leading the effort to build the Einstein Telescope (ET), a future third-generation gravitational wave detector. The Einstein Telescope will be built in a 10 km large dedicated underground infrastructure to mitigate disturbances caused by environmental seismic noise and will implement advanced technology, such as quantum technologies. Custom infrastructures will be built to further reduce other environmental disturbances. The main objectives for the next three years, carried out by an international collaboration co-lead by Nikhef, are the characterization of possible sites, the Technical Design Report of the observatory and complete cost evaluation of the project. In addition, a local team based in Maastricht is charged to make a recommendation within three years about the suitability of the subsurface in the EMR (Euregio Meuse-Rhin) region to cost-effectively build and operate the Einstein Telescope.

The Position
Nikhef is looking for a candidate with at least a master’s degree in Geotechnical Civil Engineering, to work in the Einstein Telescope Engineering Department.

The ET Engineering Department is charged with the design, procurement, installation, commissioning, operation, maintaining and eventually dismantling of the infrastructure and technical systems for ET research infrastructure independently of the location of the infrastructure (EMR or Sardinia). The activities for the selected candidate will be carried out in the following two areas:

  1. Selected candidate will take an active role in the EU-wide ET collaboration and act as an interface between the geo efforts of the Engineering Department in collaboration with national institutes and the ET collaboration, translate user requirements into specifications and interfaces with the companies which will carry out the civil engineering works. He/she may in the future, when the ET organization is established, be in charge of the reception of the civil engineering works also resolving non conformities.
  2. Selected candidate will also work with the team in Maastricht and will lead the effort and be responsible for identifying minimum requirements for the geology and hydrogeology of the subsurface in which to excavate the required shafts, caverns and tunnels for the Einstein Telescope. He/she will define the appropriate engineering / excavating objective and will define the required parameters for subsurface layer structure, rock stability etc. to achieve this objective. He/she will be a member of the subsurface technical steering team and he/she is expected to take on the role of interface between the geo efforts of the team and the civil-engineering community in academia and 3rd party industry. In particular selected candidate will interface with the Project Lead Geo-data Processing to ensure that acquisition campaigns are “searching for the right information”, i.e. to identify which part of the subsurface volume is suitable (has an acceptable risk) for excavation. Selected candidate can expect technical support and coaching from the other members of the steering team and is expected to work closely with technical advisors and experts.




Candidates who meet or are close to meeting the criteria below are invited to respond.

  • At least a master’s degree in Civil Engineering: preferably with track Geotechnical Engineering;
  • Experience in subsurface construction of rock and soft soil tunnels, shafts, etc.;
  • Good understanding and overview of the tunneling market and industry, safety requirements, and ability to discuss requirements and challenges with relevant stakeholders;
  • Understanding and ability of interpreting geological data volumes are considered a great advantage;
  • Proficient verbal and written communication and presentation skills;
  • Experience of working in a multidisciplinary international research team would be beneficial.

Conditions of employment

Contract and location
Nikhef is a unique and inspiring place to work. The selected candidate will be employed by the NWO-I Foundation for a period of four years under the INFRA-Dev project conditions. The remuneration is between € 3.100 and € 4.695 based on full-time employment and depending on education and experience. Furthermore, NWO-I offers a fixed 13th month and more than 8 weeks of paid holiday leave per year. The terms of employment of the NWO-I Foundation are excellent and can be found at:

The work location will be Nikhef, Amsterdam. It is expected that selected candidate is present in Maastricht at the ET-Pathfinder office (University of Science and Engineering) regularly, on average ~1 day/every other week. Incidental travel for meetings or workshops is part of the job.

The Einstein Telescope organization is expected to be founded within four years. The current members of the ET Engineering Department are located in different institutes and universities around Europe. The current aim of the project is that the ET Engineering Department will move in due time to the location where the Einstein Telescope will be built.

Questions and application
To apply, click the 'apply now' button below. Please be prepared to fill in a short template, and upload your CV and motivation letter. If you have any questions about this position, please contact Patrick Werneke by sending an email to More information about Nikhef can be found at our website:


  • Research, development, innovation; Technical and laboratory
  • max. 40 hours per week
  • 1199565


Science Park 105, 1098 XG, Amsterdam

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Application procedure

Application procedure

Make sure to apply no later than 30 Nov 2022 23:59 (Europe/Amsterdam).