CNC miller/programmer

Vacancy by Astron

  • Astron
  • Dwingeloo
  • MBO
  • 2 years


The NOVA Optical-Infrared Instrumentation Group at ASTRON in Dwingeloo develops advanced optical instruments for astronomical research, for telescopes at the most important international observatories.

ASTRON is currently looking for a motivated and driven person for the NOVA Optical-Infrared Instrumentation Group.

CNC miller/programmer

Job description: 

As a CNC miller/programmer within the Optical-Infrared Instrumentation group, you and your colleagues produce parts for subsystems and instruments. These single pieces and challenging parts are mainly made of aluminum. The input for your work is 2D CAD drawings + 3D models made by the mechanical designers. Important here is coordination with the designers about the production (im)possibilities and challenges of producing these parts; milling at NOVA is real teamwork. The most difficult parts are provided with a production plan to guarantee quality. As a CNC miller/programmer, you program the parts in CAD/CAM in Mastercam, you determine yourself, or in consultation, the fixture, work sequence, tooling, etc. To prevent milling errors, you simulate the milling paths in advance.

Characteristic of the production is that it always concerns unique parts; there is no series production. The parts can also be complex; standard multi-surface/6-surface (so with at least one span), sometimes 5-axis simultaneous and sometimes you do precise post-processing on complete assemblies. Most parts contain accurate features; from 0.1mm down to micron level. To ensure that the parts do not deform due to internal stresses, they also receive a heat treatment during production. NOVA has access to a Hermle C40 and a Grob750 5-axis milling machine for production. Of course you will receive on-the-job training within NOVA, to train you in handling the CNC milling machine and the specific skills needed to get home in this environment.

Your duties and responsibilities consist of:

  • Providing feedback regarding the manufacturability of each part;
  • Work preparation: determine/discuss production strategy, design and produce fixtures, compile tool set, set up machine;
  • CAD/CAM programming of the CNC milling machine using Mastercam;
  • Simulate the milling paths;
  • Independent milling of parts and assemblies;
  • Carrying out quality checks on the parts;
  • Discuss in an open atmosphere if something has gone wrong.

The work will take place in Dwingeloo at ASTRON, where the NOVA Optical-Infrared instrumentation group is located.

Job requirements:

  • MBO + working and thinking level
  • Experience with CAD/CAM programming on a PC
  • Simulating experience with milling paths
  • Experience with multi-plane/6-plane programming/milling
  • Experience with independently operating a 5-axis CNC machine
  • To be able to handle the challenge of programming and milling single piece parts at micron level
  • Patience and perseverance
  • A real team player; be open to receive feedback and also be able to give open feedback
  • Being able to think creatively to find solutions for tension-relieving tensioning and production of complex parts
  • Command of the English language in word and writing is an advantage


  • We offer a full-time contract (38 hours per week) for the duration of two years, with a view to renewal.
  • A salary between a minimum of 2,875 euros and a maximum of 3,854 euros gross per month for a full-time appointment and depending on relevant experience.
  • In addition to good primary employment conditions, such as an end-of-year bonus of 8,33% of the gross annual salary and 42 vacation days (full-time contract), we also offer you excellent secondary employment conditions, including a solid pension scheme, group discount on individual insurance policies and a travel allowance.
  • A varied and dynamic working environment.
  • With us you also benefit from a flexible package of employment conditions, specifically aimed at your situation. For example, you can decide for yourself whether you want to purchase extra vacation days.

The organisation:

ASTRON, the Netherlands Institute for Radio Astronomy, promotes the development of our knowledge of the universe. We do this by conducting basic astronomical research and developing and operating advanced technologies and instrumentation for radio astronomical research. ASTRON is part of the institutes organization of NWO (Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research). ASTRON is located just outside Dwingeloo in Drenthe. It employs about 200 scientists, technicians and operational staff.

The Netherlands Research School for Astronomy (NOVA) coordinates and stimulates astronomical research in the Netherlands. NOVA joins forces of astronomers at the universities of Amsterdam (UvA), Groningen (BACK), To lead (UL) and Nijmegen (RU). NOVA works closely with the NWO institutes SRON and ASTRON.

The goal for the coming years is to design, build and test METIS and MICADO and various subsystems of these instruments for ESO's Extremely Large Telescope. Most technical developments and production take place in Dwingeloo.

  • ELT – Extremely Large Telescope – The largest optical telescope in the world, currently under construction in Chile.
  • METIS – The scientific instrument that detects and analyzes infrared light received by the ELT.
  • MICADO – The scientific instrument that detects and analyzes visible and near-infrared light captured by the ELT.

NWO-I is committed to diversity in the workplace and strives for a balanced composition of its staff in terms of expertise, background and gender. NWO-I therefore welcomes applications from people who are currently underrepresented.


More information about NOVA and ASTRON can be found on our websites:


For more information about the position, please contact: Ramon Navarro, Head of Optical Infrared Instrumentation Group, For other questions you can send a message to


You can apply by uploading your motivation letter and CV on The first closing date for this vacancy is May 8, 2023 at 09:00 AM. Recruitment will continue until the vacancy is filled.

Internal and external recruitment take place simultaneously. Internal candidates have priority in the procedure.

How to apply?

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