CERN Engineering Department

Taking a closer look at LHC

The Engineering Department (EN) provides CERN with the Engineering Competences, Infrastructure Systems and Technical Coordination required for the design, installation, operation, maintenance and dismantling phases of the CERN accelerator complex and its experimental facilities. The activity of the Engineering Department is carried out in the following areas.

Access & Alarms (AA) Group

The Access and Alarms group (AA) is in charge of the design, engineering, installation, maintenance, operation and renewal of the systems that ensures the Safety of the CERN Personnel, Users and Visitors, on all the CERN sites, Accelerators and Experiment Facilities.

Accelerator Coordination and Engineering (ACE) Group

The Accelerator Coordination & Engineering group (ACE) is in charge of the coordination of the activities for the interventions and changes to the LHC and its injectors.

Cooling and Ventilation (CV) Group

The Cooling & Ventilation group (CV) is responsible for the design, installation, commissioning, operation and maintenance of the cooling systems, pumping stations, air conditioning plants and fluid distribution systems for the whole of CERN’s accelerator complex, its experimental areas and some of the special cooling systems of the LHC experiments’ sub-detectors as well as for strategic technical installations such as the Computer Centre. 

Electrical Engineering (EL) Group

CERN developed its own electrical transmission and distribution network since the amount of electrical power necessary for the running of its accelerators and experiments is significant and deserves proper management. At peak consumption, CERN uses about 200 megawatts of power, which is about a third of the amount of energy used to feed the nearby city of Geneva in Switzerland.

Handling Engineering (HE) Group

From enormous pieces of equipment with unconventional shapes, to extremely delicate detector parts, the careful handling and transportation of components is essential at CERN.  The Handling Engineering (HE) Group prepares, organizes and coordinates all transport and handling operations for the CERN accelerators and experiments as well as the transport of thousands of conventional items, chemical and radioactive products per year. 

Information Management (IM)

The group provides applications and support for engineering information management throughout the whole Organization and its different projects. The group helps implementing and configuring the tools according to user needs while ensuring that coherent processes are applied and that the Digital Thread of engineering data is safeguarded. An overall goal is to provide traceability of data for the complete lifecycles of our accelerator complex and technical installations, as well as its related change management capabilities. 

Whereas the engineering applications provided mainly are based on standard industry products, the group also develops tailored interfaces and tools for specific tasks and processes.

Mechanical and Materials Engineering (MME) Group

The group includes the largest design office at CERN using computer-aided design (CAD) software.

The unit performs advanced calculations, analyses and numerical simulations to evaluate and improve the components’ behaviour in the extreme conditions of the CERN machines.

The group has internal workshop facilities with state-of-the-art equipment and a sub- contracting unit working in close collaboration with European industries.

The group includes materials and Non-Destructive Testing (NDT) competences and facilities for the development, selection, characterisation, quality control and analysis of materials such as metals and their alloys, ceramics or thin films, including destructive, non-destructive and dimensional examinations of materials and components.

The group also provides dynamic and static measurements at room and cryogenic temperatures, material testing, metallurgical characterization and analysis including by optical, electron microscopy and focus ion beam electron microscopy, image analysis, mechanical testing, X-ray computed tomography and failure analysis. 

Planning, Administration & Safety (PAS) Group

The group is responsible for supporting the Department Head in the management and planning of the department’s material and personnel resources, as well as for all matters related to safety and environment.  It represents the department in CERN-wide or interdepartmental bodies dealing with administrative, personnel, budget and safety matters. It also defines and implements safety and administrative procedures, for both the personnel and the material within the Department.


Xabier Cid Vidal, PhD in experimental Particle Physics for Santiago University (USC). Research Fellow in experimental Particle Physics at CERN from January 2013 to Decembre 2015. He was until 2022 linked to the Department of Particle Physics of the USC as a "Juan de La Cierva", "Ramon y Cajal" fellow (Spanish Postdoctoral Senior Grants), and Associate Professor. Since 2023 is Senior Lecturer in that Department.(ORCID).

Ramon Cid Manzano, until his retirement in 2020 was secondary school Physics Teacher at IES de SAR (Santiago - Spain), and part-time Lecturer (Profesor Asociado) in Faculty of Education at the University of Santiago (Spain). He has a Degree in Physics and in Chemistry, and he is PhD for Santiago University (USC) (ORCID).



CERN Directory

CERN Experimental Program

Theoretical physics (TH)

CERN Experimental Physics Department

CERN Scientific Committees

CERN Structure

CERN and the Environment



Detector CMS

Detector ATLAS

Detector ALICE

Detector LHCb

Detector TOTEM

Detector LHCf

Detector MoEDAL

Detector FASER

Detector SND@LHC



 For the bibliography used when writing this Section please go to the References Section

© Xabier Cid Vidal & Ramon Cid -  | SANTIAGO (SPAIN) |