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Future EO System Engineer

European Space Agency

European Space Agency

noordwijk, netherlands
Posted on Wednesday, November 15, 2023


Vacancy in the Directorate of Earth Observation Programmes.


ESA is an equal opportunity employer, committed to achieving diversity within the workforce and creating an inclusive working environment. We therefore welcome applications from all qualified candidates irrespective of gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, beliefs, age, disability or other characteristics. Applications from women are encouraged.


This post is classified A2-A4 on the Coordinated Organisations’ salary scale.


ESTEC, Noordwijk, Netherlands  


Future Earth Observation System Engineer in the Mission and System Studies Section, Future Missions and Instruments Division, Future Missions and Architecture Department, Directorate of Earth Observation Programmes (D/EOP).


Reporting to the Head of the Mission and System Studies Section, you will be involved in the end to-end preparation of EO missions through appropriate engineering activities, working in close cooperation with staff within your own and other D/EOP Divisions, notably Earth and Mission Science.


You will have full or partial responsibilities in some or all of the following areas:


  • defining, initiating and managing industrial activities, including pre-Phase A and mission/architecture studies for future EO missions and Phase A for missions not yet approved for implementation, ensuring handover to the Project Department after approval;
  • initiating and performing internal studies to assess the results of industrial activities;
  • defining and updating system specifications throughout the preparatory phases of EO missions in close cooperation with the Earth and Mission Science Division and the relevant science and mission advisory groups, supporting the establishment of mission requirements and deriving system requirements traceable to mission requirements and user needs;
  • ensuring the technical coherence of the system design, including system-level budgets, system performance analyses, definition of spacecraft and payload subsystems and related data processing;
  • contributing to the evaluation of industrial and scientific proposals, in particular for Earth Explorers, Scout missions and missions of opportunity;
  • contributing to the preparation of scientific and technical dossiers on ESA EO missions;
  • supporting InCubed proposal evaluation and follow-up of EO upstream activities;
  • contributing to the analysis of EO development undertaken by other space agencies in Europe and worldwide, as well as commercial initiatives such as those performed in the context of New Space;
  • contributing to the specification and development of mission analysis, mission performance and system-sizing tools used in the Future Missions and Instruments Division.

Technical competencies

Knowledge of ESA's development, verification and procurement processes
Knowledge of optical and/or microwave remote sensing techniques and an understanding of EO user needs
Background in space engineering with a systems orientation and an end-to-end view of Earth observation missions

Behavioural competencies

Result Orientation
Operational Efficiency
Fostering Cooperation
Relationship Management
Continuous Improvement
Forward Thinking


A master’s degree or PhD in engineering or physics is required for this post.

Additional requirements

  • You will be expected to contribute to a dynamic and creative environment in preparatory phases of EO missions.
  • You should have good interpersonal skills and be able to work, coordinate and interact within small teams as well as autonomously. 
  • At least six years’ relevant experience in space mission preparation and/or development is required.
  • You should have experience in technical negotiations, risk assessment and managing uncertainties.
  • Experience in working in a team or project environment is desirable.
  • Familiarity with EO spaceborne instrumentation and experience of spaceborne hardware development and system performance evaluation is desirable.

Other information

For behavioural competencies expected from ESA staff in general, please refer to the ESA Competency Framework.

For further information please visit: Professionals, What we offer and FAQ   


The working languages of the Agency are English and French. A good knowledge of one of these is required. Knowledge of another Member State language would be an asset.     


The Agency may require applicants to undergo selection tests.


At the Agency we value diversity and we welcome people with disabilities.  Whenever possible, we seek to accommodate individuals with disabilities by providing the necessary support at the workplace.  The Human Resources Department can also provide assistance during the recruitment process. If you would like to discuss this further please contact us email


Please note that applications are only considered from nationals of one of the following States: Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and Canada, Latvia, Lithuania, Slovakia and Slovenia.


According to the ESA Convention, the recruitment of staff must take into account an adequate distribution of posts among nationals of the ESA Member States*. When short-listing for an interview, priority will first be given to internal candidates and secondly to external candidates from under-represented Member States*.  


In accordance with the European Space Agency’s security procedures and as part of the selection process, successful candidates will be required to undergo basic screening before appointment conducted by an external background screening service. 


In principle, recruitment will be within the advertised grade band (A2-A4). However, if the selected candidate has less than four years of relevant professional experience following the completion of the master’s degree, the position may be filled at A1 level. 

*Member States, Associate Members or Cooperating States.