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Spacecraft System and AIV Engineer

European Space Agency

European Space Agency

noordwijk, netherlands
Posted on Monday, November 20, 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 is a non-renewable post for a limited duration until 31 December 2026 and is classified A2-A4 on the Coordinated Organisations’ salary scale.


This opportunity is open for the specific needs of a National Project. Accordingly, the external candidate selected for this post will continue to be considered an external candidate for the purposes of any future applications to the Agency.


ESTEC, Noordwijk, Netherlands 


We are recruiting for the position of Spacecraft System and AIV Engineer for a National Earth Observation Project for Spain and Greece.


On all technical and programmatic matters, you will report to the Project Manager of the selected National Mission.


You will be technically responsible for the spacecraft engineering (covering all classical engineering disciplines, including launcher interfaces) and AIV/AIT definition. Your responsibilities will include the proactive monitoring of the platform’s industrial procurement within the project (as instrument procurement is under the responsibility of the Payload group).

You will work in close cooperation with your team members, coordinate technical support and assist the Project Manager on all technical and programmatic aspects pertinent to the spacecraft and AIV/AIT scope.


Your tasks and responsibilities will include:


  • bearing technical responsibility for the spacecraft engineering (covering all classical engineering disciplines, including launcher interfaces) and AIV/AIT for the procurement of the Platform up to Spacecraft Flight Acceptance Review of all eight satellites;
  • consolidating and maintaining spacecraft requirements, ensuring their consistent definition and flow-down to system, subsystem and equipment level, in full coherence with the system requirements and operational interfaces;
  • monitoring industrial activities related to the procurement of the spacecraft and associated ground support equipment, ensuring suitable planning and progress of work and full compliance with technical and programmatic requirements;
  • supervising the spacecraft definition process, ensuring that a robust spacecraft architecture and design are established in a consistent and cost-effective manner;
  • consolidating and maintaining the satellite internal/external interfaces and engineering technical budgets;
  • ensuring the correct definition of the development, AIV and AIT processes of satellite(s), platform(s), subsystems and units, and monitoring their suitable implementation;
  • ensuring the correct definition of all interfaces between launcher and satellite according to the applicable requirements;
  • ensuring the preparation and validation of in-orbit operations (FOS) up to flight acceptance review maturity;
  • ensuring appropriate architecture and selection of the required ground stations in line with the project needs and requirements;
  • working with other project members and coordinating the technical specialists to ensure timely and consistent support through the spacecraft definition, procurement and verification phases;
  • providing regular reporting and support to the Project Manager on all the relevant aspects of the spacecraft design, development, procurement and scheduling;
  • identifying risks and potential problem areas, proposing mitigation actions where appropriate;
  • ensuring coordination with other National Programmes (where applicable).

Technical competencies

Knowledge and experience of Earth observation missions
Experience of satellite implementation (design, development, verification, validation and qualification), in particular for Earth observation missions
Experience of managing technical interfaces between subsystems
Project schedule and risk management processes

Behavioural competencies

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


A master's in aerospace engineering or another related engineering subject is required for this post.

Additional requirements

Consolidated experience in space system engineering is required. 


You should also:


  • have a high level of self-motivation and autonomy;
  • have the capability to work effectively in an interdisciplinary team;
  • demonstrate flexibility in dealing with day-to-day operational challenges.


The following would be considered assets:


  • knowledge of orbital dynamics and analyses;
  • familiarity with ESA and industrial procurement processes and standards for space system development, verification and product assurance;
  • familiarity with the technical and programmatic characteristics and challenges specific to space system constellations.

​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.


Applicants must be eligible to access technology and hardware which is subject to European and US export control regulations.


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 at


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.


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. 


Recruitment will normally be at the first grade in the band (A2); however, if the candidate selected has little or no experience, the position may be filled at A1 level.