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Head of Secure Connectivity Payload Section

European Space Agency

European Space Agency

noordwijk, netherlands
Posted on Thursday, July 4, 2024

ESTEC, Noordwijk, Netherlands


Head of the Secure Connectivity Payload Section in the Secure Connectivity Space Segment Office within the Secure Connectivity Programme Department in the Directorate of Connectivity and Secure Communications.

The ESA Programme Related to EU Secure Connectivity, hereinafter referred to as “Secure Connectivity”, is intended to support the effective development and validation of the EU Secure Connectivity governmental infrastructure and the services provided by it, as well as the validation and demonstration of services based on the commercial infrastructure developed by the contractor(s) delivering the EU Secure Connectivity governmental infrastructure.

Reporting to the Head of the Secure Connectivity Space Segment Office, you will be responsible for all tasks relating to the design, development and deployment of the payloads of the Secure Connectivity Space Segment.


Your main tasks and responsibilities will include:

  • management of the engineering activities relating to the design, development, qualification, acceptance and validation of the payloads of the Secure Connectivity Space Segment, including the payloads of any constellations within the Secure Connectivity system of systems, in accordance with the agreed schedule, cost and technical requirements, including implementation of the applicable security requirements;
  • management of the overall payload-related engineering, manufacturing, assembly and integration and testing (AIT/AIV) activities, including the organisation and management of payload-level reviews;
  • consolidation and maintenance of the payload subsystem and equipment requirements specification, design, development, testing and verification;
  • monitoring industrial work associated with payload and ground support equipment procurement, ensuring full compliance with technical and programmatic requirements;
  • monitoring and ensuring that all necessary payload-related industrial activities are performed and that the design meets the project requirements;
  • contributing to the management of system satellite budgets in your areas of responsibility;
  • supporting, for payload-related aspects, the preparation and management of all satellite launch campaign activities;
  • analysis of payload-related requests for changes, waivers and deviations, as well as non-conformances, anomalies and alerts, providing support to the relevant analyses at space segment and system level as and when required;
  • providing support, for payload-related aspects, to the Launch and Early Orbit Phase (LEOP), commissioning, the in-orbit test (IOT) campaign and the payload operations, as well as evolutive maintenance and correction of in-orbit anomalies;
  • maintenance of the Secure Connectivity payload development and deployment plan, schedule, risk register and relevant parts of the cost plan, with the required key performance indicators, for consolidation and approval at project level;
  • implementation and enforcement of risk and security management processes at payload level;
  • close coordination with the other Secure Connectivity project teams and disciplines, including the Space Segment (Satellite, Platform and AIT), Ground Segment and Operations Office, the System Office, the Security Team and the Product Assurance and Safety Team;
  • leading, managing and motivating the Payload Team, including the definition of day-to-day tasks and objectives, annual performance objective-setting, daily supervision, annual assessment, managing training needs and preparing input for and following up on the team manpower and travel budget;
  • coordinating work and resource allocation to ensure timely execution of the relevant activities;
  • securing adequate on-time support from the Directorate of Technology, Engineering and Quality;
  • regular reporting on progress, issues, risks and schedule to the Head of the Space Segment Office.

You will also be responsible for identifying, assessing, managing and reporting the health and safety risks in your area of responsibility.

Technical competencies

Experience in the design, development and testing of communication payloads
Experience in the management and delivery of payloads within performance, cost and schedule
Experience in managing and monitoring industrial work
Experience in multi-agency cooperative projects
Experience with risk management process
Extensive knowledge of ESA Space system development and PA standards

Behavioural competencies

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


A master’s degree in engineering or physics is required.

Additional requirements

Extensive experience in communication payloads engineering, design, development and verification.
Extensive experience in payload procurement, preferably for communication payloads.
Previous experience working on multiagency cooperative programmes is an asset.
Very good knowledge of active antennas and on-board processors for communication payloads is an asset.

Furthermore, you should have:

  • the ability to organise team activities and ensure a motivating work environment;
  • strong leadership capabilities, with proven relationship management and communication skills;
  • the ability to drive performance and foster cooperation within and across teams throughout the organisation;
  • the ability to drive the team’s performance, developing people by encouraging learning, delegating responsibility and giving regular and constructive feedback;
  • strong problem-solving skills to deal with day-to-day operational challenges, together with demonstrated planning and organisational skills;
  • a strong result orientation with the ability to set priorities and present practical solutions;
  • the ability to manage challenging situations proactively and constructively;
  • good oral and written communication and presentation skills.

Diversity, Equity and Inclusiveness
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.

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 via email at

Important Information and Disclaimer
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.

Applicants must be eligible to access technology and hardware which is subject to European and US export control regulations & security clearance by their national security administrations.

During the recruitment process, the Agency may request applicants to undergo selection tests. Additionally, successful candidates will need to undergo basic screening before appointment, which will be conducted by an external background screening service, in compliance with the European Space Agency's security procedures.

Note that ESA is in the process of transitioning to a Matrix setup, which could lead to organisational changes affecting this position.

The information published on ESA’s careers website regarding working conditions is correct at the time of publication. It is not intended to be exhaustive and may not address all questions you would have.

Nationality and Languages
Please note that applications can only be 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*.

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.

*Member States, Associate Members or Cooperating States.