Electric Propulsion Engineer

ESA - European Space Agency

Electric Propulsion Engineer

Job Requisition ID: 

Date Posted: 

27 April 2024
Closing Date: 

18 May 2024 23:59 CET/CEST

Internal & External
Type of Contract


Directorate of Technology, Engineering and Quality

Noordwijk, NL

Grade Band

A2 – A4


ESTEC, Noordwijk, Netherlands  


As Electric Propulsion Engineer, you will report to the Head of the Electric Propulsion Section in the Propulsion, Aerothermodynamics and Flight Vehicles Engineering Division, Mechanical Department, Directorate of Technology, Engineering and Quality.


Your role will encompass technology research and development (R&D) and project support in the field of electric propulsion. You will be expected to provide technical expertise to projects and monitor ESA R&D contracts with a particular emphasis on innovative technologies envisaged for application on current and planned ESA missions, such as micro-propulsion for drag-free and flight formation, propulsion for constellations and GEO telecommunication missions, and high-thrust engines for interplanetary missions.


In addition, you will be in charge of coordinating functions and activities related to the testing of electric propulsion systems at the ESA Propulsion Laboratory, under the responsibility of the Electric Propulsion Section.



Your tasks and responsibilities will include:


  • providing technical expertise and consultancy in electric propulsion to the Agency’s project teams responsible for the development of spacecraft, throughout all project phases;
  • participating in feasibility studies, project reviews and the evaluation of procurement proposals;
  • identifying critical development problems and assisting in their resolution;
  • providing technical expertise in the preparation of work plans in electric propulsion in the Agency’s technological programmes;
  • defining, initiating and managing R&D activities covering experimental investigations and engineering developments in electric propulsion for both long- and short-term needs;
  • fostering new application areas for multidisciplinary activities, with an emphasis on innovative concepts, cutting-edge technologies and system architectures;
  • testing of electric propulsion systems at the ESA Propulsion Laboratory;
  • monitoring applicable scientific and technological trends and maintaining state-of-the-art expertise in the relevant domain;
  • disseminating the results of activities performed and actively contributing to the transfer of knowledge across the Agency.


Your duties may also include performing other activities within your area of competence.

Technical competencies

General background and specific experience in the technical domains covered by the position
General spacecraft and space transportation systems knowledge, including space logistics knowledge
Knowledge of design, development and validation of relevant tools and methods including testing
Understanding of related technologies, R&D trends and the industrial landscape
Knowledge of the preparation of procurement activities for technology development and innovation (Statements of Work, proposal evaluation, etc.)
Knowledge about the management and monitoring of industrial activities, including participation in reviews
Knowledge about space engineering standards and their preparation and implementation

Behavioural competencies

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


A master’s or equivalent is required in aerospace, mechanical or electrical engineering, or in physics with a specialisation in spacecraft propulsion.

Additional requirements

You should have the following experience in key fields of design and technology development:
•    Several years of experience in the supervision of development and AIV of electric propulsion systems, thrusters and components for spacecraft applications.
•    Practical experience in the operation and use of propulsion test facilities for low-thrust applications.


A comprehensive system background, including an appreciation of the state of the art in innovative space propulsion, would be considered an advantage.

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 [email protected].

Important Information and Disclaimer
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.


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. 


When short-listing for an interview, priority will first be given to internal candidates.

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.  

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