System Engineer

ESA - European Space Agency

System Engineer

Job Requisition ID: 

Date Posted: 

29 April 2024
Closing Date: 

20 May 2024 23:59 CET/CEST

Internal & External
Type of Contract


Directorate of Human and Robotic Exploration Progr

Porz-Wahn, DE

Grade Band

A2 – A4

This is a non-renewable post for a limited duration of four years.


ESTEC, Noordwijk, Netherlands with a resident assignment to EAC, Cologne, Germany.


As System Engineer, you will be a member of the Engineering Team (HRE-OE) within the Directorate of Human and Robotic Exploration (HRE) Programmes, assigned as integrated support from the Systems Engineering Division, Systems Department, Directorate of Technology, Engineering and Quality.

Within the LEO group, the HRE Engineering Team is responsible for maintaining the ESA infrastructure (on-orbit and ground-based) of the International Space Station (ISS). The Engineering Team supports other missions (such as the Gateway programme) and you may also support activities related to existing or future HRE programmes, in coordination with the related HRE management and experts. As Projects and System Engineer, you will report to the HRE-OE Team Lead. 

You will be responsible for leading various upgrade projects within the Engineering Team and for providing system engineering support.  

In performing these tasks, you will coordinate and work with industry, other teams within HRE, other ESA directorates as well as with external partners.


Your tasks and responsibilities will include:


  • project leading and coordination – defining and managing the changes and upgrades to the existing (COL/ISS) ground and flight infrastructure required to meet the future programme needs, and managing obsolescence in overall coordination/upon request of the SE&I, OPS and GS teams; 
  • responsibility for technical and management reviews for assigned projects (such as TEBs, CCBs, design and safety review milestones); 
  • acting as TO while placing and managing external and internal contracts/work packages and ensuring all the elements are built according to financial cost and schedule constraints; 
  • supporting and monitoring industry’s provision of SE&I services to ESA-owned infrastructure elements, IP barter elements and various utilisation stakeholders; 
  • supporting day-to-day coordination with the various stakeholders in the definition and documentation of the required changes to interfaces, systems and processes; 
  • supporting ISS and/or Gateway-related mission definition with engineering assessments, directly and via industry; 
  • supporting mission implementation through the definition and implementation of I/F requirements and for troubleshooting, anomaly resolution and maintenance; 
  • assessing new science requirements and new ISS payloads from an engineering feasibility point of view.


You will also participate in periodic meetings with the parent Division, contributing to the transfer of technical knowledge and lessons learned across the Agency.

Technical competencies

Experience in ESA procurement processes and contract management as well as applied negotiation skills
Knowledge of large operations and associated software systems, preferably space-based
Experience in mission, spacecraft and/or payload operations
Experience of interfacing with industry, international partners and European national agencies
Experience with human spaceflight-related mission and development safety-related implications
General background and specific experience in the technical domains covered by the position

Behavioural competencies

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


A master’s in a scientific, engineering or technical discipline is required for this post.

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.

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.

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