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Communications System Engineer

Harwell (United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland) | Noordwijk-Binnen

  • Organization: ESA - European Space Agency
  • Location: Harwell (United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland) | Noordwijk-Binnen
  • Grade: A2/A4 - Grade band - Mid level
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Communication and Public Information
    • Engineering
  • Closing Date: 2020-07-01

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Vacancy in the Directorate of Telecommunications and Integrated Applications.

ESA is an equal opportunity employer, committed to achieving diversity within the workforce and creating an inclusive working environment. Applications from women are encouraged.

Communications System Engineer

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

ECSAT, Harwell, United Kingdom  or ESTEC, Noordwijk, The Netherlands.


Communications System Engineer (2 posts) in the Future Projects Division, Product and Systems Department, Directorate of Telecommunications and Integrated Applications.

The postholder will be assigned to the Future Telecom Programme Consolidation Section or the Future Telecom Programme Exploration Section and will report to the Head of Section.

  • actively following up of market and technology trends relevant to the satcom;
  • monitoring and assessing the need and commercial potential for future telecommunication missions and systems;
  • interacting with all involved stakeholders in complex telecommunications systems involving terrestrial and satellite networks aimed at identifying the satellite contribution, defining required innovation and defining the project to a level ready for implementation;
  • initiating and managing prospective studies on mission concepts and system architectures, with the aim of detecting new market opportunities for satcom systems and services;
  • managing ESA internal preparatory activities of new large satellite telecommunication projects, including responsibility for defining end-to-end mission/system architecture of systems (requirements, architecture, design, cost) in the context of ESA telecom programmes;
  • generating ESA ITT for conducting large Phase 0/A/B activities with industry encompassing definition, design, development, integration, testing, validation and functional and performance pilots and trials;
  • managing the execution of the preparatory activities (Phase 0/A/B) by Industry;
  • participating in the ARTES program board to present and defend the creation of new projects;
  • coordinating the technical support required in the fields of expertise by other ESA organizational units (e.g. TEC) as required to ensure an effective initiation and management of the activities.

The postholder may be assigned to the role of Development Manager for a specific project encompassing B/C/D/E phases and as such functionally report to the relevant project or unit manager responsible for the project. At the end of the project, the postholder will resume his/her duties as a Communications System Engineer within the assigned section of the Future Projects Division.

The Development Manager will be responsible for managing all project-related activities.
Specific duties are:

  • successfully managing all project activities in accordance with their declared objectives, schedule and cost;
  • end–to-end implementing project activities encompassing the design, development and validation activities and pilots;
  • managing the industrial team to ensure that the objectives of the project are fully met;
  • financially managing the project in line with declared cost at completion and annual budget forecasts;
  • regular technical, programmatic and financial reporting to ESA management and national delegations as needed.
Technical competencies
Knowledge of industrial costs and schedule aspects
Complex project risk management processes
Knowledge of ESA and industrial development, verification and procurement processes
Experience in ESA procurement processes and contract management as well as applied negotiation skills
Ability to support the definition of a technology development strategy
Multidisciplinary knowledge of space and ground telecommunication systems
Understanding of future technology needs for the commercial satellite telecommunications market
Behavioural competencies
Planning & Organisation
Problem Solving
Responsible Decision-Making
Results Orientation

Applicants should have a Master's degree or equivalent qualification in Engineering.

Additional requirements

Applicants should also demonstrate strong negotiation skills. Experience in System and subsystem design and development is required. Experience in the satellite telecommunication industry or direct experience of working with a commercial telecommunications operator and European industry as well as an in-depth understanding of operating within a European agency framework would be distinct advantages.

Other information

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

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.

The closing date for applications is 12 February 2020.

If you require support with your application due to a disability, please 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 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. 

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.

We do our best to provide you the most accurate info, but closing dates may be wrong on our site. Please check on the recruiting organization's page for the exact info. Candidates are responsible for complying with deadlines and are encouraged to submit applications well ahead.
Before applying, please make sure that you have read the requirements for the position and that you qualify.
Applications from non-qualifying applicants will most likely be discarded by the recruiting manager.

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