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EO System Engineer

Noordwijk-Binnen (Netherlands)

  • Organization: ESA - European Space Agency
  • Location: Noordwijk-Binnen (Netherlands)
  • Grade: A2/A4 - Grade band - Mid level
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Engineering
  • Closing Date: 2021-07-04

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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. Applications from women are encouraged.

EO System Engineer

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

ESTEC, Noordwijk, The Netherlands  


Earth Observation System Engineer in the Mission and System Studies Section, Future Missions and Instruments Division, Future Systems Department, Directorate of Earth Observation Programmes.

Reporting to the Head of the Mission and System Studies Section in the Future Missions and Instruments Division, you will be involved with end-to-end preparation of EO missions through appropriate engineering activities, working in close cooperation with staff within this and other D/EOP Divisions, notably Earth & Mission Science.


Full or partial responsibilities will include some or all of the following duties:

  • defining, initiating and managing industrial activities including pre-Phase A and mission/architecture studies for future EO missions and Phase A for missions not yet approved for implementation, ensuring hand-over to the Project Department after approval;
  • initiating and performing internal studies to assess the results of industrial activities;
  • defining and updating system specifications throughout the preparatory phases of EO missions, in close cooperation with the Earth & Mission Science Division and the relevant Science/Mission Advisory Groups, supporting the establishment of mission requirements and deriving system requirements traceable to mission requirements and user needs;
  • ensuring the technical coherence of the system design, including system-level budgets, system performance analyses, definition of spacecraft and payload subsystems and related data processing;
  • contributing to the evaluation of industrial and scientific proposals, in particular for Earth Explorers, Scout missions and Missions of Opportunity;
  • contributing to the preparation of scientific and technical dossiers on ESA EO missions;
  • supporting InCubed proposal evaluation and follow-up of activities when related to EO systems;
  • contributing to the analysis of EO development undertaken by other space agencies in Europe and worldwide, as well as commercial initiatives such as under NewSpace;
  • contributing to the specification and development of mission analysis, mission performance and system-sizing tools used in the Future Missions & Instruments Division.
Technical competencies
Knowledge of ESA and industrial development, verification and procurement processes
Familiarity with optical and/or microwave remote sensing techniques
Background in space engineering with systems orientation and end-to-end view of Earth Observation missions
Behavioural competencies
Problem Solving
Results Orientation
Continuous Learning
Customer Focus
Innovation & Creativity

You should have a Master’s degree or PhD in engineering or physics.

Additional requirements

You will be expected to contribute to a dynamic and creative environment in preparatory phases of EO missions.
You should have good interpersonal skills and be able to work and interact within small teams as well as autonomously.
At least seven years’ relevant experience in space missions preparation and/or development.
Experience in working in team/project environment is desirable.
Familiarity with various EO techniques and experience of hardware development and system performance evaluation are desirable.

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 17 April 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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