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Head of the Space Transportation Product Assurance and Safety (PA&S) Office

France (France)

  • Organization: ESA - European Space Agency
  • Location: France (France)
  • Grade: A2 - Grade band - Junior level
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Security and Safety
    • Outer space and satellite technology
    • Supply Chain
    • Managerial positions
    • Logistics
    • Transport and Distribution
    • Physics and Mathematics
  • Closing Date: 2021-05-24

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Vacancy in the Directorate of Technology, Engineering and Quality.


ESA is an equal opportunity employer, committed to achieving diversity within the workforce and creating an inclusive working environment. For this purpose, we welcome applications from all qualified candidates irrespective of gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, beliefs, age, disability or other characteristics. Applications from women are encouraged.


This post is classified A5 on the Coordinated Organisations’ salary scale.


ESTEC, Noordwijk, The Netherlands, with a resident assignment at ESA Headquarters, Paris, France



Head of the Space Transportation Product Assurance and Safety (PA&S)* Office, Product Assurance and Safety Department, Directorate of Technology, Engineering and Quality (D/TEC). You will be assigned as integrated support to the Directorate of Space Transportation (D/STS).


* PA&S  covers safety, reliability, maintainability, quality assurance, components, materials and processes, and software quality.


You will coordinate and supervise PA&S for all STS activities and represent STS for all corporate PA&S activities. In so doing, you will be assisted by a team of PA&S managers and engineers in the various STS programmes. You will also perform the duties of PA&S Manager for specific STS programmes. You will have direct access to the Director of Space Transportation in the event of major issues or conflict.


Under the direct authority of the Chief Technical Adviser (CTA) you will be responsible for:

  • managing product assurance and safety resources, in your capacity as functional and integrated support to D/STS from the Directorate of Technology, Engineering and Quality, with respect to all ESA's STS programmes and for fulfilling its remits in the exploitation phase of ESA-developed launchers;
  • managing the resources necessary to ensure the quality monitoring of Arianespace activities and industrial quality surveillance;
  • establishing and maintaining a multi-year schedule for the deployment of functional and integrated support in the PA/QA area, as well as coordinating requests, both expected and unforeseen, for the Product Assurance and Safety Department's (TEC-Q) laboratory services, and contributing to the resolution of resource conflicts and the prioritisation of activities in close cooperation with TEC-Q, CTA and STS programme managers;
  • supporting, motivating and assisting, in close coordination with TEC-Q, the career development of Quality and PA&S staff in D/STS;
  • contributing to the continuous improvement of working procedures and to reflection on the evolution of the Office’s role and activities, and developing techniques, methods and procedures in the relevant areas of responsibility;
  • verifying that the applicable PA&S standards and requirements are properly applied across ESA's STS programmes and activities, including during Programme Reviews; 
  • maintaining a coherent STS PA&S policy, in compliance with the ESA Product Assurance and Safety Policy and with the requirements legally applicable to launch systems exploited at the CSG and preparing the “Safety submissions/conformity files” in line with the French Space Operations Act;
  • ensuring synergy among the projects and activities by coordinating exchanges of information on lessons learnt/risks, anomalies and alerts potentially affecting several launch systems;
  • as member of an advisory group of Heads of Quality and/or PA Offices/senior PA Managers, assisting TEC-Q in the establishment and evolution of corporate Quality and PA policies, taking due consideration of any specific needs of space transportation activities and in high-level interactions and coordination activities with industry, in particular major prime contractors;
  • contributing to corporate activities to address and resolve major systemic weaknesses and problems in the PA/QA area identified in specific companies, for example by leading or participating in industrial audits, supervising and monitoring the implementation of agreed corrective actions, and participating in accident reviews and investigations;
  • as member of the Quality Standardisation Board, contributing to the definition of standardisation policies and work plans and identifying new standardisation activities in line with the requirements of future STS programmes;
  • assisting and advising TEC-Q in relation to the approval of Quality and PA&S requirements;
  • guiding and monitoring the application and procurement of EEE parts, materials and processes in STS programmes and controlling the implementation of applicable requirements;


  • to improve information flow between different domains and upon request by TEC-Q or other directorates, participating in major project reviews or Tender Evaluation Boards as chair of the PA panel, and cooperating with the STS QMS Manager to ensure coherence with the STS programme PA&S and the further evolution of the Directorate’s QMS;
  • preparing and submitting periodic status reports to the appropriate reporting lines as requested and acting as nominal reporting line for PA&S managers in the Office.
  • taking on PA&S Manager responsibilities and duties for STS projects as requested.

Technical competencies

In-depth knowledge of the operations of the directorate, its projects and their industrial organisation
Experience as PA&S manager in major projects..
In-depth knowledge of ESA PA disciplines and processes, in particular within a project environment
Experience in leading quality audits

Behavioural competencies

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


You should have a Master's degree in engineering, with a background in space systems.

Additional requirements

Several years’ experience as PA&S Manager for major projects is required, particularly for Space Transportation projects. Experience in managing a team will be considered an asset.
The working languages of the Agency are English and French. A good knowledge of one of these two languages is required. The knowledge of another Member State language is an asset.


In addition, candidates should have:
•    extensive experience in one or more of the technical domains covered by the Division;
•    proven experience of leading, motivating and developing a team of experts in a project or R&D environment;
•    the ability to provide strategic direction to the individuals and teams within the Division and relate team objectives to the overall and evolving organisational goals and context;
•    the ability to drive performance and foster cooperation within and across teams throughout the organisation;
•    demonstrated excellent leadership, relationship management and communication skills, both oral and written;
•    a proven track record of representing the Agency’s interests to external interfaces;
•    excellent cognitive, analytical, delegation, planning and organisational skills;  
•    the ability to anticipate problems, solve complex issues and relate situations to their context;
•    the ability to reach solution-oriented, pragmatic and timely decisions of high standard and integrity as well as to support others (team members, upper management, other stakeholders) in this process.

Previous experience of managing managers and multiple teams is an asset, as is international experience, i.e. outside the candidate’s home country, as well as experience in diverse functional areas relevant to the activities of ESA.

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. 


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 at


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, Latvia 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. 

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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