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System Architect Officer

Noordwijk-Binnen (Netherlands)

  • Organization: ESA - European Space Agency
  • Location: Noordwijk-Binnen (Netherlands)
  • Grade: Level not specified
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Architecture, Building and Property Management
  • Closing Date: 2021-09-22

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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. 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.


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


ESTEC, Noordwijk, Netherlands  



Reporting to the Head of the System Architect Office in the Future Systems Department, the System Architect Officer will be at the heart of tasks for establishing and maintaining a reference architecture for European EO systems, encompassing research (e.g. Earth Explorer), Copernicus and meteorological missions, (multilateral) national and commercial systems, non-orbiting platforms (e.g. High Altitude Pseudo-Satellites) and in-situ assets. This entails mapping the EO programmatic vision and perimeter of Member States and stakeholders, based on their needs and requirements. The System Architect Officer will also contribute to the definition of EO missions and systems in order to support the implementation of the architecture.


  • establishing needs and interests for a range of mission types from various actors (in particular at national level);
  • analysing the economic capacity of the relevant funding sources, including private contributions;
  • identifying programmatic overlap and links, and the means to foster their transformation into synergies;
  • mapping industrial capacities for upstream/downstream segments, setting out basic constraints for industrial motivation at national and European level;
  • monitoring private business models and their interplay with institutional funding and assets.


If appointed to this post, you will also be involved in:


  • conducting system and system-of-systems engineering analyses e.g. to assess the operational synergies of different EO missions and optimise use of available and/or prospective resources;
  • analysing technical and economic issues and trends under NewSpace initiatives to identify their feasibility, i.e.:


  • estimating the scientific, strategic and economic impact of new services and products and their application for different economic sectors;
  • trading off different scenarios allowing for their integration into existing infrastructure in terms of cost, risk, affordability and programmatic lines available, including “make or buy”;
  • identifying the most appropriate procurement scheme (public, public-public or public- private partnership, anchor tenant, data buy) and private sector involvement;
  • preparing the case for investments in space by other actors as applicable.


Technical competencies

Knowledge of EO domain and related space industry R&D trends
Knowledge of relevant strategic and technological trends and developments inside/outside the space domain and their potential impact on Office/Department activities
Knowledge relevant to the field of activities

Behavioural competencies

Problem Solving
Results Orientation
Continuous Learning
Customer Focus
Innovation & Creativity


A PhD or Master’s degree in engineering, mathematics or physics is required for this post.

Additional requirements

At least five years’ experience in EO technical and/or programmatic activities.

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 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, Latvia, Lithuania 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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