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System Architect Officer


  • Organization: ESA - European Space Agency
  • Location: Noordwijk-Binnen
  • Grade: Level not specified
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Information Technology and Computer Science
  • Closing Date: 2022-07-07


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, you will be at the heart of tasks aimed at establishing and maintaining a reference architecture for European EO systems, encompassing research missions, monitoring missions, (multilateral) national and commercial systems, non-orbiting platforms and in-situ assets. This will make it possible to map the EO programmatic vision of Member States and stakeholders, based on their needs and constraints.


The principal tasks and responsibilities will include:

  • conducting, in close dialogue with users and stakeholders, system-of-systems engineering analyses to assess the scientific, technological, industrial and operational synergies of all such EO assets, with the final goal of maximising return on investment in future missions;
  • conducting periodic observation gap analyses to support the formulation of EOP strategy;
  • establishing needs, constraints and interests for different mission types from the different actors (including national and commercial ones);
  • identifying programmatic capacities, overlap and links, and 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;
  • conducting (system-of-systems) engineering analyses to assess the scientific, technological, industrial and operational synergies of existing and planned EO assets and to optimise their use;
  • exploring ahead new EO domains with an observatory function to permanently search for innovation, with an active external network to gather information on technology evolution, including benchmarking versus other organisations;
  • analysing technical and economic issues and trends under new EO sectorial initiatives to assess the relevant feasibility, i.e.: • estimating the scientific, operational, strategic and economic impact of new services and products and their applications;
  • trading off different scenarios allowing for their integration into existing infrastructure in terms of cost, risk, affordability and available programmatic lines;
  • identifying an appropriate procurement scheme and private sector involvement.

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

Behavioural competencies

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


A master’s degree in engineering, mathematics or physics is required.

Additional requirements

A minimum five years’ experience in EO activities is required.

You should have:

  • the potential to manage individuals or a team;
  • the ability to organise their activities and ensure a motivating work environment;
  • strong leadership capabilities, with proven relationship management and communication skills;
  • the ability to drive your team’s performance, developing your people by encouraging learning, delegating responsibility and giving regular and constructive feedback;
  • strong problem-solving skills to deal with day-to-day operational challenges, together with demonstrated planning and organisational skills;
  • a strong result orientation with the ability to set priorities and present practical solutions both orally and in writing;
  • the ability to manage challenging situations proactively and constructively and to be customer focused.

People management experience is an asset, as is international experience, i.e. outside your home country, as well as experience in diverse functional areas relevant to ESA activities.

Other information

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

For further information please visit: Professionals,What we offerand FAQ  


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 [email protected].


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 or balanced 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 conducted by an external background screening service. 


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.

*Member States, Associate Members or Cooperating States.

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.