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Earth Observation Technology Engineer


  • Organization: ESA - European Space Agency
  • Location: Noordwijk-Binnen
  • Grade: Level not specified
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Engineering
    • Environment
    • Outer space and satellite technology
    • Information Technology and Computer Science
  • Closing Date: 2022-09-15


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  



Earth Observation Technology Engineer in the Future Missions and Instruments Division of the Future Missions and Architecture Department, Directorate of Earth Observation Programmes (D/EOP).


You will report to the Head of the Technology Coordination and Frequency Management Section. In the execution of your tasks, you will work in close cooperation with other staff members of the Future Missions and Instruments Division and the Future Missions and Architecture Department. You will also liaise with the Directorate of Technology, Engineering and Quality (D/TEC) and with the Directorate of Operations (D/OPS).


Your duties will include responsibility for the following tasks related to Earth Observation (EO) technology:

  • Identifying technology needs, based on space system requirements and general technology trends, for future EO missions and programmes, covering the whole spectrum (focusing on technologies for the platform and communications with the ground segment, but also in support of optical and RF instruments and other measurement techniques);
  • Contributing to the establishment of the EO strategy on technology development coordination;
  • Contributing to the EO technology observatory function outside the EOP Directorate (e.g. in TIA or SCI), and also outside ESA (e.g. other space agencies in Europe and worldwide, the European Commission, commercial initiatives for EO, and potential spin-in from other industrial sectors);
  • Defining, initiating and managing technology development activities for the preparation of EO missions in coordination with other sections of the Division, other Directorate staff and with D/TEC and D/OPS, in particular for platform, communications with the ground segment and small satellites;
  • Supporting missions undergoing preparation through participation in reviews, assessment of industrial results, evaluation of proposals in response to calls, etc.;
  • Maintaining and improving the Earth Observation technology database to facilitate internal coordination within the Division and Department and with external actors;
  • Monitoring and reporting the evolution of EO-relevant technologies through internal studies and follow-up of industrial activities within ESA and with Member States (e.g. through dedicated information days).


In the execution of these tasks, you will have close contact with representatives of industry and of other space agencies.

Technical competencies

Knowledge of innovation-related processes
Background in space engineering with systems orientation and end-to-end view of Earth Observation missions
Knowledge of space platform, communications and EO payload technologies
Familiarity with optical and/or microwave remote sensing techniques
Experience in implementing and driving R&D and/or industrial activities for space technology development

Behavioural competencies

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


A master’s or PhD in an engineering discipline or in applied physics is required.

Additional requirements

Candidates are expected to be able to contribute to a dynamic and creative environment in preparatory phases of EO missions. They should have good interpersonal skills and be able to work and interact within small teams as well as autonomously. Experience of working in a team/project environment is desirable.

Experience in spaceborne platform technologies, signal processing and familiarity with EO remote sensing techniques is an asset.

Candidates should be thorough in their approach and open to innovation, be able to work independently and have good communication skills.

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.