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Stations Engineer


  • Organization: ESA - European Space Agency
  • Location: Darmstadt
  • Grade: Level not specified
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Engineering
  • Closing Date: 2022-10-07


Vacancy in the Directorate of Operations.


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.


ESOC, Darmstadt, Germany  



As Stations Engineer you will report to the ESTRACK Stations and Infrastructure Section in the Ground Facilities Operations Division, Mission Operations Department of the Directorate of Operations, and will be responsible for the operations and maintenance of ground stations that form part of the ESA station tracking network (ESTRACK).


In particular, your tasks and responsibilities will include:

  • analysing requirements for missions supported by ESA stations and coordinating station preparation, verification and validation, ensuring configuration control and station documentation consistency. This encompasses, among other things, calculating RF link budgets, specifying the ground station operational configuration, and defining and executing related test programmes such as RF compatibility, station performance tests and tracking campaigns;
  • supporting incident analysis, problem tracking and corrective and preventive station maintenance activities in coordination with the Network Operations Centre (NOC), the local Maintenance and Operations (M&O) team and engineering teams. This also includes participation in anomaly review/configuration control boards in line with ESA quality processes;
  • leading and supporting activities, processes and projects related to multi-mission services and installations in the ESTRACK domain, acting as user representative in the ground station development process. This includes user requirements definition, supporting design reviews and deployment and validation of new infrastructure, among other things, ensuring operational readiness prior to final acceptance of the upgraded station;
  • carrying out technical and management tasks, including performance of the role of Technical Officer in the area of ground station operations and maintenance services. This involves compiling technical and commercial requirements with a clear view of customer needs and required trade-off analysis for the relevant services, establishing service level agreements (SLAs) and associated key performance indicators (KPIs), monitoring service performance and ensuring consistency across contracts;
  • participating in the activities of the Mission Control Team in support of ESA and external missions during Launch and Early Orbit Phase (LEOP) or other mission-critical phases. This includes performing the role of Operations Manager and/or local representative at ESA and external stations;
  • You may also be assigned the role of Station Manager for one or more ESA stations, and as such will be responsible for the overall ground station site. This entails duties such as, but not limited to:
    • managing the maintenance and operations contract of the station local team in the role of Technical Officer (TO);
    • handling interfaces with the local authorities, ensuring the fulfilment of the hosting agreement, including aspects related to frequency management and radio frequency interference protection, in close cooperation with the ESA Frequency Coordinator;
    • managing overall station administration, health, safety and security, public relations and logistics with the support of the on-site M&O team;
    • ensuring overall TT&C and site facilities management in coordination with the ESTRACK Infrastructure Manager, overseeing construction, refurbishment and maintenance of buildings and the relevant technical infrastructure;
    • coordinating the hosting of installations at the station for internal and external customers, validating the new installations and declaring them ready for operations;
    • following up on the end-to-end execution of station upgrades conducted under the responsibility of the local M&O team;
    • actively supporting the definition and implementation of the ESTRACK evolution strategy.


You will work closely with the representatives of the Ground Systems Engineering and Innovation Department, ESA internal providers in the domain of procurement, project controlling and legal services, and in coordination with the Ground Operations Manager interface with relevant flight operations teams and ground segment managers at ESOC.

Technical competencies

Know-how of space to ground communications, including radio frequency, modulation and coding techniques
Know-how of architecture and design of ground stations
Experience in verification and validation of ground systems and/or ground stations
Experience in operations of ground systems and/or ground stations in support to mission critical and routine phases

Behavioural competencies

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


A master’s degree in engineering or other scientific discipline is required for this post.

Additional requirements

The ability to work independently and to present complex technical issues clearly and convincingly is essential in order to perform this function effectively.
The ability to manage customer and supplier relations and/or service contract management is required, and some initial experience in this area would be an asset.
Strong communication skills to handle a broad range of international interfaces and an attitude conducive to working as part of an interdisciplinary team are considered essential for this position. Candidates should be proactive, able to multitask, have strong self-motivation and be result-oriented.

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.