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Head of Knowledge Management Unit

  • Organization: ESA - European Space Agency
  • Location:
  • Grade: Junior level - A2 - Grade band
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Education, Learning and Training
    • Managerial positions
  • Closing Date: Closed


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. 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  



Head of the Knowledge Management (KM) Unit in the Quality, Dependability and Product Assurance Support Division, Product Assurance and Safety Department, Directorate of Technology, Engineering and Quality.


Reporting to the Head of the Quality, Dependability and Product Assurance Support Division, the Head of the Knowledge Management Unit is responsible for managing the Unit, its resources and its activities. In addition, the Head of Unit will be required to carry out and contribute to operational activities within the technical domains of the Unit. Regular reporting to the ESA Quality System Manager is also expected.

The Knowledge Management Unit is responsible for developing, implementing and maintaining knowledge management expertise and standards. The Unit provides support on lessons learned and knowledge management to ESA directorates and manages corporate Knowledge Management activities. It also provides (via functional support) assistance to the Infrastructure Coordination Office, in particular in the area of information and library evolution.


Your management duties will include:

  •     ensuring a positive and motivating working environment;
  •     managing the workforce of the Unit with accountability for all resources and activities delegated to it;
  •     maintaining and developing the expertise and technical competence of the Unit’s members to meet current and future strategic needs, taking due account of their motivation, aspirations and professional development;
  •     distributing and assigning the tasks of the Unit to its members, monitoring and managing their performance and providing timely and regular feedback;
  •     anticipating and resolving sensitive or difficult situations, liaising with HR as required;
  •     preparing resource requirements based on needs originating from both inside and outside the Unit and resolving conflicting demands on the use of the resources available to the Unit;
  •     establishing, developing and maintaining good working relationships and technical networks with users, project groups and other organisational bodies both inside and outside the Agency;
  •     contributing to the continuous improvement of working procedures and the reflection on the evolution of the Unit’s role and activities.


Your technical duties will include:

  •     providing expert support in the field of knowledge management;
  •     managing lessons learned (LL) process implementation and improvements; 
  •     implementing and optimising the ESA KM and LL policies;
  •     planning, performing and following up the ESA Corporate KM activities and budget;
  •     supporting the Head of Division in reporting to the ESA Executive Board and Council on the KM budget and progress;
  •     establishing and maintaining the Knowledge Management activities drawing on information and data, including the relevant KM dashboards and tools;
  •     managing the development, maintenance and operations of data systems in support of knowledge management and lessons learned;
  •     establishing and implementing communication and dedicated training sessions for KM activities at ESA;
  •     promoting ESA KM activities to industry and other ESA partners, including via inter-organisational learning;
  •     coordinating the ESA KM Task Force team meetings and contributing to joint initiatives;
  •     defining, initiating and managing R&D activities (in the fields of knowledge management requirements, techniques, methodologies and tools) covering both long- and short-term needs;
  •     supporting the activities of the relevant domains of competence;
  •     monitoring relevant scientific and technological trends and maintaining state-of-the-art expertise.

Technical competencies

General background and specific experience in the technical domains covered by the position
Familiarity with the design, development and application of relevant tools and methods related to KM would be an asset
Experience in implementing and driving R&D and/or industrial activities, as well as knowledge of ESA technology programmes

Behavioural competencies

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


A master’s degree in engineering or technical sciences is required for this post.

Additional requirements

Several years of experience in knowledge management, preferably in the space domain.
Knowledge and experience with quality management systems (ISO 9001, EN 9100).
Experience in developing and managing data systems would be an asset. 
You must be customer-oriented and demonstrate awareness of customer requirements and expectations.
In addition, you should have:

  •     the potential to manage individuals or a team of experts in a project or R&D setting and the ability to organise their activities;
  •     strong leadership capabilities, with proven relationship management and communication skills;
  •     the ability to drive your team’s performance, developing your people by encouraging learning;
  •     the ability to delegate responsibility and give regular and constructive feedback;
  •     strong problem-solving skills to deal with day-to-day operational challenges, together with demonstrated planning and organisational skills;
  •     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;
  •     the ability to represent the Agency when interfacing with industry and government agencies.

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


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, Slovakia 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.

This vacancy is now closed.
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