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Sample Transfer Arm Product Assurance and Safety Manager


  • Organization: ESA - European Space Agency
  • Location: Noordwijk
  • Grade: Junior level - A2 - Grade band
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Security and Safety
    • Managerial positions
  • Closing Date: Closed


Sample Transfer Arm Product Assurance and Safety Manager

Job Req ID:  17379
Closing Date:  14 March 2023 23:59 CET/CEST
Establishment:  ESTEC, Noordwijk, Netherlands
Directorate:  Directorate of Technology, Engineering and Quality
Publication:  Internal & External
Vacancy Type:  Permanent
Date Posted:  21 February 2023


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  



STA Product Assurance and Safety (PA&S)* Manager in the Product Assurance and Safety Department, Directorate of Technology, Engineering and Quality.


The Sample Transfer Arm (STA) is the ESA contribution to the NASA/JPL-led Mars sample return mission.


If selected for the position, you will be assigned as integrated support to the Product Assurance and Safety Team within the Directorate of Human and Robotic Exploration Programmes  (HRE). You will report functionally to the STA Team Leader (HRE-MS) and to the HRE Product Assurance and Safety Team Leader for the specific responsibilities and duties outlined below.


For the maintenance of professional standards, the implementation of the general ESA Product Assurance and Safety (PA&S) policy, and contributions to corporate tasks (including reviews, standardisation, alerts and lessons learned), you will report to the Head of the Product Assurance and Safety Department through the Product Assurance and Safety Team Leader.


Your responsibilities and duties will include: 

•    establishing and maintaining the STA project PA&S requirements baseline in compliance with the ESA PA&S policy; 

•    ensuring the implementation of the PA&S requirements by contractors and other supplying parties, supporting milestone reviews and participating in the process of verifying compliance with requirements;

•    monitoring the implementation of approved contractor plans and specifications, ensuring that adequate resources are deployed for the execution of the project PA&S programme;

•    planning, coordinating and monitoring the assigned PA&S workforce providing support to the project;

•    participating in the boards for the disposition of deviations from the requirements baseline and of changes to the agreed design;

•    representing ESA in the boards established (with industry and international partners) for the disposition of non-conformances and anomalies, and the definition and monitoring of relevant corrective and preventive actions (NRB), for failure investigations, and for project technical reviews (e.g. MRR, TRR, PTR and TRB);

•    ensuring the implementation of the reliability, availability, maintainability and safety (RAMS) and software assurance programmes, including support in designing trade-off decisions and the verification of requirements;

•    monitoring the selection, procurement and use of electrical, electronic and electromechanical (EEE) components, and materials, processes and mechanical (MPM) parts;

•    monitoring and coordinating the planetary protection activities during all project phases;

•    ensuring the monitoring of the manufacturing, assembly, integration and test activities by mandatory and key inspection points, test witnessing, quality assurance checks, etc.;

•    conducting the acceptance reviews for all contractual deliverable items;

•    reviewing the safety data packages from contractors and other supplying parties, ensuring that they are made available on time to the Safety Authority, and supporting safety reviews and other key events with the Safety Authority;

•    supervising PA&S activities during the launch campaign;

•    performing any other PA&S tasks necessary to ensure a safe and successful mission.


In carrying out these tasks, you will receive support from experts from the project team and from the ESA Directorate of Technology, Engineering and Quality.

Technical competencies

Knowledge of Quality Management, Product Assurance and Safety disciplines
Experience in the management of Product Assurance for a space project
Good knowledge of software PA and RAMS engineering techniques as well as knowledge in the areas of PMP (parts, materials and processes) as well as EEE components
Experience in the management and monitoring of industrial activities, including participation in audits and reviews.
Experience with Space Quality Standards and their implementation
Experience with the application of product assurance tools and methods
Good knowledge of planetary protection

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

You should have a background in space systems.
Experience in the area of project development would be an asset .


* PA&S covers safety, reliability, availability, maintainability, product and quality assurance, components, materials and processes, cleanliness and contamination and software product assurance.

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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