Experiment System Engineer

8 Min Read

ESA - European Space Agency

Experiment System Engineer

Job Requisition ID: 

Date Posted: 

3 May 2024
Closing Date: 

24 May 2024 23:59 CET/CEST

Internal & External
Type of Contract


Directorate of Science

Noordwijk, NL

Grade Band

A2 – A4


ESTEC, Noordwijk, Netherlands  


Experiment System Engineer in the Astrophysics & International Collaboration Missions Section (SCI-FEA) within the PRODEX Office (SCI-FE), Future Missions Department (SCI-F), Directorate of Science.

PRODEX is an optional programme dedicated to the development of scientific instruments and experiments for space science missions. Within the PRODEX Office, the Astrophysics and International Collaboration Missions Section (SCI-FEA) is responsible for addressing a subset of PRODEX activities, in particular the implementation and monitoring of activities and developments related to astrophysics and fundamental physics science missions (e.g. ATHENA, LISA and ARIEL), as well as those involving international external partners, some with export control constraints. Developments in other domains of activities handled by the Office may also be entrusted to the section (e.g. Earth observation-related developments). 

The Future Missions Department is responsible for preparing future missions, as well as defining and implementing Small/Fast missions within the Directorate of Science (e.g. SMILE and Comet-Interceptor, ARRAKHIS).


Your main duties will include the responsibility for implementing and monitoring several PRODEX activities assigned to you, with an emphasis on scientific space instrumentation development. The developments may involve industry and/or scientific institutes and may cover either a full instrument or instrument contributions or subsystems.

Specific duties will include:

  • establishing the overall work programme for PRODEX experiments within the scientific institutes following instructions from relevant delegations;
  • monitoring technical, schedule and financial aspects of experiment developments, identifying potential problem areas and proposing remedial actions;
  • in coordination with scientific institutes and project teams, assisting in preparing tender documents, participating in proposal evaluations, preparing for contract negotiations and subsequently monitoring the end-to-end development of projects/activities contracted to industrial consortiums;
  • supporting the review of project implementation proposals and implementing new development activities as assigned;
  • liaising between scientific institutes and industry during contract duration;
  • interfacing with ESA project teams and specialists on technical/programmatic matters and with the relevant financial and procurement experts on financial and contractual matters;
  • acting as the focal point for technical and administrative interfaces between the PRODEX experiments and your Head of Section;
  • regular reporting to your line manager on the status of the activities and any difficulties encountered, including written input as requested.

Technical competencies

System Engineering and AIV
Hands-on hardware development experience
Design, development and verification of scientific (space) instrumentation including optics, detection and electronic subsystems, as well as mechanical and thermal aspects
Management of industrial activities, including reviews
Knowledge of cost and schedule elements of hardware development contracts
Experience in managing scientific space hardware developments with multiple interfaces (PI, scientific consortium, project, industry)

Behavioural competencies

Results Orientation
Operational efficiency
Fostering cooperation
Relationship Management
Continuous improvement
Forward thinking


A PhD or master’s degree in physics or space engineering is required for the post.

Additional requirements

You should also demonstrate an ability to:

  • apply a systems-oriented approach to each project and partner, taking due consideration of technical, financial and schedule aspects;
  • proactively engage with and coordinate a diverse range of internal technical experts;
  • collaborate effectively with external partners, including scientific institutes/industry, while taking programmatic constraints into account;
  • anticipate problems before they escalate and propose effective solutions that align with the overall goals of the PRODEX Office
  • show flexibility in dealing with day-to-day operational challenges, while demonstrating strong planning and organisational skills;
  • show a high level of motivation and dedication, taking ownership of your responsibilities, and act proactively;
  • work independently while providing regular feedback to your line manager, seeking support where necessary;
  • clearly and convincingly present complex technical issues to various stakeholders thanks to your excellent written and verbal communication skills.

Diversity, Equity and Inclusiveness 
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.


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 via email at [email protected].

Important Information and Disclaimer
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.


Applicants must be eligible to access technology and hardware which is subject to European and US export control regulations & security clearance by their national security administrations.


During the recruitment process, the Agency may request applicants to undergo selection tests. Additionally, successful candidates will need to undergo basic screening before appointment, which will be conducted by an external background screening service, in compliance with the European Space Agency’s security procedures.


Note that ESA is in the process of transitioning to a Matrix setup, which could lead to organisational changes affecting this position.


The information published on ESA’s careers website regarding working conditions is correct at the time of publication. It is not intended to be exhaustive and may not address all questions you would have. 


Nationality and Languages 
Please note that applications can only be 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. 


When short-listing for an interview, priority will first be given to internal candidates.

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.  

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