Head of the Secure Connectivity System Architecture Section

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ESA - European Space Agency

Head of the Secure Connectivity System Architecture Section

Job Requisition ID: 

Date Posted: 

25 June 2024
Closing Date: 

16 July 2024 23:59 CET/CEST

Internal & External
Type of Contract


Directorate of Connectivity and Secure Communicati

Noordwijk, NL

Grade Band

A2 – A4


ESTEC, Noordwijk, Netherlands  


Head of the Secure Connectivity System Architecture Section in the Secure Connectivity System Office within the Secure Connectivity Programme Department in the Directorate of Connectivity and Secure Communications.

The ESA Programme Related to EU Secure Connectivity, hereinafter referred to as “Secure Connectivity”, is intended to support the effective development and validation of the EU Secure Connectivity governmental infrastructure and the services provided by it. Reporting to the Head of the Secure Connectivity System Office, you will be responsible for all system engineering tasks to support the effective design and development for the overall Secure Connectivity system of systems. 


Your tasks and responsabilities will include:

  • managing all IRIS² system-level engineering activities, including the Space, Ground and User Segments; 
  • supervising the technical requirements, including functional, performance, operational, service and security requirements, applicable to the procurement of the overall system infrastructure, namely the Space Segment, the Ground Segment and the User Segment, and the associated operations and services, including launch services, and ensuring their overall traceability; 
  • monitoring and ensuring the compliance of the IRIS² system with the mission technical and performance requirements, including maintaining all system-level technical budgets; 
  • ensuring end-to-end technical consistency of all procurement activities at project level, namely those carried out at system and segment levels, including security, as well as external interfaces such as service facilities; 
  • ensuring the implementation of system security engineering activities, including security requirements flow-down, implementation follow-up, security operations engineering and maintenance of the System Security Requirements Statement of Compliance; 
  • defining and implementing technology developments required to support the development of the system, assessing industrial and technological supply chain vulnerabilities and defining corrective actions; 
  • preparing and implementing all engineering and R&D activities directly relating to the development and implementation of the system; 
  • managing reviews relating to Secure Connectivity at system level; 
  • providing services engineering, including the concept of operations and the associated qualification tools, such as test user receivers; 
  • proactive monitoring of relevant schedules, identifying risk and problem areas, providing assessments and proposing mitigation actions from industry and on the ESA side; 
  • proposing corrective measures to respond to deviations from mission requirements established at programme level; 
  • contributing to the reporting to ESA management and the European Commission in accordance with the Contribution Agreement in close coordination with the Head of the Secure Connectivity Programme Department and the Business Control and Programme Management Support Office; 
  • close coordination with other project disciplines, including the Ground Segment and Operations Office, the Security Office, the Space Segment Office and the Product Assurance and Safety Team. 

You will also be responsible for identifying, assessing, managing and reporting the health and safety risks in your area of responsibility.

Technical competencies

Strong technical background in the area of space mission system design and development
Experience with the implementation of large space programmes or projects, ideally in the area of telecommunications 
Experience in the management and monitoring of industrial activities, including technical and contractual negotiations, and management of technical reviews.
Multidisciplinary and comprehensive knowledge of “system of system” architecture, definition of related technical requirements and on-ground and in-orbit validation activities
Experience with product assurance and safety standards and their application in a project environment

Behavioural competencies

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


A master’s degree in physics, electrical or telecommunications/aerospace engineering or a related field is required for this post.

Additional requirements

Experience working with a commercial telecommunications company and/or operator is desirable. 
Experience working in secure environments or projects is desirable.

You should also have:

  • the potential to manage individuals or a team of experts in a project setting; 
  • the ability to organise individual and team activities and ensure a motivating work environment;
  • strong leadership capabilities, with proven relationship management and communication skills;
  • the ability to drive your team’s performance, developing your people by encouraging learning, delegating responsibility and giving regular and constructive feedback;
  • strong problem-solving skills to deal with day-to-day operational challenges, together with demonstrated planning and organisational skills;
  • a 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.

People management experience is an asset, as is international experience, i.e. outside your home country, as well as experience in diverse functional areas relevant to ESA activities.  

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
In principle, recruitment will be within the advertised grade band (A2-A4). However, if the selected candidate has less than four years of relevant professional experience following the completion of the master’s degree, 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. 

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 Member States*. 

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.  

*Member States, Associate Members or Cooperating States.

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