Payload Study Engineer

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ESA - European Space Agency

Payload Study 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  


Payload Study Engineer in the Instrument Studies Section, Science Instrumentation Division, Future Mission Department, Directorate of Science.

The Future Missions Department (SCI-F) oversees mission preparation activities for ESA’s science programmes, including mission definition studies (Phases 0/A/B1) and technology development activities. 

The Instrument Studies Section (SCI-FIS) is responsible for the overall technical management of payload definition activities during the early phases of future science missions, including interface management with instrument consortia.


As a member of the Instrument Studies Section, you will report to the Head of Section. Your responsibilities will include:

  • overseeing the technical management of payload definition activities during the early phases (Phases 0/A/B1) of a given future mission in the study phase, including managing payload elements provided by ESA, Member States and/or international contributions;
  • serving as a technical liaison with the study science teams, specifically addressing instrumentation aspects during the early phases of mission development;
  • analysing the design and architecture of instruments relating to plasma physics, planetary science, astronomy or fundamental physics;
  • assuming the role of Book Captain by coordinating and preparing the Experiment Interface Document – Part A (or equivalent), in close collaboration with the study team;
  • acting as the interface manager with instrument teams during Phase A or B1;
  • coordinating the creation of payload-related documents for ESA internal reviews, including the Preliminary Requirements Review (after Phase A) and the System Requirements Review (after Phase B1);
  • defining and implementing ESA-funded payload activities and pre-development activities, for both nationally- and ESA-provided payload elements, with the aim to reach the necessary definition maturity and technology readiness levels at mission adoption. Where relevant, collaboration with the PRODEX Office is essential; 
  • defining critical payload validation activity needs for securing mission adoption and liaising with the Payload Validation Section for their timely implementation; 
  • identifying and elaborating upon new instrument technologies required for the Science Directorate’s programmes, participating in the elaboration and implementation of Voyage 2050 technology development plans and closely monitoring nationally funded activities;
  • providing expertise and support to payloads for projects under development as required, including participation in project reviews.

Technical competencies

Experience with science instruments in all phases
Experience in the design, performance analysis, development and testing of various types of space instrumentation
Experience in dealing with complex space payloads and space science technology development
A well-developed system view and understanding of payload requirements and development needs, together with knowledge of payload technologies and general space instrumentation
System engineering and understanding of system requirements and interfaces

Behavioural competencies

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


A PhD or master’s degree in engineering or applied physics is required for this post.

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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