System Engineer

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ESA - European Space Agency

System Engineer

Job Requisition ID: 

Date Posted: 

6 June 2024
Closing Date: 

27 June 2024 23:59 CET/CEST

Internal & External
Type of Contract


Directorate of Human and Robotic Exploration Progr

Noordwijk, NL

Grade Band

A2 – A4


ESTEC, Noordwijk, Netherlands  


System Engineer in the ExPeRT Team, Directorate of Human and Robotic Exploration Programmes, assigned as integrated support from the Systems Engineering Division, Systems Department, Directorate of Technology, Engineering and Quality.

The Directorate of Human and Robotic Exploration Programmes (D/HRE) is a Programme Directorate within the ESA matrix structure. Using a partnership between humans and robots, D/HRE is dedicated to exploring destinations in space where humans are already living and working – or will live and work in the future – for the purpose of scientific research, economic development, international cooperation and public inspiration.

The ExPeRT Team plans, and implements to schedule and budget, preparatory mission concepts, system studies and technology development activities funded by the E3P for all ESA exploration destinations, including LEO, cis-lunar space, the Moon, Mars and other exploration destinations as may be defined.

You will be assigned to one or more early phase mission concept studies. You will report to the Mars Exploration Study Lead, but you may also be assigned to exploration studies for LEO and Moon destinations.


Your tasks and responsibilities will include the following:

  • Study manager/technical officer duties for an advanced Mars lander concept study programme, which includes preparation, organisation and oversight of ESA internal study work, Concurrent Design Facility (CDF) studies and industrial pre-Phase A studies. 
  • Study manager/technical officer duties to assigned early phase studies for LEO and Moon destinations.
  • Systems engineering support for early phase studies in which you are not the technical officer/study manager.
  • Reporting on study status to the relevant Exploration Study Lead.
  • Your specific technical officer/study manager duties will include the following:
    • Management of the early phase exploration study definition process and reviews.
    • Preparation and oversight of engineering and systems documentation of the ITT (e.g. SoW MRD, Mission Description Document, etc.) and all applicable and reference documentation.
    • Management of inputs from and collaborations with supporting directorates. 
    • Supervision, provision of support and functional management of the tasks of junior systems engineers, YGTs, Payload Engineers and support engineers within the project.
    • Management of the industrial contractors, ensuring the smooth running of the studies and timely delivery and completeness of all deliverables.
    • Coordination with the HRE Science Offices and human exploration group on their provision of science inputs to studies, such as science traceability matrices and science requirements documentation for the definition of payloads.
    • Acting as HRE interface with the manager of the technology development activities associated with the study.
  • Your general systems engineering study support duties will include the following:
    • Defining, analysing and maintaining spacecraft requirements and requirements documents.
    • Supporting mission architecture trades.
    • Supervising and providing support to the functional analysis process, including model-based systems engineering.
    • Monitoring, supporting and liaising with the Study Scientist and Payload Engineer on their provision of the payload description document (PDD) and payload-related requirements documentation.
    • Supervising and providing support to the RAMS and FDIR process, including maintenance of the space elements’ redundancy concepts.
    • Monitoring and supporting all aspects of the mission analysis, ground segment and operations as related to the space elements. 
    • Monitoring and supporting all aspects of the environmental analysis as related to the space elements. 
    • Assisting the technology development team in defining, monitoring and controlling all critical technology development activities for a given study.
    • Identifying and coordinating the required D/TEC and D/OPS support related to the above tasks, keeping in mind the cost constraints of the study.
    • Monitoring industry’s provision of technical documentation to ESA and consolidating across parallel contracts.
    • When performing these tasks, interfacing directly with the industrial study technical team according to the communication rules set out by the Study Manager. 
    • Providing support to internal and external reviews and meetings, leading technical meetings and workshops as agreed by the Study Manager.
    • Supporting CDF studies, in the role of customer study manager or customer systems engineer.
    • Supervising, supporting and handling the functional management of the tasks of junior systems engineers and support engineers within the project.

You will also

  • participate in periodic meetings with the parent Division, contributing to the transfer of technical knowledge and lessons learned across the Agency.

Technical competencies

Knowledge of relevant technical domains
Multidisciplinary knowledge of engineering for space
Space technology development and PA standards
Ability to define roadmaps for Space Exploration
Systems engineering

Behavioural competencies

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


A master’s degree in a relevant domain 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
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.

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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