Operations System Engineer

European Space Agency - ESA
Noordwijk, The Netherlands
Added: April 20, 2024
Job Requisition ID: 18625

Date Posted: 19 April 2024

Closing Date: 10 May 2024 23:59 CET/CEST

Publication: Internal & External

Type of Contract: Permanent

Directorate: Directorate of Human and Robotic Exploration Progr


Noordwijk, NL

Grade Band: A2 - A4


ESTEC, Noordwijk, Netherlands


Within the LEO Services Group, the Missions and Projects Team is responsible for maintaining the on-orbit and ground-based ESA infrastructure of the International Space Station (ISS).

The Operations System Engineer, will report to the LEO Missions and Projects Team Lead, assigned as integrated support from the Solar System and Exploration Missions Division, Mission Operations Department, Directorate of Operations.


You will assume a pivotal role in orchestrating and overseeing the intricacies of inventory management, logistical documentation, and database administration within the European operational framework for the International Space Station (ISS). Your responsibilities will extend to ensuring seamless ground processing support for the ESA infrastructure, both in orbit and on Earth, dedicated to the ISS.

As part of a collaborative team, you will uphold the integrity of ESA’s infrastructure for the ISS, encompassing both its orbital and terrestrial components. In addition to your logistical duties, you will lend your expertise to system engineering tasks, involving the meticulous planning, execution, and supervision of engineering endeavours pertinent to ESA’s ISS operations, encompassing infrastructure, systems, payloads, technology demonstrators, and barter items.

Your specific duties will encompass a spectrum of responsibilities:

  • Logistics Tasks: Oversight of manifesting procedures, coordinating with NASA on allocation, and managing the logistics of ESA commodities for various stages of mission operations.
  • Ground Processing and Transportation Management: Facilitating coordination at launch sites for cargo and spares, assisting with ESA hardware importation, and revising logistics plans as necessary.
  • Cargo Reviews: Coordinating and planning cargo reviews, executing post-review actions, and providing support for complex items.
  • Stowage: Coordinating and revising stowage plans, facilitating coordination with NASA for temporary stowage, and ensuring optimal use of available space.
  • PAO Items: Assisting in defining PAO/PR items, overseeing physical inspections, and preparing flight safety data packages.

You will have an important interface role with NASA, which will need to be performed with a high degree of diligence and professionalism.

In addition to logistical endeavours, you will engage in system engineering tasks:

  • Engineering Lead Role: Assuming leadership for dedicated facilities and ISS increments, providing expertise in integration and sustaining engineering.
  • Mission Support: Assisting in mission definition, implementation, troubleshooting, and anomaly resolution, while coordinating end-to-end activities for system evolutions.
  • Increment Integration: Participating in integration activities and representing ESA Engineering in meetings concerning payload mission readiness.
  • Contract Management: Monitoring industry services and managing contracts/work packages as needed.
  • Feasibility Assessments: Evaluating new science requirements and ISS payloads from an infrastructure feasibility standpoint.

Flexibility and adaptability are paramount, as you may need to adjust tasks and responsibilities to accommodate evolving engineering activities or address unforeseen emergencies. Collaboration with industry stakeholders, internal teams within HRE, other ESA directorates, and external partners will be essential.

Moreover, your involvement in periodic meetings with the parent Division will facilitate the exchange of technical knowledge and lessons learned, contributing to the continuous improvement of Agency operations.

Technical competencies

Experience in logistics and system engineering

Knowledge of maintaining complex systems

Experience in mission, spacecraft and/or payload operations

Experience of interfacing with industry, international partners and European national agencies

Experience with human spaceflight-related mission and development safety-related implications

General background and specific experience in the technical domains covered by the position

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

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.

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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