Satellite Missions Architect (Future Programmes)

Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd (SSTL)
Surrey, UK/Remote
Added: April 23, 2024

The Role

An exciting opportunity for a Missions Architect position in Future Programmes team, reporting to the Head of Future Programmes. As a Future Programs Missions Architect, you will work closely with Chief Engineers, Key Account managers, relevant Heads of Business and Business Development director to produce high quality and pragmatic technical solutions for new mission prospects and bid / tender activities. As part of future programmes, you will help pioneer future product development base on emerging space markets and customer needs. You will prepare projects for smooth transition from prospect / bid phase to satellite mission projects handing over to lead system engineers and project managers. With SSTL’s customers based around the world, there will be opportunities to visit customers to present envisaged solutions and to attend conferences to promote SSTL’s product portfolio.

About SSTL:

Considered the pioneers of the small satellite market, and with a heritage that spans over 40 years, SSTL prides itself in continual innovation and improvement of space technologies, products and services, as well as in delivering space missions for a broad array of applications, like high-resolution Earth Imaging, communications (including from the moon), science and navigation. Since 1981, SSTL has built and launched 71 satellites, including 7 constellations, and has a number of further satellites and payloads under contract. From the earliest study activities, to the subsystem manufacturing, to the assembly and test, to in-orbit operations, the whole spacecraft lifecycle is managed from SSTL’s Guildford headquarters (supported by a few manufacturing functions located in nearby Bordon, Hampshire). This capability coupled with the relatively short design and build schedules gives an almost unparalleled advantage for early phase work, meaning that there is a constant stream of experienced engineers rotating through to mission, launch and then back to the start of early phase concepts.

Recent examples of missions include SSTL’s Lunar Pathfinder service which will provide the vital communications bridge between Earth and the lunar surface for low cost commercial exploration of the moon, SSTL’s HydroGNSS mission leading the way for a new approach for ESA and delivering the UN Sustainable Development Goals by providing valuable hydrological climate data, and SSTL’s innovative Mid Wave Infra-Red thermal imaging satellite which will measure the heat signature of buildings helping organisations respond to the global climate change challenge.

Key Tasks

Role to include, but not limited to:

  • Work with the Business Development & Sales Director, relevant Heads of Business, relevant Key Account Managers and the Chief Engineers to develop a technical solution suitable for each new business opportunity;
  • Define the system characteristics of new solutions considering the customer requirements and the heritage design approach of SSTL;
  • Work with and within the bid teams to ensure that the technical solution is described in a way that maximises the chance of success;
  • Ensure consistency across the technical offerings to customers and current mission and design activities within SSTL;
  • Steer ongoing product development activities so that they remain aligned with the technical objectives of BDS activities;
  • Provide a smooth transition from prospect and bid activities to the subsequent project technical lead;
  • Maintain an overview of system engineering solutions across standard biddable products;
  • Work with the Mission Concepts team responsible for road-mapping activities to ensure an effective handover between long-term strategy and day-to-day implementation.

Previous Experience

  • Working knowledge of engineering concepts for missions ranging from LEO to GEO and beyond;
  • Knowledge of Earth Observation applications and services market;
  • Demonstrable experience of strategic planning & thinking;
  • Experience of interfacing with customers;
  • Experience in mission delivery, preferably whole life cycle – bid through to commissioning, however someone without this experience will be considered if they meet the knowledge criteria.

Qualifications Knowledge & Skills

  • A degree or equivalent in an engineering or technical discipline;
  • Excellent inter-personal and communication skills, able to influence, persuade and negotiate with people at all levels (externally & internally) as well as to assist in reaching acceptable solutions to conflicting requirements;
  • Good team working skills, together with the ability to interface with others at all levels, including customers;
  • Ability to work closely with technical teams to understand and grasp concepts and issues and translate those to schedule and cost impacts with a balanced approach to risk;
  • Results orientated with a strong drive to deliver;
  • Proven ability to deliver solutions under pressure and to tight timescales;
  • Excellent planning and organising skills. Flexible and adaptable to changing priorities;
  • Ability to multi-task and deliver both immediate and longer term tasks;
  • Able to work autonomously, be pro-active and use own initiative;
  • High degree of organisation and self-motivation;
  • Creative, strategic thinking and ability to look at different ways of doing things;
  • Excellent decision making and creative problem solving skills, including making complex decisions in a timely manner;
  • Good technical writing and presentation skills;
  • Good knowledge of MS Office Excel, Word, PowerPoint and Microsoft Project;
  • Able to demonstrate company mindsets and behaviours; Be accountable, Drive & delivery, Communicate effectively, Self-manage effectively, Work as one team.

Learning Opportunity

  • Learning SSTL’s mission lifecycle, engineering approach and practices;
  • An understanding of the satellite market and trends;
  • Experience with a wide variety of Government, Export, Institutional and Commercial procurement approaches;
  • An understanding of tender and contractual terms and how these affect our offer;
  • Being involved in and learning the bid process, its stages, including writing successful technical proposals.


The role is based in SSTL’s Head Office in Guildford but a range of flexible working options are available as hybrid working is supported at company level.


Our comprehensive benefits package includes; 32 days Holiday plus Bank Holidays, Pension Scheme with Life Assurance, Private Medical & International Travel Insurance, Annual Bonus Scheme, Share Incentive Plan, Enhanced Maternity, Paternity & Shared Parental Pay for new parents, High Street Discount Scheme and many more!

Our dedicated people are the key to SSTL’s success and we recognise to achieve this success a healthy work/life balance is essential. We actively encourage looking after our mental and physical wellbeing, by offering a range of flexible working options, subsidised gym membership, subsidised café, training mental health first aiders throughout the business and an Employee Assistance Programme with Health Assured. SSTL is also committed to support sustainability and social value working towards a number of key objectives throughout the business around the areas of Environment, Community, Health and Outreach.

Visa Support

SSTL supports applications requiring a UK Skilled Worker Visa and sponsorship is available for this role. Relocation assistance also available.