System - Critical External Interfaces Officer

European Space Agency - ESA
Noordwijk, The Netherlands
Added: April 20, 2024

System - Critical External Interfaces Officer

Job Requisition ID: 18534

Closing Date: 3 May 2024 23:59 CET/CEST

Establishment: ESTEC, Noordwijk, Netherlands

Directorate: Directorate of Connectivity and Secure Communicati

Publication: Internal & External

Type of Contract: Permanent

Date Posted: 12 April 2024

Vacancy in the Directorate of Connectivity and Secure Communications.

ESA is an equal opportunity employer, committed to achieving diversity within the workforce and creating an inclusive working environment. We therefore we welcome applications from all qualified candidates irrespective of gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, beliefs, age, disability or other characteristics. Applications from women are encouraged.

This post is classified A2-A4 on the Coordinated Organisations’ salary scale.


ESTEC, Noordwijk, Netherlands with a resident assignment to Brussels, Belgium


System-Critical External Interfaces Officer in IRIS² Integrated Project Team in Secure Connectivity Programme Department in the Directorate of Connectivity and Secure Communications.

On 15 March 2023, the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union adopted Regulation (EU) 2023/588 establishing the Union Secure Connectivity Programme for the period 2023–2027.

The objective of the EU Secure Connectivity Programme is to deploy an EU satellite constellation, IRIS² (Infrastructure for Resilience, Interconnectivity and Security by Satellite). The Programme will provide an EU satellite-based, multiorbital communication infrastructure for governmental use while integrating and complementing existing and future national and European capacities in the framework of the GOVSATCOM component of the EU Space Programme.

The ESA Programme Related to EU Secure Connectivity is intended to support the effective development and validation of the EU Secure Connectivity (IRIS²) governmental infrastructure, which is to be developed, deployed and operated under a concession contract signed by the EU with a private consortium, and the services provided by it, as well as the validation and demonstration of services based on the commercial infrastructure developed by the contractors delivering the EU Secure Connectivity governmental infrastructure.

The European Commission and ESA will set up an Integrated Programme Team (IPT) to manage the EU IRIS² Programme and, in particular, the related concession contract, and to ensure close coordination between all activities relating to IRIS².

Reporting to the Deployment Manager of the Integrated Programme Team, you will be responsible for the definition and maintenance of critical external interfaces for the system developed and deployed under the concession, including the GOVSATCOM Hub and the terrestrial communication network (HTTN), and will contribute to the timely and correct deployment of these elements. You will oversee related aspects throughout the definition, development, deployment and preparation for the exploitation/operational phase, interface with industry through the concession contract, liaise with stakeholders in charge of the external elements, and rely on ESA for supervision of the industrial activities relating to development and validation phase, aiming to ensure coordination in accordance with the agreements between ESA and the Commission.

Initial assignment to Brussels is until Q1 2028 with the possible extension, in line with the 12 year Contribution Agreement between ESA and EC. At the end of the assignment, you will be reassigned to a position within the CSC Directorate.


Under the direct authority of the Deployment Manager, you will:

  • be responsible for the definition and maintenance of the critical external interfaces and contribute to the coordination of the deployment of these elements with the IRIS² system;
  • conduct all IPT activities relating to the system definition and maintenance of the critical external interfaces and coordination of their overall deployment and preparation for the operational/exploitation phase;
  • interface with industry through the concession contract on aspects relating to the above objectives;
  • liaise with the ESA Secure Connectivity System and Validation Office, aiming to ensure coordination and relying on ESA supervision of industrial activities relating to the development and validation of the system and its interfaces in accordance with the agreements between ESA and the Commission;
  • liaise with stakeholders in charge of the external components concerning interfaces;
  • contribute to the maintenance of programme-level schedule management, risk management and configuration control;
  • participate in all relevant reviews relating to the development and deployment of the Secure Connectivity system of systems and, in particular, its interfaces with external components;
  • analyse system-related requests for changes, waivers and deviations and non-conformances, anomalies and alerts, supporting the relevant analyses at system level as and when required;
  • work in close coordination with other IPT officers, including the System and Ground Officer, the Satellites and Production Officer, the Development and Validation Officer, the User Terminal, Spectrum and Signal Officer and the Concession Contract Officer, as well as the Security Team;
  • report to the Deployment Manager of the Integrated Programme Team and support them as required.

Technical competencies

Strong technical background in the area of Ground Segment and/or system design, development and validation.

Experience with the implementation of large space programmes or projects, ideally in the telecommunications domain

Demonstrated experience with the set-up and management of a team of technical specialists working towards a common goal

Experience in the management and monitoring of industrial activities, including technical and contractual negotiations, and management of technical reviews.

Multi-disciplinary and comprehensive knowledge of Ground Segment architecture and the definition of related technical requirements, as well as on-ground and in-orbit validation activities

Experience in managing industrial activities from a cost and schedule point of view.

Experience with product assurance and safety standards and their application in a project environment.

Experience with complex project risk management processes

Behavioural competencies

Result Orientation

Operational Efficiency

Fostering Cooperation

Relationship Management

Continuous Improvement

Forward Thinking


A master’s degree in engineering or a related technical or scientific discipline is required for this post.

Additional Requirements

  • the ability to think and communicate in a structured manner;
  • the ability to synthesise complex technical issues and communicate them concisely and clearly;
  • the ability to focus on the “big picture” while being able to comprehend and manage detailed technical issues when required;
  • problem-solving skills to deal with day-to-day operational challenges, together with demonstrated planning and organisational skills;
  • a result orientation with the ability to set priorities and present practical solutions both orally and in writing.

Other Information

For behavioural competencies expected from ESA staff in general, please refer to the ESA Competency Framework.

For further information please visit: Professionals, What we offer and FAQ

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.

Applicants must be eligible to access technology and hardware which is subject to European and US export control regulations and for security clearance by their national security administrations.

The Agency may require applicants to undergo selection tests.

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 email

Please note that applications are only 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*.

In accordance with the European Space Agency’s security procedures and as part of the selection process, successful candidates will be required to undergo basic screening before appointment conducted by an external background screening service.

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.

  • Member States, Associate Members or Cooperating States.