H/Ground Station Engineering Division

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  • Salary:
    negotiable / YEAR
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  • Posted:
    1 month ago
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Vacancy in the Directorate of Operations.


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.


This post is classified A5 on the Coordinated Organisations’ salary scale.


ESOC, Darmstadt, Germany



Head of the Ground Stations Engineering Division in the Ground Systems Engineering and Innovation Department of the Directorate of Operations.


Under the direct authority of the Head of the Ground Systems Engineering and Innovation Department, the Head of the Ground Stations Engineering Division is member of the Department Management Team, and co-responsible for implementing the strategy of the department and related change process. In addition, he/she is responsible for space communication and tracking solutions design and engineering.
The Head of the Division responsibilities include:

  • Space communication design, engineering of Radio Frequency and Optical Ground Stations for communication and tracking, including Space Debris and Near-Earth Objects Tracking. This responsibility is fulfilled in close collaboration with the space segment element and following European and international standards.
  • Delivery of the relevant systems, provision of the associated evolution, maintenance, and user support in line with customer requirements. Leading their evolution to ensure sustainability and support of future needs, as well as maximising efficiencies as well as automation. Fostering maximum synergies and reuse of the latest infrastructure investments in particular the domain of Monitoring and Control and Multi Mission. He/she is responsible for the associated internal resources and industrial contracts, and co-chairs the domain governance at directorate level. Efficiency, result and customer orientation are key.
  • Acting as the matrix provider in the Division’s domain of competence across ESA programmes.
  • Leading the European space sector efforts in the Division’s domain of competence. Foster innovation, commercialisation and enlargement of the department’s footprint in ESA’s Member States.
  • Leading spin-in of advanced technologies and methodologies in the Division’s domain of competence, particularly in key strategic areas like (non-exhaustive list) deep space, near-Earth, secure optical and quantum communication. Establish and manage the associated Centres of Excellence and Communities of Practise.
  • Leading the R&D activities in the Division’s domain of competence, prototyping and in-orbit demonstration of new technologies and solutions, as well as enabling their adoption by institutional and/or commercial space missions and Programmes.
  • Leading Standardisation and European Harmonisation efforts in the Division domain of responsibility, in particular in international fora like ECSS and CCSDS.
  • Developing and evolving staff competences to meet current and future strategic needs.

You will also be responsible for identifying, assessing, managing and reporting the health and safety risks in your area of responsibility.

Technical competencies

Demonstrated competencies and experience in the division’s domain.
Proven engineering and management capabilities of complex solutions and associated systems.
Knowledge of the domain ecosystem and landscape. Demonstrated ability to spin-in innovation and successfully manage change.
Strong competence in eliciting and capturing customer needs
Demonstrated record of delivering innovative, efficient and operable systems within time, quality and budget, and to the highest customer satisfaction.

Behavioural competencies

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


A Master’s degree in engineering or physics is required for this post.

Additional requirements

As a general requirement for any position at managerial level within ESA, candidates are expected to have:

  • proven experience of leading, motivating and developing a team
  • the ability to provide strategic direction to the individuals and teams within the Department and relate team objectives to the overall and evolving organisational goals and context
  • the ability to drive performance and foster cooperation within and across teams throughout the organisation
  • demonstrated excellent leadership, relationship management and communication skills
  • familiarity with regular benchmarking to ensure a high degree of confidence in the products to be delivered.
  • previous experience of managing managers and multiple teams, as well as experience outside of the candidate’s home country and in diverse functional areas is an asset.

Other Information

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

For further information please visit: ProfessionalsWhat 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.

Applicants must be eligible 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 at contact.human.resources@esa.int.


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.

*Member States, Associate Members or Cooperating States.

This job has expired.