Communications System Engineer


Direct Entry Job Permanent Harwell or Noordwijk, Europe Wide

Uploaded 25 Jun 2020

Job Description

Communications System Engineer (2 posts) in the Future Projects Division, Product and Systems Department, Directorate of Telecommunications and Integrated Applications.

The postholder will be assigned to the Future Telecom Programme Consolidation Section or the Future Telecom Programme Exploration Section and will report to the Head of Section.


  • actively following up of market and technology trends relevant to the satcom;
  • monitoring and assessing the need and commercial potential for future telecommunication missions and systems;
  • interacting with all involved stakeholders in complex telecommunications systems involving terrestrial and satellite networks aimed at identifying the satellite contribution, defining required innovation and defining the project to a level ready for implementation;
  • initiating and managing prospective studies on mission concepts and system architectures, with the aim of detecting new market opportunities for satcom systems and services;
  • managing ESA internal preparatory activities of new large satellite telecommunication projects, including responsibility for defining end-to-end mission/system architecture of systems (requirements, architecture, design, cost) in the context of ESA telecom programmes;
  • generating ESA ITT for conducting large Phase 0/A/B activities with industry encompassing definition, design, development, integration, testing, validation and functional and performance pilots and trials;
  • managing the execution of the preparatory activities (Phase 0/A/B) by Industry;
  • participating in the ARTES program board to present and defend the creation of new projects;
  • coordinating the technical support required in the fields of expertise by other ESA organizational units (e.g. TEC) as required to ensure an effective initiation and management of the activities.

The postholder may be assigned to the role of Development Manager for a specific project encompassing B/C/D/E phases and as such functionally report to the relevant project or unit manager responsible for the project. At the end of the project, the postholder will resume his/her duties as a Communications System Engineer within the assigned section of the Future Projects Division.

The Development Manager will be responsible for managing all project-related activities.
Specific duties are:

  • successfully managing all project activities in accordance with their declared objectives, schedule and cost;
  • end–to-end implementing project activities encompassing the design, development and validation activities and pilots;
  • managing the industrial team to ensure that the objectives of the project are fully met;
  • financially managing the project in line with declared cost at completion and annual budget forecasts;
  • regular technical, programmatic and financial reporting to ESA management and national delegations as needed.

Person Specification

Technical competencies

  • Knowledge of industrial costs and schedule aspects
  • Complex project risk management processes
  • Knowledge of ESA and industrial development, verification and procurement processes
  • Experience in ESA procurement processes and contract management as well as applied negotiation skills
  • Ability to support the definition of a technology development strategy
  • Multidisciplinary knowledge of space and ground telecommunication systems
  • Understanding of future technology needs for the commercial satellite telecommunications market

Behavioural competencies

  • Communication
  • Planning & Organisation
  • Problem Solving
  • Responsible Decision-Making
  • Results Orientation
  • Teamwork


A Master's degree in engineering is required

Additional requirements

Applicants should also demonstrate strong negotiation skills. Experience in System and subsystem design and development is required. Experience in the satellite telecommunication industry or direct experience of working with a commercial telecommunications operator and European industry as well as an in-depth understanding of operating within a European agency framework would be distinct advantages.