EuroQCI E2E System Engineer

Updated: 2 months ago

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 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  


As EuroQCI E2E System Engineer, you will report to the EuroQCI and SAGA Implementation Manager in the Optical and Quantum Programme Office in the Systems, Strategic Programme Lines and Technology Department, Directorate of Connectivity and Secure Communications.

EuroQCI/SAGA is part of an EU initiative to provide European-wide quantum communications services. ESA is the design authority of EuroQCI, a Commission-led initiative which will consist of a terrestrial segment relying on fibre communications networks linking strategic sites at national and cross-border level, and a space segment based on satellites. It will be an integral part of IRIS², the new EU space-based secure communication system.


You will be responsible for defining all mission- and system-level requirements and for coordinating all system-related activities during the development, integration and testing of the space, ground and user segments of the EuroQCI operational system.

Your main tasks and responsibilities will include:
•    defining and managing the EuroQCI programme baseline in coordination with the European Commission;
•    leading the definition of all EuroQCI mission and system requirements, including interface requirements, and allocating segment requirements;
•    supporting the Commission's process for defining user/service requirements;
•    monitoring the traceability of requirements from user/service to mission, system and segment, and then down to equipment/payload level;
•    managing the overall system architecture definition, trade-offs and design in close cooperation with industry;
•    managing the space, ground and user segment definition, trade-offs and design in close cooperation with industry;
•    monitoring the payload and ground equipment definition, trade-offs and design in close cooperation with industry;
•    defining the system operational concept of the system and the space, ground and user segments;
•    managing performance models to estimate system-level performances of the system and the space, ground and user segments;
•    monitoring and maintaining the system-level and segment budgets during the design, development and demonstration phases;
•    leading implementation of the EuroQCI development activities;
•    providing support in coordination with the European Commission;
•    coordinating the announcement of flight opportunities for space segment assets;
•    managing the definition of the on-ground test plan and the in-orbit validation plan of all system-level and segment-level requirements;
•    providing system-level support during the development, assembly, integration and testing of all elements of the space, ground and user segments as part of the development phase;
•    supporting the testing and verification of all requirements at end-to-end system level and space, ground and user segment level during the development phase;
•    managing the verification and validation of all system activities (including external interfaces validation) during the demonstration phase in cooperation with industrial partners;
•    evaluating the acceptability of the industrial activities related to all system-level aspects by participating in major technical reviews and preparing relevant inputs for the decision-making process;
•    identifying and tracing potential risks and proposing risk mitigation measures;
•    supporting the preparation and execution of EuroQCI-related procurement tasks (ESA and European Commission).

You will be working in a cross-functional team comprising staff from across the Directorate’s departments which is supported by technical experts from within the matrix structure. You will also interface closely with the various project teams as well as with related industrial teams.

Technical competencies

Knowledge of system engineering processes and end-to-end system performance

Experience in multidiscipline engineering coordination

Knowledge of network and satellite communication

Proven experience in defining mission/system and user/service requirements of complex satellite systems

Proven experience in defining, designing and analysing complex system architectures for satellite communications as well as experience in defining the related operations concept

Knowledge of industrial costs and schedule aspects, space system development and PA standards

Complex project risk management processes

Knowledge of ESA and industrial development, verification and procurement processes

Behavioural competencies

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


A master's degree in a relevant engineering discipline is required for this post.

Additional requirements

Knowledge of quantum physics would be an asset.
Engineering experience in complex space programmes (preferably in telecommunications) and up-to-launch and in-orbit testing is desirable.
You should have experience in working in a cross-functional team and in promoting innovation through a creative collaboration process.
Direct experience of working with the European Commission would be a distinct advantage.

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 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 [email protected] .


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.

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