Ground Software Data Management Engineer

Updated: 3 months ago

Vacancy in the Directorate of Technology, Engineering and Quality.

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  


You will work in the Ground Software Systems and Functional Verification Section, a group of around 25 highly motivated experts in ground software systems and assembly, integration and verification for space systems. We provide technical support for the pre-launch phase in the fields of satellite reference databases (SRDB) and other databases related to space systems, the functional verification infrastructure, and actual assembly, integration and testing/verification (AIT/AIV) activities for all missions and satellites at ESA. 

You will also act as a focal point for the development of the database reference facilities of the Avionic System Laboratory. The associated facilities and infrastructure are software-intensive systems, involving state-of-the-art software technology stacks.
Through our support, we contribute to the success of ESA missions such as Rosetta, Galileo, Juice, Earth observation Sentinel missions, meteorological missions and many others.

We are also responsible for defining, initiating and managing technology research and development (R&D) activities in our field of expertise, preparing for the needs of future missions. An important paradigm shift currently driving many developments is the move towards model-based approaches. For databases and data management, this involves model-driven database development, led by data modelling at the conceptual level to ensure semantic interoperability between different systems and implementations.

We actively participate in related standardisation activities, and ensure their proper application in ESA projects.


You will report to the Head of the Ground Software Systems and Functional Verification Section. Your duties in the areas outlined above will include:

Project support :
-    Supporting ESA project teams in the preparation, evaluation and review of all aspects of space system database procurement, including the preparation of requirement specifications, monitoring of industrial activities, acceptance of industrial products and participation in project reviews.
-    Supporting the transition from legacy data models to new data model paradigms (conceptual data models), with a strong connection to model-based system engineering (MBSE) and ontology definition.
-    Providing technical expertise on both data modelling and software development aspects, as well as utilisation aspects of space system databases. This includes the verification of the consistency and completeness of data.
-    Supporting projects through the utilisation of the space system database facilities and laboratory facilities.
-    Maintaining technical competence in the areas of software engineering applied to your domains of responsibility.
-    Supporting ground software system-related activities.
-    Participating in the evaluation of industrial proposals and in project reviews.

Technology activities :
-    Helping to define and leading the execution of the research programmes and work plans for the technology programmes in the Section’s area of competence, in particular with respect to software technology applied to database engineering.
-    Supporting the maintenance and future development of space system database reference facilities as part of the Software Systems Laboratory.
-    Monitoring applicable scientific and technological trends and maintaining state-of-the-art expertise.
-    Maintaining technical competence in areas of software engineering applied to the domains of data modelling and data management.
-    Promoting the application of these competences in multidisciplinary activities, placing emphasis on innovative concepts, cutting-edge technologies and system architectures.
-    Contributing to the dissemination of the results of activities performed and knowledge transfer across the Agency.

Standardisation activities :
-    Contributing to standardisation activities in the ground software systems domain mainly in the context of the Consultative Committee for Space Data Systems (CCSDS), European Cooperation for Space Standardisation (ECSS) and ESA-internal standardisation. 

Duties may also include supporting other activities within your field of competence.

Technical competencies

A good understanding of modern data and software engineering methods and tools, R&D trends and the industrial landscape

Knowledge of spacecraft systems and space system engineering

Experience in the management and monitoring of industrial activities, including participation in reviews, would be considered an asset

Experience with space engineering standards and their implementation

Data management technology, data modelling and database design

Behavioural competencies

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


A master’s in computer science, electronics engineering, space systems engineering, aerospace engineering, telecommunications or a related discipline is required with a background and experience in implementing complex information systems and space system database engineering.
Knowledge of formal methods and tools for database definition, design, development, verification and validation is desirable. Knowledge of space systems and their associated database requirements would be an advantage.

Additional requirements

-    Knowledge of spacecraft systems and experience with satellite databases and data management.

-    Proven experience in the management and monitoring of industrial activities (such as drafting statements of work, user specifications, proposal evaluation, supplier interactions, monitoring progress and quality, and acceptance).

-    Proven experience with space software engineering standards and their application, or equivalent standards in other domains (experience with specific standards and guidelines such asE70-30 Monitoring and Control Data Definition, E70-32 Test and Operations Language, E70-41 PUS and E10-23 Space System Data Repository would be an additional asset).

-    Understanding of modern software engineering methods and tools, R&D trends and the industrial landscape.

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.     

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.

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