Robotics Engineer

Updated: 2 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  


Space Robotics Engineer in the Automation and Robotics Section, Mechatronics and Optics Division, Mechanical Department, Directorate of Technology, Engineering and Quality.

The Automation and Robotics Section provides functional support to ESA projects and carries out technological research and development (R&D) in the fields of space robotics systems (from manipulators to autonomous vehicles) and a  laboratory supporting automation and robotics in crewed and uncrewed missions.

The Section is specialised in systems engineering of space automation and robotics systems. Space robotics is a highly multidisciplinary subject. It depends heavily on the underlying space disciplines of structures, mechanisms, avionics, on-board software, ground operations and communication. However, packing all these disciplines tightly together in a single system that moves and interacts physically with its environment and with humans with a certain degree of autonomy, creates a complexity that is in itself a new discipline.

Systems engineering of space automation and robotics systems is the discipline of specifying, designing and ultimately validating space automation and robotics systems that fulfil utilisation needs under defined environmental and operational constraints. 


If selected for this position, you will report to the Head of Section. Within the technical fields described above, your main tasks and responsibilities will include:

●    providing expert technical support and consultancy to ESA projects, programmes and general studies in the field of space robotics systems throughout all project phases;
●    participating in feasibility studies, project reviews and the evaluation of procurement proposals;
●    identifying critical development problems and assisting in their resolution;
●    contributing to the definition of technology development requirements and work plans for the Agency’s technology programmes;
●    defining, initiating and managing R&D activities covering both long- and short-term needs;
●    leading field test activities to validate and verify robot navigation systems of R&D and project origin;
●    leading and performing laboratory test activities as required;
●    monitoring applicable scientific and technological trends and maintaining state-of-the-art expertise;
●    contributing to the dissemination of the results of the activities performed and the transfer of knowledge across the Agency.

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

Technical competencies

General background and experience in the technical domains covered by the position

Understanding of related technologies, R&D trends and the industrial landscape

Multi-year experience with laboratory/field testing of robotic planetary/orbital systems and their ground truthing

Experience in testing soil-interacting robotic systems

Experience in general verification and validation means used in orbital/planetary robotics

Project support experience in orbital/planetary robotics

Experience in the preparation of procurement activities for technology development and innovation (Statements of Work, proposal evaluation, etc.)

Experience in the management and monitoring of industrial activities, including participation in reviews

Behavioural competencies

Result Orientation

Operational Efficiency

Fostering Cooperation

Relationship Management

Continuous Improvement

Forward Thinking


A master’s degree in space robotics engineering is required. Preference will be given to applicants with a PhD.

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. 

Recruitment will normally be at the first grade in the band (A2); however, if the candidate selected has little or no experience, the position may be filled at A1 level.

*Member States, Associate Members or Cooperating States.

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