Head of the Requirements and Standards Section, Noordwijk, Netherlands 220 views

EUROPEAN SPACE AGENCY 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. Applications from women are encouraged.

Post Head of the Requirements and Standards Section This post is classified A2-A4 on the Coordinated Organisations’ salary scale.

Location ESTEC, Noordwijk, The Netherlands


Head of the Requirements and Standards Section in the Components and Materials’ Physics and Chemistry Evaluation and Standardisation Division, Products Assurance and Safety Department, Directorate of Technology, Engineering and Quality.

Reporting to the Head of the Components and Materials’ Physics and Chemistry Evaluation and Standardisation Division, the Head of the Requirements and Standards Section is responsible for the management of the Section, its resources and activities.

In addition, the Head of Section will be required to carry out and to contribute to operational activities within the technical domains of the Section.


Duties include:

  • ensuring a positive and motivating working environment for the Section;
  • managing the workforce of the Section with accountability for all resources and activities delegated to the Section;
  • maintaining and developing the expertise and technical competence of the Section’s members to meet current and future strategic needs, taking due account of their motivation, aspirations and professional development ;
  • distributing and assigning the tasks of the Section to its members, monitoring and managing their performance and providing timely and regular feedback;
  • anticipating and resolving sensitive or difficult situations, liaising with HR as required;
  • preparing resource requirements based on needs originating from both inside and outside the Section and resolving conflicting demands on the use of the resources available in the Section;
  • monitoring and reporting the implementation of work plans against targets and allocated budgets and resources;
  • establishing, developing and maintaining good working relationships and technical networks with users, project groups and other organisational bodies both inside and outside the Agency;
  • contributing to the continuous improvement of work processes and to the reflection on the evolution of the Section’s role and activities.

The Section provides the Executive Secretariat function for the European Cooperation for Space Standardisation (ECSS) and European Space Components Coordination (ESCC) and is responsible for proposing, monitoring and supporting the implementation of the ESA standardisation policy, both inside ESA and within the European space community.

Within the terms of reference of the Section, the postholder will be responsible for:

  • providing the Executive core functions covering the custody and management of the European Space Components Coordination (ESCC) and European Cooperation for Space Standardisation System (ECSS);
  • collecting, proposing and prioritising all ESA standardisation needs, both external and internal, and their translation into executive work plans, with the support of the ESA standardisation bodies for each domain of ECSS and ESCC;
  • supporting the processes of ECSS and ESCC and the highest level bodies within each domain;
  • maintaining the catalogue of the ESA approved standards and ensuring their prompt availability within ESA;
  • monitoring and reviewing the tailoring and implementation of standards in the projects and proposing the necessary improvements to these standards;
  • performing activities in liaison with external organisations;
  • assuring the editing, publication and distribution activities for ECSS and ESCC documents;
  • monitoring and evaluating the use of ECSS and ESCC standards and promoting their application in ESA projects. This includes contributing to the planning and delivery of awareness sessions and training for the European space community;
  • managing for the Agency the integration of the ECSS standards into the system of European Norms and supporting the associated CEN/CENELEC Joint Technical Committee;
  • coordinating and supporting audits of space component manufacturers and users;
  • maintaining a state-of-the-art expertise;

Due to the inter-disciplinary nature of ESA Standardisation domains, the postholder will be expected to establish and maintain good working relationships and networks with experts and stakeholders within across the European industry and institutions and beyond.

Technical competencies

Knowledge of relevant technical domains

Experience in supporting ESA programmes/projects and knowledge of their technical and programmatic requirements in relevant technical domains

Resource management experience

Experience in ESA procurement processes and contract management as well as applied negotiation skills

Experience in leading quality audits

Experience with Space Engineering Standards and their preparation and implementation

Leadership competencies

Developing & motivating people

Strategic vision & business context

Driving performance

Fostering cooperation & effective team-working

Behavioural competencies


Planning & Organisation

Results Orientation

Problem Solving


A Master’s degree or equivalent qualification in engineering or physics is required.

Additional requirements

Solid experience in the specification, application and procurement activities for space combined with familiarity of ESA PA, Engineering and Management requirements and national and international standards for space applications is required.

In addition, candidates should have:

  • the potential to manage a team of experts and to organise their activities;
  • the ability to lead and motivate a team of highly qualified engineers;
  • strong leadership capabilities, with proven relationship management and communication skills;
  • the ability to drive their team’s performance, developing their people by encouraging learning, delegating responsibility and giving regular and constructive feedback;
  • strong problem-solving skills to deal with day-to-day operational challenges, together with demonstrated planning and organisational skills;
  • a strong results orientation with the ability to set priorities and present practical solutions both orally and in writing;
  • the ability to manage challenging situations proactively and constructively and to be customer focused;
  • the ability to represent the Agency in interfaces with industry and government agencies.

Previous people management experience is an asset, as is international experience, i.e. outside the candidate’s home country, and experience in diverse functional areas relevant to the activities of ESA.

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

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.

The closing date for applications is 31 December 2019. If you require support with your application due to a disability, please email [email protected]

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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 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. ( http://esamultimedia.esa.int/docs/careers/NationalityTargets.pdf)

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.

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.

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