FLEX Mission verification and Operations Engineer

Job Req ID:  16030
Closing Date:  03 October 2022
Establishment:  ESTEC, Noordwijk, Netherlands
Directorate:  Directorate of Earth Observation Programmes
Publication:  Internal & External
Vacancy Type:  Permanent
Date Posted:  05 September 2022


Vacancy in the Directorate of Earth Observation Programmes.


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  



The FLuorescence EXplorer (FLEX) mission (aka Earth Explorer 8) will quantify photosynthetic activity and plant stress by mapping vegetation fluorescence to help advance our understanding of the functioning of the photosynthetic machinery and the actual health and performance of terrestrial vegetation.
FLEX will orbit in tandem with one of the Copernicus Sentinel-3 satellites, which will be used to provide information on aspects of the atmosphere such as clouds, aerosols and water vapour, as well as information about the land, such as the type of land cover.

The satellite is scheduled to be launched in 2025 on a Vega-C rocket from French Guiana.


If selected for this position you will report to the FLEX System and Operations Manager on all mission performance, system and verification aspects and will coordinate closely with the FLEX Satellite & AIT and Instrument Sections for the follow-up of testing activity through to launch preparation. The Mission Verification and Validation Plan must be maintained and activities coordinated to ensure end-to-end mission performance. You will establish a Commissioning Phase Plan and will coordinate the commissioning of the space and ground segment with all stakeholders up to commissioning review.

Your main tasks and responsibilities will include: 
•    ensuring consistency between the technical baseline of the FLEX system and the verification programme;
•    ensuring mission system architecture and design implementation, including critical analysis and maintenance of all system and performance budgets and interfaces and timely instigation of corrective actions where necessary;
•    monitoring functional and performance qualification and acceptance of subsystems and the satellite, including engineering resolutions of non-conformances and requests for waivers to be consistent with the overall system performance;
•    preparing and coordinating Verification Control Boards in cooperation with the satellite team, ground segment and instrument team.
•    maintaining the Mission Verification and Validation Plan and coordinating activities with industry, the Instrument Section and the Mission Scientist to ensure that the end-to-end mission performance is compliant with mission requirements;
•    establishing the Commissioning Plan and coordinating LEOP and commissioning activities with all stakeholders involved up to the IOCR;
•    contributing to Agency-level project reviews and other low-level reviews;
•    preparing the necessary inputs to the satellite system related to NCR, NRB and RFD/W processes in cooperation with the PA team;
•    reporting regularly and on an ad hoc basis to the FLEX System and Operations Manager, monitoring relevant schedules proactively, identifying risk and problem areas and proposing mitigation actions.

Technical competencies

Experience in the preparation and maintenance of Satellite budgets and performance analyses
Experience in System and Verification Engineering
Experience in procurement and monitoring of industrial activities
Multidisciplinary knowledge of area of responsibility, in particular of optical instrument systems
Experience in Satellite verification and validation concepts, and associated satellite tests
Experience in Commissioning and Operational preparation and familiarity with Satellite test sequence preparation

Behavioural competencies

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


A master’s degree in scientific/engineering discipline is required.

Additional requirements

Previous experience of managing people and teams within an international environment is an asset, as well as industrial experience in various functional areas relevant to ESA activities.

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 03 October 2022.


 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 at


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 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 or balanced 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. 


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.