EGU logo

European Geosciences Union

Head of Flight Operations

Head of Flight Operations

Darmstadt, Germany


Relevant divisions
Atmospheric Sciences (AS)
Earth and Space Science Informatics (ESSI)

Full time


111000 - 111828 € / Year, Competitive salary and great benefits. Relocation assistance available.

Preferred education
Undergraduate degree

Application deadline
30 September 2019

27 August 2019

Job description

Reporting to the Director of Operations and Services to Users (OPS), the Head of Flight Operations Division (FLO) has overall responsibility for flight operations of the fleet of satellites operated by EUMETSAT including operations of the ground systems used for flight operations.

  • Manage the FLO Division and its allocated resources and ensure key competencies in flight operations are maintained and developed as required;
  • Plan/Co-ordinate all routine, contingency and decommissioning/disposal operations of the fleet of satellites operated by EUMETSAT for its own purpose or Copernicus, and the associated flight operations ground segment systems;
  • Supervise or follow up investigations of major in-orbit or flight operations ground segment anomalies or failure, and related interactions with industry and partner agencies, e.g. ESA, NOAA, CNES, DLR;
  • Support the operations preparation of new satellite systems under development, including Meteosat Third Generation, EPS-Second Generation and Jason-CS/Sentinel-6 s;
  • Plan/coordinate operations preparation activities for recurrent satellites including MTG, EPS-SG, Jason-CS and Sentinel-3 spacecraft;
  • Interface with managers within other EUMETSAT departments and from operations partners to ensure co-ordination of flight operations with other operations and operations preparation activities;
  • Manage each EUMETSAT programme after the handover of the last recurrent satellite and until programme closure, and, with the support of the administration department, be responsible for programme closure;
  • Deputise for the Director of Operations and Services to Users.

Candidates must be able to work effectively in English and have some knowledge of French.


  • Minimum of ten years’ experience of operations of satellite systems, including some experience of managing flight operations of spacecraft;
  • At least 5 years’ experience in a management role in operations / operations preparation of complex space systems, preferably Earth observation satellite systems;
  • Experience of specification, testing and validation of complex satellite or IT systems;
  • Significant experience in managing interactions with external suppliers and operations partners;
  • Excellent team-working and team-building skills, verbal and written communication skills;
  • Demonstrated ability to synthesise complex issues for communication to senior managers/decision makers
  • Successful experience of working in a matrix organisation would be an advantage.

The initial contract will be of 4 years’ duration, with subsequent 5 year contracts being awarded thereafter, subject to individual performance and organisation requirements. There is no limit to the amount of follow-up contracts a staff member can receive up to the EUMETSAT retirement age of 63 and there are certainly opportunities to establish a long career perspective at EUMETSAT.
This post is graded A5/A6 on the EUMETSAT salary scales. The minimum basic salary for this post is EURO 9 319 per month (net of internal tax) which may be negotiable based on skills and experience. The salary scale provides for increments on the anniversary of taking up employment, and scales are reviewed by the EUMETSAT Council with effect from 1 January each year. In addition to basic salary, EUMETSAT offers attractive benefits. Further information, including salary details, is available on the EUMETSAT web site.

EUMETSAT is committed to providing an equal opportunity work environment.
Please note that only nationals of EUMETSAT Member States may apply. The EUMETSAT Convention requires that Staff shall be recruited based on their qualifications, account being taken of the international character of EUMETSAT.