Job advertisement Head of Copernicus Mission Development Division

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European Geosciences Union

Head of Copernicus Mission Development Division

Head of Copernicus Mission Development Division




Darmstadt, Germany


Relevant divisions
Atmospheric Sciences (AS)
Climate: Past, Present & Future (CL)
Earth and Space Science Informatics (ESSI)

Full time


169000 - 169565 € / Year, Competitive salary and great benefits. Relocation assistance available.

Preferred education
Undergraduate degree

Application deadline
27 April 2020

20 March 2020

Job description

EUMETSAT is Europe’s meteorological satellite agency. Its role is to establish and operate meteorological satellites to monitor the weather and climate from space – 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. This information is supplied to the National Meteorological Services of the organisation’s Member and Cooperating States in Europe, as well as other users worldwide.

EUMETSAT also operates several Copernicus missions on behalf of the European Union and is the operator of those Copernicus missions dedicated to ocean (Jason-3, Sentinel-3) and atmospheric composition (Sentinel-4 and Sentinel-5) monitoring.

In the next five years, the focus will be the preparation for the launch of Jason-CS/Sentinel-6B, the full development of the CO2 monitoring mission, currently under phase B and planned for launch in 2025, and the phase 0/A/B studies for the next generation of Sentinel-3 and Sentinel-6 marine missions.


  • Manage the Copernicus Mission Development Division, its Project Teams and resources;
  • Contribute to the design and development of the Copernicus CO2 monitoring mission in partnership with ESA:
    o Complete EUMETSAT’s contribution to the preliminary design phase (phase B), focusing on ground segment and system aspects, and plan the transition towards phase C/D/E1;
    o Establish the internal project breakdown structures and plans for the development phase (C/D/E1) and cooperation and management arrangements with ESA;
    o Supervise the contribution of EUMETSAT to the development phase (C/D/E1), focusing on:
     The deployment and testing of the mission control centre in partnership with ESOC;
     The deployment and full testing of data processing and data access systems, based on upgrades of existing infrastructure;
     Support to system validation tests with the satellite(s);
     Ground segment and system integration, verification and validation testing;
     Operations preparation;
     In orbit commissioning of the full system;
    o Organise ground segment and system level reviews and co-organise joint reviews with ESA, and serve as a member of Review Steering Committees;
  • Prepare for future and next generation Copernicus marine missions:
    o Prepare for the launch of the recurrent Jason-CS/Sentinel-6B satellite (2025), in partnership with ESA, NASA and NOAA;
     Plan system and operations preparation activities, and adjust the organisation of the CMD project team and internal support arrangements;
     Supervise system, operations preparation activities and support to satellite and system commissioning, until handover to the Operations department;
    o Contribute to the design of a next generation multi-orbit Copernicus altimeter system/mission (Sentinel 3 NG Topo plus Sentinel-6 NG) replacing Sentinel-3 and Sentinel-6 altimeter missions in the 2030 timeframe, and prepare EUMETSAT’s contribution to the development phase:
     Manage contributions to phase 0/A/B activities for a next generation multi-orbit Copernicus altimeter system/mission (Sentinel 3 NG Topo and Sentinel-6 NG), focusing on ground segment and system aspects;
     Complete the preliminary design of the ground segment, and define/propose a EUMETSAT optional programme covering its development;
    o Contribute to the design of the next generation of Sentinel marine imagery mission (Sentinel-3 OPT) and plan EUMETSAT’s contribution to the development phase;
  • Establish the necessary support arrangements with the Technical and Scientific Support and the Operations departments for the above tasks;
  • Provide divisional planning, analysis of indicators, assessment of risks and other management information to the Director of Programme Preparation and Development, for integration and assessment at departmental level;
  • Follow up and support the negotiation of the Contribution Agreement with the European Commission for Copernicus entrusted tasks associated to the above;
  • Deliver development inputs to EUMETSAT’s Copernicus reports, work programmes and procurement plans to the EUMETSAT Copernicus Programme Office;
  • Support high level management interactions with the Commission and ESA;
  • Prepare documents and make presentations at meetings of stakeholders, including meetings of the EUMETSAT Council and advisory bodies and of the Copernicus governance.

What we offer

  • Generous salary, of up to Euro 9,500 / month NET (after income tax) based on skills and experience;
  • Flexible working time including additional flexi-leave;
  • Excellent medical coverage for employee and family;
  • Attractive pension;
  • 30 days of annual leave + 14.5 days public holidays;
  • Training and development support;
  • Relocation allowance and support (if applicable).

Skills and Experience:

  • In depth knowledge and practice of engineering, development, integration and testing of space systems, based on relevant standards
  • Successful experience of planning and management of development projects for Earth observation satellite systems under schedule, quality and cost constraints, preferably including system and ground segment developments;
  • Extensive people management experience, including proven ability to lead and motivate teams in challenging situations;
  • Proven ability to analyse, synthesise and communicate complex issues, verbally and in writing;
  • Strong interpersonal, influencing and communications skills with internal and external stakeholders.

A University degree in a relevant discipline or a comparable qualification in an engineering field is required.

More about us.
As an intergovernmental European Organisation, EUMETSAT can recruit nationals only from the 30 Member States (Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey and the United Kingdom).