Internal Research Fellow (PostDoc) in Advanced Software Technologies

Noordwijk, The Netherlands, ESA [8261]

Field(s) of expertise
Aerospace Engineering Software Engineering
Job type

About this job

ESA is looking for an Internal Research Fellow (PostDoc) in Advanced Software Technologies.

Our team and mission

The Software Systems Division deals with development techniques for ground and space systems. This covers all life-cycle aspects from requirements specification to development, verification, validation and maintenance. Within this Division, the Software Technology Section aims to explore the use of new technologies in the different areas. This covers several technologies and domains of application:
• Machine Learning (ML) techniques for verification, validation and maintenance based on the analysis of data captured during verification and validation tests or data available on board a spacecraft.
• Planning techniques to increase the on-board autonomy of spacecraft that are part of a telecommunication or Earth observation constellation.
• Model-Based System/Software Engineering to verify the correctness of the models that are used for the automatic generation of code.


The Research Fellow (RF) will be assigned to consolidating research and applying a new technology in one of the following topics. Each topic can be consolidated with respect to the profile and experience of the candidate.

• Machine Learning: preventive maintenance
– To study the state of the art of machine learning and data mining algorithms that would make it possible to detect anomalies in the data recorded during the verification and validation of space systems and apply the most appropriate one to a set of representative (or real) time series;

• Planning: Autonomous operations
– To study the state of the art of planning algorithms that would support on-board autonomous operations of a telecommunication or Earth observation constellation;

• Model-Based System/Software Engineering: Model Checking
– To study the state of the art of formal verification, in order to develop and integrate model-checking techniques into ESA’s Model-Based development framework (TASTE, check https://taste.tools) and to demonstrate them;
– Assess the possibility to reuse existing languages and tools (e.g. Promela/Spin, Uppaal, BIP, IF);
– Define a realistic engineering work plan to design, implement and put together the tools needed for the introduction of model-checking into the TASTE framework.


Technical competencies

• Ability to conduct research autonomously;
• Breadth of exposure coming from past and/or current research/activities;
• Research/publication record;
• Knowledge relevant to the field of research;
• General interest in space and space research;
• Ability to gather and share relevant information.


Applicants should have recently completed, or be close to completing, a PhD in computer science, modelling methods, or systems (requirements) engineering. Preference will be given to candidates awarded their doctorate within past five years.

For a complete job description and to apply, click on “apply”.

The closing date for applications is 01 September 2020.


If you require support with your application due to a disability, please email contact.human.resources@esa.int.

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 as well as Bulgaria, Cyprus, Latvia, Lithuania, Slovakia as European Cooperating States (ECS).

Priority will first be given to candidates from under-represented Member States.

We offer

The European Space Agency (ESA) is an equal opportunities employer that offers competitive salaries exempt from national income tax and excellent employment conditions, such as allowances for expatriates and relocation support.For more information: http://www.esa.int/About_Us/Careers_at_ESA

About us

The European Space Agency (ESA) is Europe’s gateway to space. Its mission is to shape the development of Europe’s space capability and ensure that investment in space continues to deliver benefits to the citizens of Europe and the world. ESA is an international organisation with 22 Member States. By coordinating the financial and intellectual resources of its members, it can undertake programmes and activities far beyond the scope of any single European country.Learn more: http://www.esa.int/

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