Solar Cell and Solar Generator Engineer


Noordwijk, The Netherlands, ESA [11019]

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

About this job

ESA is looking for a Solar Cell and Solar Generator Engineer.


Solar Cell and Solar Generator Engineer in the Solar Generators Section, Power Systems, EMC and Space Environments Division, Electrical Department, Directorate of Technology, Engineering and Quality.

The Solar Generators Section provides functional support to ESA projects and carries out technological research (R&D) on space solar cells, space photovoltaics and space solar generators.

The scope includes parts, materials, processes and technologies, electrical and mechanical design, development, manufacturing, integration, testing and in-orbit performance evaluation. Within this domain of competence, the Section also runs laboratory activities for characterisation and qualification of solar cells, photovoltaic assemblies and solar panels, including problem investigation. In addition, it contributes to the definition of standards on solar cells, photovoltaic assemblies and solar generators.


You will report to the Head of Section and, within the technical fields described above, your main tasks and responsibilities will include:

  • providing expert technical support and consultancy to ESA projects, programmes and general studies in the area of solar cell and solar generator technologies throughout all project phases, including design, development, manufacturing, integration, testing and in-orbit performance evaluation;
  • participating in feasibility studies, project reviews and evaluation of procurement proposals;
  • identifying critical development problems and assisting in their resolution;
  • contributing to the definition of technology development requirements and work plans for the Agency’s technology programmes;
  • defining, initiating and managing R&D activities covering both long- and short-term needs;
  • fostering new application areas for multidisciplinary activities, with the emphasis on innovative concepts, cutting-edge technologies and system architectures;
  • coordinating laboratory activities and conducting tests and characterisation as required;
  • monitoring applicable scientific and technological trends and maintaining state-of-the-art expertise;
  • contributing to the dissemination of the results of activities performed and the transfer of knowledge across the Agency.

Your duties may also include supporting other activities within your field of competence.


Technical competencies

• General background and specific experience in the technical domains covered by the position
• Hands-on hardware experience;
• Experience in the development and verification of space hardware;
• Project support experience in a relevant domain;
• Understanding of related technologies, R&D trends and the industrial landscape;
• Experience in laboratory activities and management;
• Experience in the preparation of procurement activities for technology development and innovation (statements of work, proposal evaluation, etc);
• Experience in the management and monitoring of industrial activities, including participation in reviews;
• Experience with Space Engineering Standards and their preparation and implementation.


A Master’s degree in physics or electrical engineering is required. Preference will be given to applicants with a PhD on space photovoltaic topics.

Additional requirements

  • Overall, at least 10 years’ experience of solar cells and solar generators for space applications;
  • Experience in technology, process development and manufacturing at part level of space solar cells and related  components (e.g. Ge wafers, solar cell shunt diodes), and at sub-system level of space photovoltaic assemblies and solar generators;
  • Experience in the definition of specifications and test plans for space solar generators, photovoltaic assemblies, solar panel substrates and solar cell assemblies;
  • Experience in the electrical design and evaluation of the in-orbit performance of space solar generators;
  • Experience in conducting characterisation, testing, qualification and failure investigation of solar cells, photovoltaic assemblies and solar generators.

The following are considered assets:

  • Knowledge of the mechanical design and thermo-mechanical properties of space solar generators and their components;
  • Knowledge of space environment effects on solar generators.

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

The closing date for applications is 15 December 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, Latvia and Slovenia.

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/