Project Controller

Frascati, Italy, ESA [11970]

Field(s) of expertise
Aerospace Engineering Business Administration and Finance
Job type

About this job

ESA is looking for a Project Controller.

ESA is an equal opportunity employer, committed to achieving diversity within the workforce and creating an inclusive working environment. For this purpose, we welcome applications from all qualified candidates irrespective of gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, beliefs, age, disability or other characteristics. Applications from women are encouraged.


You will report to the Head of the Project Control and Management Support Office for the Earth Observation Mission Management and Ground Segment Department, and act as direct interface between the project(s) and ESA Corporate Control, Finance and Procurement and with industrial contractors for all matters within their domains of activity. You will be responsible for supporting the Mission/Project Manager(s) on all activities related to project cost, schedule and risk management, project management processes and administrative functions, and for reporting to the Business Unit Controller, as needed, for the Directorate’s internal and external reporting. This assumes key responsibilities in the preparation, procurement and monitoring of complex procurement actions, from tendering to closure of contracts, and for management, financial and planning aspects. You will have multiple interfaces inside and outside ESA including negotiations with industrial contractors and will play a key role in supporting the Mission/Project Manager(s) in programmatic decision making.
Typical project control duties and activities include:

  • preparing, developing and maintaining the overall programmatic aspects of the project/missions, including ground segment, space segment, payload and Agency-provided services. Programmatic aspects include cost, financial commitments, procurements, schedule, risks, progress control and geographical return as well as general project administration;
  • preparing and maintaining Cost Plans covering industrial and operating – including workforce-related –costs;
  • implementing and operating planning and control procedures to provide full visibility on the progress of all activities using established procedures and information systems. This includes maintenance in the ESA ERP system of project-related data;
  • supporting inventory control and asset management for the assigned projects;
  • assisting in the preparation of tender documents with respect to cost, management and schedule/planning requirements and participating in the evaluation of proposals;
  • preparing information required for subsequent contract negotiations and participating in all tasks related to the placing of contracts, including negotiations with industry;
  • monitoring assigned contracts and ensuring industry’s compliance with established formal requirements for management, costs, schedule, risks, industrial return, reporting including deviations from plans and trends;
  • acting as the main interface with industry on financial matters.

For the above, active monitoring is expected, identifying and reporting trends, deviations from plans, potential problem areas and proposing remedial actions in coordination with the Mission / Project Manager(s); compliance with budgetary provisions and financial regulations are also expected.

  • Supporting the closure of industrial contracts and the financial year closure exercise;
  • Implementing, within the framework of the Agency-wide risk management policy, risk management procedures and identifying potential problem areas therein, proposing mitigation actions and preparing risk reports, as required;
  • Ensuring compliance with specific rules and regulations for information and financial management, audits, reporting and control (ESA and European Commission);
  • Providing inputs for periodic reporting to Department and project management, business unit controller as well as external bodies (e.g. European Commission);
  • Participating in the establishment and maintenance of the Directorate’s project control procedures and computerised information systems;
  • Supporting the Head of the Project Control & Management Support Office and Senior Financial Controller in the execution of their duties.


Technical competencies
Understanding of the relevant ESA/EU procurement regulations
Cost and financial regulatory framework, including accounting standards and auditing
Understanding of space system architectures
Project and risk management
Budgeting, cost control and resources and activities planning
Strong analytical and reporting skills
Expert knowledge of a SAP based ERP systems and related queries

A Master’s degree or engineering qualification or a degree in Business Administration at Master’s level is required.

Additional requirements
You should also have :

  • an ability to rapidly assimilate and synthesise complex information;
  • previous professional experience as a controller in a project or programme preferably at Agency or industry level. Experience in another function in finance, controlling and auditing will be considered a (key) asset;
  • substantial experience is essential in the application of project management and project control principles and advanced project control techniques, as well as in the preparation, negotiation and implementation of industrial procurements. Knowledge of EC financial regulations will be considered an asset;
  • knowledge of computer systems and information/planning/coordination tools (e.g. esa-p, Microsoft Excel and Microsoft Project, Tableau) is essential. Familiarity with modern dashboard tools will be considered an asset.

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

The closing date for applications is 24 March 2021.

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 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.
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 Member States. (https://esamultimedia.esa.int/docs/careers/NationalityTargets.pdf)
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.

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
We are the European Space Agency. Our mission is the peaceful exploration and use of space for the benefit of everyone. We watch over the Earth, develop and launch inspiring and unique space projects, train astronauts and push the boundaries of science and technology, seeking answers to the big questions about the Universe. We are a family of scientists, engineers and business professionals from all over Europe working together in a diverse and multinational environment. We are dedicated to united space in Europe and united Europe in space. Learn more: http://www.esa.int/

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