Materials’ Physics and Chemistry Engineer

Noordwijk, The Netherlands, ESA [12165-23754]

Field(s) of expertise
Aerospace Engineering Education and STEM
Job type

About this job

ESA is looking for a Materials’ Physics and Chemistry Engineer.

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.

Materials Physics and Chemistry Engineer in the Materials Physics and Chemistry Section, Technical Reliability and Quality Division, Product Assurance and Safety Department, Directorate of Technology, Engineering and Quality.

The Materials Physics and Chemistry Section provides functional support to ESA projects and carries out technological research (R&D) in the fields of Materials Physics and Chemistry, associated processes and environmental effects.

The Section supports project-specific activities in the selection, characterisation, verification, approval and application of metallic and non-metallic materials & processes for ESA programmes with a focus on the process and environmental verification. Environmental verification covers the ground as well as the space environment.



  • providing expert technical support and consultancy to ESA projects, programmes and general studies in the field of materials physics and chemistry throughout all project phases, with a focus on the verification of the manufacturing processes, logistics and space environment compatibility, including the effects on the physical and chemical properties of the product impacting the space system reliability and life expectancy;
  • ensuring materials and processes and sub-assemblies are compatible with mission requirements in terms of space and ground environmental effects (vacuum, temperature, contamination, etc.) as well as with storage and launcher requirements;
  • participating in feasibility studies, project reviews and evaluations of procurement proposals;
  • supporting project-specific activities in the selection, characterisation, verification, approval and application of metallic/non-metallic materials and processes for ESA programmes, focusing on materials physics & chemistry, critical processes and environmental effects;
  • identifying critical development problems and assisting in their resolution via e.g. NRBs, auditing, etc.;
  • coordinating and supporting non-conformance investigations and failure analysis in the required fields of competence above;
  • developing and implementing procedures for new laboratory test methods and materials analysis techniques with a focus on the characterisation of physical and chemical properties and environmental effects; this includes analysing future mission requirements (in cooperation with the Space Environment and Effects Section for the definition of the mission environments) and preparing appropriate evaluation techniques as well as predictive modelling;
  • contributing to the definition and implementation 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;
  • contributing to implementation of Agency-wide initiatives such as CleanSpace, Space & Energy, etc., focusing on materials’ physics & chemistry, associated processes and environmental effects;
  • supporting and contributing to the establishment and implementation of requirements, handbooks and standards regarding space materials (Q-70 series) in the domain of competence;
  • maintaining and developing ESA’s competence in materials physics & chemistry, associated processes and environmental effects, promoting achievements and concepts through conferences, workshops and training;
  • fostering new application areas for multidisciplinary activities, placing emphasis on innovative concepts, cutting-edge technologies and system architectures;
  • laboratory activities, as required;
  • monitoring applicable scientific and technological trends and maintaining state-of-the-art expertise;
  • contributing to the dissemination of the results of the activities performed and the transfer of knowledge across the Agency.


Technical competencies
General background and specific experience in the technical domains covered by the position
Understanding of related technologies, R&D trends and the industrial landscape
Project support experience in technical domains covered by the position
Spacecraft systems knowledge and materials engineering aspects for space missions
Hands-on laboratory experience with characterisation techniques aimed at evaluating physical and chemical properties and environmental effects on materials and related processes
Proven experience in establishing and executing complex test plans as well as setting up and performing predictive modelling and correlation analyses, this also requires experience in discussing with customers their needs and in translating them into test requirements and goals
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 materials & processes engineering and quality standards, possibly including their preparation and implementation
A Master’s degree in materials science or engineering, materials physics or chemistry, applied physics or similar field related to the position is required.

Additional requirements
Understanding of how materials and their associated processes are affected by the environment (ground and space) and how test methods are developed to characterize such effects is required.
Familiarity and knowledge of environmental modelling software like SPENVIS is an asset.
For a complete job description, click on “apply”.

The closing date for applications is 16 July 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, Lithuania 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
We are the European Space Agency. Our mission is the peaceful exploration and use of space for the benefit of everyone. We watch over 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/

For information on how the personal data in your application is processed, please see the ESA Privacy Policy.