Senior Systems Engineer

UK Space Agency

Apply before 11:55 pm on Tuesday 31st January 2023



Reference number



£37,470 - £45,565
National: £37,470 - £41,925 London: £41,055 - £45,565 This role may also attract a Scientific Pay Enhancement of £2,575 Practitioner or £5,150 Specialist subject to proof of relevant qualifications.

Job grade

Senior Executive Officer

Contract type


Type of role


Working pattern

Flexible working, Full-time, Job share, Part-time

Number of jobs available



Didcot, South East England, OX11 0QR : City of Westminster, London (region), SW1H 0NB

Job summary

Background: The UK Space Agency: 

The UK Space Agency (UKSA) is an executive agency of the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and provides technical advice on the government’s space strategy, supporting the UK space sector to deliver the government’s vision. 

Space is a part of everyday life. Satellites underpin our national economy, from agriculture and banking to aviation and shipping, and support our national security. Space science provides critical data to understand and address global challenges such as climate change, while missions to explore our solar system unite nations and advance humanity’s horizons. 

We support a thriving space sector in the UK, which generates an annual income of £16.5 billion and employs 47,000 people across the country. 

Through our portfolio of programmes and projects, we encourage the development of national space capabilities and are an early-stage investor in space research and development.  We also promote the UK space sector’s interests and achievements; make connections to join up industry and academia; and represent the UK in international space programmes 

We have a powerful global voice, partnering with institutions across the world, including the European Space Agency. 

More information about the Agency is available here: 

To discover more please watch this film 

Our Inclusive Environment

We have an inclusive culture to make UKSA a brilliant place to work where our people feel valued, have a voice and can be their authentic selves. We value difference and diversity, not only because we believe it is the right thing to do, but because it will help us be more innovative and make better decisions

We offer first-class flexible working benefits, excellent employee well-being support and a great pension. We are fortunate to have a range of excellent staff networks and are proud to be a Disability Confident Leader employer. We will support talented people from all backgrounds to build a career and thrive.

We actively welcome applications from anyone who shares our commitment to inclusion.

Job description

The Office of the Chief Engineer (OCE) has been established to provide technical direction, oversight and assurance to a wide range of projects across the UKSA.

The OCE serves as principal advisor to the CEO/Deputy CEO and other senior officials across Government on matters pertaining to the technical readiness and execution of UKSA programmes and projects. The team acts as a competent and agile technical authority, providing impartial, cross-directorate support to the UKSA and wider Government, with the flexibility to adapt and change as the needs of the UKSA evolve. The OCE also allows the UKSA to perform internal technical feasibility studies necessary for technology road-mapping and exploring mission concepts e.g. EO, Science, Exploration, Launch etc. We are seeking a multi-disciplinary engineer with a broad range of experience across spacecraft or launch systems, mission analysis and/or subsystem design to become a Senior Systems Engineer within one of the OCE streams, the Mission Systems or the Launch Systems stream.

The OCE has four streams; Space Systems, Mission Systems, Launch Systems and Payload Systems, each with its own lead, reporting to the Chief Engineer at the UKSA. This role, as a Senior Systems Engineer, will sit within either the Mission Systems or Launch Systems stream and will report to the associated lead. The selection of the stream will be dependent on the successful candidate(s) existing skills and experience and will be discussed during the interview process. As a Senior Systems Engineer you will work closely with the delivery teams across the UKSA to provide: technical oversight/assurance of technology development activities, support to system design reviews for missions with UK involvement, management and delivery of technical feasibility studies, mission analysis for UK missions and support to expert working groups at international forums such as IADC, UNCOPUOS STSC etc. This is an exciting opportunity to join the engineering team built at the heart of the UKSA, where you will have the opportunity to help shape the team and work closely with the UK space sector. 

Key Responsibilities: 

  • Provide technical leadership on UKSA programmes and projects by providing technical oversight/assurance. This will involve working closely with industry partners and international space agencies.
  • Delivery of expert technical advice/recommendations to senior officials within Government
  • Represent the UK at key international forums supporting policy negotiations or participating in expert working groups
  • Lead technical feasibility studies on a broad range of concepts, responding to requirements from across UKSA as well as creating and assessing novel concepts within the OCE

Person specification

The successful candidate will have a strong technical background with demonstrated experience in the design and/or delivery of space systems or components. The successful candidate will need to demonstrate knowledge and understanding across the disciplines reported below. Some are considered as essential requirements and others are specific to the two streams. Any additional experience in a discipline not mentioned, although not essential, could be considered as an asset to the applicant.

 Essential Skills, Knowledge, Experience and Qualifications:

  • Minimum of degree level knowledge of an engineering, scientific or mathematical discipline, or equivalent science based/engineering experience
  • Knowledge of the systems and project engineering lifecycle for a space mission from requirements definition through to verification, including experience of project reviews e.g. SRR, PDR, CDR, etc.
  • Experience using existing scientific/engineering software for space applications, including problem construction and results analysis e.g. Matlab, Python, MS Excel or specialist software
  • Established communication skills with the ability to convey complex engineering/scientific topics to a varied audience across the Agency, Government and International partners
  • Demonstrated experience of leading a project and/or individual research project related to spacecraft design / space science

Specific to the Mission Systems stream:

Knowledge and experience in mission architecture and system design and implementation. We are seeking a multi-disciplinary engineer with a broad understanding of space systems which should include one or more of the following areas:

  • Technical lead during a key phase of space mission such as feasibility/concept design or development, integration and test or launch and operations
  • Have experience in mission and systems architecture definition and CONOPS, particularly space and ground segments and their interaction
  • Have good knowledge of a range of spacecraft subsystems including: Propulsion, Communications, Software, GNC (Guidance, Navigation and Control), Thermal, Power, OBDH (On-board Data Handling)
  • Have good knowledge of space systems programmatics (model philosophy, qualification and acceptance approaches, Technology Readiness Levels, Assembly, Integration and Testing/Verification (AIT/AIV) processes)
  • Safety, quality, hardware/ software procurement, and operations.
  • Technical lead or support to internal/external feasibility studies or R&D in response to requirements across organisation

Specific to the Launch Systems stream:

Knowledge and experience in launch systems design. We are seeking a multi-disciplinary engineer with a broad understanding of space systems which should include one or more of the following areas:

  • Launch vehicle system and subsystem characteristics (configuration/architecture, performance, reliability, interfaces, supply chain, ground support equipment)
  • Understanding of key launch vehicle subsystems and their associated components, including propulsion systems, guidance navigation and control systems, electrical power systems, communications systems, data handling, aerodynamics, safety, etc.
  • Space systems programmatics (model philosophy, qualification and acceptance approaches, Technology Readiness Levels, Assembly, Integration and Testing/Verification (AIT/AIV) processes)
  • Mission analysis and performance (launch trajectory, on-orbit payload optimisation)
  • Launch operations (launch campaign, concept of operations)
  • Aerodynamic studies with application of computational fluid dynamics to atmospheric ascending or descending phases.
  • Interfaces with the payload
  • Spaceport activities and subsystems, including range operations.
  • Research and Technology / Research and Development activities related to launch systems or subsystems 


We'll assess you against these behaviours during the selection process:

  • Communicating and Influencing

Technical skills

We'll assess you against these technical skills during the selection process:

  • Systems Thinking Approaches
  • Developing and Maintaining Expertise
  • Overseeing Technical Work
  • Being an Intelligent Customer
  • Applying Knowledge
  • Technical Adaptability

UKSA offers a competitive mix of benefits including:

A culture of flexible working, such as job sharing, homeworking and compressed hours.

Automatic enrolment into the Civil Service Pension with an average employer contribution of 27%

A minimum of 25 days of paid annual leave, increasing by 1 day per year up to a maximum of 30.

An extensive range of learning & professional development opportunities, which all staff are actively encouraged to pursue.

Access to a range of retail, travel, and lifestyle employee discounts.

A generous maternity/paternity and adoption leave package.

This job role may be suitable for hybrid working, which is an informal, non-contractual and voluntary arrangement, blending a balance of attendance in the workplace (your permanent duty station which is based on business assessment of where the work is best done) and working from home, or elsewhere, as a personal choice (if the role is suitable for this).  If you are successful, any opportunities for hybrid working will be discussed with you prior to you taking up your post.

The internal roles rules apply to existing Civil Servants, i.e., level transfers move on current salary or the pay range minimum, transfers on promotion move to new pay range minimum or receive 10% increase. Either case is determined by whichever is the highest. 

Selection process details

This vacancy is using Success Profiles, and will assess your Behaviours, Experience and Technical skills.

Please note that UKSA is currently undergoing a transformation programme and it is likely that some posts may be affected during this process which could lead to changes to the job description, team or line manager for this role as a result.

As part of the application process you will be asked to complete a CV, personal statement and a behavioural statement and a number of technical skills examples.

Further details around what this will entail are listed on the application form.

Please use your personal statement (in no more than 500 words) to explain how and why your skills and experience would help the OCE provide advice across government as it implements the National Space Strategy (NSS)

Please note - the CV is for information purposes only and will not be scored.

The Sift will be assessed on personal statement, behaviour and technical skills.

Should a large number of applications be received, an initial sift may be conducted using the lead behaviour Communicating and Influencing. Candidates who pass the initial sift may be progressed to a full sift or progressed straight to assessment/interview.

The Interview will be assessed on Behaviour, Technical Skills and a Presentation. Candidate is to supply a presentation (no more than 15 minutes) demonstrating how they have used systems engineering principles and techniques to solve a problem/develop a product/(sub)-system. 

Expected Timeline subject to change

Sift dates: w/c 06/02/2023

Interview dates: w/c 20/02/2023

Interview Location: MS Teams.

Candidates are asked to note the above timetable, exercising flexibility through the recruitment and selection process.

Reasonable Adjustment 

If a person with disabilities is put at a substantial disadvantage compared to a non-disabled person, we have a duty to make reasonable changes to our processes. 

If you need a change to be made so that you can make your application, you should: 

  • Contact Government Recruitment Service via as soon as possible before the closing date to discuss your needs.
  • Complete the “Assistance required” section in the “Additional requirements” page of your application form to tell us what changes or help you might need further on in the recruitment process. For instance, you may need wheelchair access at interview, or if you’re deaf, a Language Service Professional. 

Further Information

If you are experiencing accessibility problems with any attachments on this advert, please contact the email address in the 'Contact point for applicants' section.

The UK Space Agency will not be able fund any travel or subsistence for candidates

If successful and transferring from another Government Department a criminal record check maybe carried out.

Any move to UK Space Agency from another employer will mean you can no longer access childcare vouchers. This includes moves between government departments. You may however be eligible for other government schemes, including Tax Free Childcare. Determine your eligibility at here

A reserve list will be held for a period of 12 months from which further appointments can be made.

Please note terms and conditions are attached. Please take time to read the document to determine how these may affect you.

New entrants are expected to join on the minimum of the pay band. 

Applicants who are successful at interview will be, as part of pre-employment screening, subject to a check on the Internal Fraud Database (IFD). This check will provide information about employees who have been dismissed for fraud or dishonesty offences. This check also applies to employees who resign or otherwise leave before being dismissed for fraud or dishonesty had their employment continued. Any applicant’s details held on the IFD will be refused employment. 

A candidate is not eligible to apply for a role within the Civil Service if the application is made within a 5 year period following a dismissal for carrying out internal fraud against government.

In order to process applications without delay, we will be sending a Criminal Record Check to Disclosure and Barring Service on your behalf. However, we recognise in exceptional circumstance some candidates will want to send their completed forms direct. If you will be doing this, please advise Government Recruitment Service of your intention by emailing stating the job reference number in the subject heading. 

We have an inclusive culture to make UKSA a brilliant place to work where our people feel valued, have a voice and can be their authentic selves. We value difference and diversity, not only because we believe it is the right thing to do, but because it will help us be more innovative and make better decisions.

We are fortunate to have a range of excellent staff networks and are proud to be a Disability Confident Leader employer. We support talented people from all backgrounds to build a career and thrive.


Feedback will only be provided if you attend an interview or assessment.


Successful candidates must pass a disclosure and barring security check.
People working with government assets must complete basic personnel security standard checks.

Nationality requirements

This job is broadly open to the following groups:

  • UK nationals
  • nationals of Commonwealth countries who have the right to work in the UK
  • nationals of the Republic of Ireland
  • nationals from the EU, EEA or Switzerland with settled or pre-settled status or who apply for either status by the deadline of the European Union Settlement Scheme (EUSS)
  • relevant EU, EEA, Swiss or Turkish nationals working in the Civil Service
  • relevant EU, EEA, Swiss or Turkish nationals who have built up the right to work in the Civil Service
  • certain family members of the relevant EU, EEA, Swiss or Turkish nationals
Further information on nationality requirements

Working for the Civil Service

The Civil Service Code sets out the standards of behaviour expected of civil servants.

We recruit by merit on the basis of fair and open competition, as outlined in the Civil Service Commission's recruitment principles.
The Civil Service embraces diversity and promotes equal opportunities. As such, we run a Disability Confident Scheme (DCS) for candidates with disabilities who meet the minimum selection criteria.
The Civil Service also offers a Redeployment Interview Scheme to civil servants who are at risk of redundancy, and who meet the minimum requirements for the advertised vacancy.
This vacancy is part of the Great Place to Work for Veterans initiative.
The Civil Service welcomes applications from people who have recently left prison or have an unspent conviction. Read more about prison leaver recruitment.
Once this job has closed, the job advert will no longer be available. You may want to save a copy for your records.

Contact point for applicants

Job contact :

  • Name : Dr Mauro Augelli
  • Email :

Recruitment team :

  • Email :

Further information

Appointment to the Civil Service is governed by the Civil Service Commission’s Recruitment Principles. If you feel that your application has not been treated in accordance with the recruitment principles, and wish to make a complaint, then you should contact in the first instance If you are not satisfied with the response that you receive, then you can contact the Civil Service Commission. For further information on bringing a complaint to the Civil Service Commission please visit their web pages: Click here to visit Civil Service Commission/Complaints

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