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an IT system administrator (m/f/x)





Deadline for applications
Job title description

There is a vacancy at B.USOC (Belgian User Support and Operations Centre for space missions and experiments) for the Ground Controllers team.

Start date: depending on your availability
Statute: Contractual
Target group: under 26 years old (entry level). Open to French and Dutch-speaking candidates

Division, context

The Belgian User Support and Operation Centre, hosted at BIRA-IASB since its creation in 1997, aims to provide engineering and operational support to Belgian scientists in the preparation, implementation and exploitation of their experiments/ mission, regardless of the space research field.  As part of the Belgian contribution to the International Space Station, the B.USOC is also an ESA Facility Responsible Centre for payloads on board the Columbus module, currently the external Atmosphere-Space Interactions Monitor (ASIM) and the pressurized Fluid Science Laboratory (FSL). For those facilities, B.USOC is in charge of the preparation and execution of the operations, the tele-commanding and monitoring of the experiments, and the data transfer to the scientists.



To be a member of the B.USOC Ground Controllers team in the frame of the operations of scientific experiments on board the International Space Station (ISS). The role of a Ground Controller consists of managing the IT infrastructure necessary for the proper functioning of operations related to payloads on board the ISS. The work is carried out in close collaboration with the various teams of engineers, operators and scientists in Europe, which occasionally require relocations abroad, mainly within Europe. The function requires participation in training programs and workshops related to USOC systems, payloads and subsystems of the ISS. Operations simulations are also regularly organized to train the Ground Controllers for their duties, to maintain effectiveness and to promote teamwork.

As an IT system administrator, you and your team are responsible for managing the IT infrastructure, for the implementation, configuration and solving of the malfunctioning of hardware and software in heterogeneous networks. More specifically, your responsibilities will be:

  • Carrying out system administrator tasks.
  • Monitoring and supervision of the various operating systems in terms of availability, performance and power.
  • Active participation in the implementation of IT solutions for the different projects.
  • Proposing and solving structural IT problems.
  • Support and technical advice to the IT manager.
Required competences
  • Position open to bachelors in a relevant ICT field or to persons with equivalent experience. If the diploma was obtained in a country other than Belgium, an application for equivalence must have been submitted.
  • Polyvalent, stress resistant and result-oriented attitude.
  • Team spirit, independence and a sense of initiative.
  • Excellent communication skills in English (oral, written).
  • Familiarity with Linux systems, networks and computer science in general.
  • Good knowledge of IT hardware (server, storage, switch).
  • Good knowledge of Open Source Software and Linux systems
  • Good knowledge of networks and security protocols (TCP/IP, firewall, VPN, routing, NFS,...).
  • Good knowledge of servers in Open Source environment (Python, Apache, OpenLDAP, Sendmail/Postfix, FTP, Samba, SNMP,...).
Not required, but a plus:
  • Professional experience.


Offer and benefits
  • Wages and salaries set by the federal government.
  • When establishing seniority, every experience (public + private sector) relevant to the offered job is valorized.
  • Pleasant working atmosphere within a scientific and green environment.
  • Refund of cost for public transport between home and work and some compensation for using bicycle.
  • Attractive leave plan and various possibilities to balance work and private life.
  • 38-hour week with sliding schedule.
  • Possibility to work from home.
  • Diverse social and cultural advantages: museum card, hospitalization insurance, discounts via Fed + card ...
  • Company restaurant with hot meals at democratic prices.
  • Childcare during school holidays.

More information about this vacancy can be obtained via email at


Send a complete CV and an application letter with reference: “10_ICT_SBO” to:

International Space Station
More about BIRA-IASB

The Royal Belgian Institute for Space Aeronomy (BIRA-IASB) is a Belgian Federal Scientific Institute.

Since its founding in 1964, BIRA-IASB has been conducting research and providing public services in space aeronomy, i.e. the physics and chemistry of Earth's atmosphere and other planets, and outer space.

Our scientists use instruments on the ground, in the air, on board balloons or in space and computer models.