Open position: ESRIC Director, Innovation Lead & FNR PEARL Fellow

The European Space Resources Innovation Centre (ESRIC) is recruiting a Director and Innovation Lead, endowed with a 4 MEUR FNR PEARL Chair. ESRIC is a joint initiative of the Luxembourg Space Agency (LSA), the European Space Agency (ESA) and the Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology (LIST). 

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https://www.esric.lu/

The European Space Resources Innovation Centre (ESRIC) is a joint initiative of the Luxembourg Space Agency (LSA), the European Space Agency (ESA) and the Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology (LIST). ESRIC aims to become an internationally recognized centre of expertise for scientific, technical, business and economic aspects related to the use of space resources for human and robotic exploration, as well as for a future in-space
economy.

ESRIC is a brand-new initiative with challenging objectives and is evolving in a rapidly changing international environment. ESRIC is implemented as a department of LIST, with a dedicated governance structure that includes its partners LSA, ESA and LIST. It is conducting activities along four main areas: Research and testing facilities, Business support and incubation, Knowledge management, and Community management. One of the major objectives is to strengthen the national and the European space research landscape in the field of space resources utilization.

You will join ESRIC’s leadership team

The successful candidate will provide leadership and vision for ESRIC, in close cooperation with ESRIC’s strategic partners. She/he will work with all ESRIC stakeholders (LSA, ESA, LIST, the Luxembourgish Government, other third level institutions and industry) to determine the mission and vision for ESRIC. She/he will contribute to the development of policies related to space resources utilization, and ensure that ESRIC’s strategy aligns with these policies. The candidate is expected to take responsibility for all four main areas of ESRIC operations and management. In particular, she/he will ensure that the strategy is delivered with the agreed objectives, metrics and accomplishments; that ESRIC operates on a sound financial basis; that facilities are fit to deliver the strategic objectives; that future business prospects are developed to help deliver the agreed strategic objectives; and that ESRIC’s accomplishments are well and efficiently communicated.

The candidate will manage ESRIC through people, ensuring that scientific, engineering and business staff is professionally recruited, managed and developed. In particular, she/he will foster interdisciplinary approaches across the department; empower people via the delegation of tasks; and offer opportunities for acquiring new skills and expertise.

The candidate will be an advocate and ambassador for the ESRIC and LIST vision, mission and values. She/he will represent ESRIC at the highest possible levels with the Luxembourgish Government and agencies, industry, within the EU and more generally internationally. She/he will actively contribute to interdisciplinary activities together with the other LIST departments, as well as effective liaison with the Luxembourg National Research Fund (FNR), the University of Luxembourg and other third level institutions as required.

The candidate will contribute to produce and deliver reports that may be required by the LIST Board and the Luxembourgish government, including annual reports, performance contracts and preparing strategic advisory boards.

You will lead ESRIC’s research activities and develop a brand-new unit as a FNR PEARL fellow.

The candidate will lead and develop excellent research and innovation at national and international levels, contributing to the overall strategy of Luxembourg and Europe in the field of space resources utilization. She/he will drive the continued creation of economic value and impact from excellent research outputs, in particular through the development of national and international collaborations and partnerships.

The candidate will develop a new research unit in the area of mining and beneficiation with the goal to identify, excavate, transport, handle and refine space resources. Examples of challenges that could be addressed are the identification and reporting of reserves; the development of mining equipment; collaborative and autonomous mining architectures; technologies to handle, transfer and beneficiate regolith.

This new research unit will receive support through the PEARL programme of FNR, which aims at recruiting outstanding scientists in strategically important areas to develop and strengthen Luxembourg’s national research priorities. The unit will thus enjoy a start-up package with a financial contribution of approximately € 8 million for five years. The candidate is expected to generate further research income through applications to major national and international funding bodies. She/he will undertake and publish high-quality research cognizant of relevant
metrics for international reputation and scholarly merit.

Further details on the PEARL programme

Your profile

The candidate must have a proven scientific track record in a relevant sub-domain of mining and beneficiation technologies. The candidate must demonstrate an excellent understanding of the whole space resources utilization value chain and put forward a clear research agenda taking into account end to end space resources applications. She/he must be knowledgeable about the specific environmental conditions in space, such as the low gravity, the lunar dust and the limited power availability.

The candidate must be internationally recognized with experience building and managing teams and acquiring competitive and industrial research funding. The candidate will be familiar with research with industry, as well as with the exploitation of the research and technology, leading to innovation or industrialization, in particular in the key target industries (Space, Space resources, Mining, Oil & Gas, …). The candidate must have a strong experience in establishing and leading collaborative research projects with industry and public sector partners.

The candidate should have an entrepreneurial mindset, demonstrate an understanding of the business aspects related to future space resources utilization, and be able to identify and develop commercial opportunities and partnerships.

Key requirements

  • PhD in a relevant sub-domain of one of the key target industries (Space, Space resources, Mining, Oil & Gas)
  • Minimum of 15 years of professional experience with at least 10 years of research experience after the PhD
  • International reputation for excellence in research demonstrated through an outstanding publication record
  • Established record of attracting external funding and engagement in knowledge-transfer activities
  • Track record in collaborative and contract research projects working with the private sector
  • A confirmed record of accomplishment in leadership and management and experience in building collaborations among disciplines
  • Ability to represent and promote ESRIC to public authorities, private organisations and other stakeholders, both nationally and internationally
  • Excellent communicative, collaborative and organisational skills
  • Proven managerial and leadership skills: she/he will be active, decisive, transparent, charismatic and a good communicator
  • The person hired on this position must be proficient in English. French or German will be considered as an asset.

What ESRIC and LIST offer

ESRIC has an ambitious development plan over the next years, adding further partners and expanding its activities. The team that you will be leading is expected to grow quickly with the possibility to see ESRIC evolve towards a self-standing entity in a few years.

To know more about ESRIC activities: www.esric.lu

Application information

Please apply in English by sending your CV, motivation letter, list of publications, list of research projects and a list of taught courses. Completed applications or any queries should be sent to Yasmine Bouzid yasmine.bouzid@odgersberndtson.com

Please be aware that this job position is advertised within the framework of the PEARL programme, a funding programme designed and established by the FNR (“Fonds National de la Recherche”) with the purposes of attracting talented researchers to Luxembourg.

In this context, all applications will be initially screened and a first round of interviews will be organised by an external recruitment agency, Odgers Berndtson, with whom LIST has signed all the appropriate contractual agreements in order to ensure an appropriate level of protection of your personal data. To learn more about Odgers Berndston’s data protection policies, we invite you to visit their website.

Successful candidates will be asked to participate in a further phase of the recruitment as required by the guidelines of FNR-PEARL recruitment standard.

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