Post: EMSA/CA/2014/03 - Software Engineer for Integrated Services to FRONTEX
Directorate/Unit: Unit C.3 – Satellite-Based Monitoring Services
Type of post: Contractual Agent
Function group: IV
Location: Lisbon
Closing date for applications: 2 May 2014

The selection of candidates will follow the EMSA Staff Recruitment Procedure. Candidates must apply for this post via the EMSA website - vacancies. Please note that to make an EMSA on-line application you will need to create your EMSA profile using a valid e-mail address and a password.

1. Background

The European Maritime Safety Agency was established for the purpose of ensuring a high, uniform and effective level of maritime safety, maritime security as well as prevention of and response to pollution by ships within the EU.

The idea of a European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) originated in the late 1990s along with a number of other important European maritime safety initiatives. EMSA was set up as the regulatory agency that would provide a major source of support to the Commission and the Member States in the field of maritime safety and prevention of pollution from ships.

The European Parliament and Council Regulation (EC) No 1406/2002, as amended, provides the legal basis for the establishment of the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA).

2. Tasks of the agency

The Agency provides technical, operational and scientific assistance to the European Commission and Member States in the fields of maritime safety, maritime security, prevention of, and response to, pollution caused by ships as well as response to marine pollution caused by oil and gas installations.

The Agency also contributes to the overall efficiency of maritime traffic and maritime transport.

3. Unit C.3 – Satellite-Based Monitoring Services

This unit has two main activities, namely:

  • Managing the current requirements and potential developments of the maritime information services provided through the Agency to a range of (institutional) users;
  • Managing the sourcing and day-to-day operations of the Earth Observation data contribution from satellites and remotely piloted aircraft systems to the Agency's maritime information outlook.


C.3.1 is responsible for the business management of the current range of maritime information services provided to different user communities. The ongoing development of the services is triggered through liaising with stakeholders, collecting and translating their business/data requirements into functional specifications. Users include EFCA, EUNAVFOR-Atalanta, EUNAVFOR-Sophia, Frontex, MAOC-N and the SafeMed and Tracea Cooperation Programmes.


C.3.2 is responsible for the general sourcing and day-to-day provision of the extensive portfolio of satellite based earth observation data, as derived from Synthetic Aperture Radar and optical satellites, to support the operational requirements of multiple maritime user communities. This section manages CleanSeaNet, the European oil spill detection and monitoring service, as well as the implementation of Copernicus Maritime Surveillance Services as delegated by the Commission to the Agency.


C.3.3 is responsible for the general sourcing and day-to-day provision of Remotely Piloted Aircraft System based data, as derived from imagery and streamed video, to support the operational requirements of multiple maritime user communities. This is a new technical domain and will start with support for oil spill detection and monitoring (CleanSeaNet), ship source emission surveillance (SOx detection) as well as vessel detection. RPAS operational support to other services is under development and will be delivered as of 2017.

4. Functions and duties

Section C.3.1 is in charge of the implementation, operation and quality control, validation of the service, training and the further development of IMDatE.

Reporting to the Head of Unit C.3, the successful candidate will be responsible for:

Developing software for providing  vessel behaviour monitoring and alerting tools to FRONTEX, through system-to-system interfaces;

  • Developing mock-up scenarios in the FRONTEX application Test and Pre-production Environments for the evaluation phases of user centred design cycles;
  • Providing technical assistance on the FRONTEX specific IT infrastructure being developed;
  • Guide testing and validation processes of the specific software components of the FRONTEX service at EMSA;
  • Maintaining relations with the users for the efficient use of the service, including providing technical training and Help-Desk assistance, as needed;
  • Assisting the unit where required. 

5. Eligibility and Selection Criteria


Qualifications and experience required:

A.1. Education and professional experience:

A level of education which corresponds to completed university studies of at least three years attested by a diploma, and appropriate professional experience of at least one year.

A.2. Language skills:

The main working language in the field of maritime safety is English. Candidates must therefore have an excellent command of spoken and written English, with a satisfactory knowledge of at least one other official language of the European Union to the extent necessary for the performance of the above mentioned duties.


B.1. Essential:  

  • At least two years of professional experience relevant to the functions and duties mentioned above;
  • Strong Java development skills, gained through daily work, in particular with JEEand WebServices (either SOAP or REST);
  • Knowledge of Application Servers, and Servlet containers;
  • Previous experience in isolating and troubleshooting issues in complex IT systems;
  • Good knowledge of relational databases and experience with designing normalised database schemas, object to relational mapping and performance optimisations,
  • Professional experience in developing front end user interfaces using JavaScript, HTML and CSS;
  • Hands-on experience with Linux systems;
  • At least one previous experience as a software analyst, defining software requirements based upon discussions with end-users.
  • Good sense of initiative and responsibility;
  • Ability to establish and maintain effective working relations with people of different national and cultural backgrounds;
  • Excellent communication skills, both orally and in written, in English and the ability to draft clear and concise reports;
  • Ability to work under pressure and to respond quickly to new demands.

B.2. Advantageous: 

  • Good understanding of design patterns (such as GoF);
  • Understanding of software security best practices;
  • Experience with Oracle RDBMS;
  • Experience with Oracle WebLogic, Apache Tomcat, Apache HTTP Server;
  • Experience with software development tools: Maven, Subversion and Eclipse IDE;
  • Developed code using the following technogies in a professional context: JSP, JSF, JPA, Hibernate, JMS, JQuery;
  • Experience with middleware technologies, enterprise integration patterns and related software systems (e.g.: Oracle Service Bus, Apache Camel);
  • Experience with handover of delivered software to ICT operations, experience in ICT operations will be positive;
  • Having practised test driven design;
  • Previous experience with continuous integration tools such as Jenkins or Hudson;
  • Hands-on experience with performance tuning of complex IT systems;
  • Experience developing solutions for geographical solutions, using technologies such as Oracle Locator, GeoServer, OGC WFS and WMS;
  • Experience with Portlet containers, particularly Liferay;
  • In depth knowledge of HTML 5 and CSS3;
  • Experience with development frameworks, both for back-end and front-end development;
  • Professional or other experience in programming languages other than Java.

The advantageous criteria will be considered by the Selection Board depending on the number of applicants meeting the essential criteria.

6. General conditions

In order to be eligible the candidate must:

  • Be a national of one of the Member States of the European Union or of Iceland or Norway;
  • Be entitled to your full rights as a citizen;
  • Have fulfilled the obligations imposed on you by the laws concerning military service;
  • Meet the character requirements for the duties involved and
  • Be physically fit to perform the duties linked to the post.

7. Conditions of employment

The Software Engineer for Integrated Services to FRONTEX will be appointed by the Executive Director, upon recommendation of the Chairman of the Selection Board.

The successful candidate will be appointed as a Contract staff member under the provisions of Title IV, Article 80 of the Conditions of Employment of other Servants of the European Communities.

Please note that this is a project financed position under the framework of the Service Level Agreement (SLA) between EMSA and FRONTEX.

The duration of the contract is three years subject to the renewal of the SLA with Frontex which expires on 30 April 2016. 

The successful candidate will be recruited in function group IV (FGIV). The grade will be determined in accordance with the number of years of professional experience.

The basic monthly salary for the entry grade of Function Group IV, (Function Group IV, Grade 13, Step 1) before any deductions or allowances, weighted for Lisbon, at 1 July 2013 is 2,613.87 EUR.

In addition to the basic salary, staff members may be entitled to various allowances, such as an expatriation allowance (16% of basic salary), household allowance, dependent child allowance and education allowance. The salary is subject to a Community tax deducted at source and staff members are exempt of national taxation.

Please note that recruitment is done in the first step of the indicated grade.

EMSA offers a comprehensive welfare package including pension scheme, medical, accident and occupational disease insurance coverage, unemployment and invalidity allowance. Further information regarding rights and conditions of employment can be found in the following document:

The place of employment is Lisbon, Portugal.

Candidates are advised that if they are offered a post, and accept, they must undergo a compulsory medical examination to establish that they meet the standard of physical fitness necessary to perform the duties involved.

8. Submission of applications

Candidates must submit their application electronically solely via the EMSA website within the deadline. Applications by any other means (hard copy or ordinary e-mail) or submitted after the deadline will not be accepted.

All candidates will receive an acknowledgement of receipt for their application.

EMSA is an equal opportunities employer and encourages applications from all candidates who fulfil the eligibility and selection criteria without any distinction whatsoever on any ground such as sex, race, colour, ethnic or social origin, genetic features, language, religion or belief, political or any other opinion, membership of a national minority, property, birth, disability, age, marital status or other family situation or sexual orientation.

You may apply in any of the official languages of the European Community, but it would be helpful to apply in English in order to facilitate the selection process. However you are requested to state your educational qualifications and positions held in the language of origin.

9. The selection process

For each selection process a Selection Board is nominated. The selection is carried out in two phases:

1. In the first phase all eligible applications will be evaluated by the Selection Board and scored against the selection criteria. Please note that non-compliance with at least one of the essential selection criteria will result in the exclusion of the candidate from the selection process. Advantageous criteria constitute additional assets and will not result in exclusion, if not fulfilled. The advantageous criteria will be considered by the Selection Board depending on the number of applicants meeting the essential selection criteria.

On this basis, the Selection Board will invite to the interview and to the test phase the best qualified candidates (maximum of 15), on condition that they have achieved at least 60% of the highest possible score during the evaluation of applications. Should the case arise that there are various candidates scoring the same number of points in the 15th ranking, the number of candidates to be invited will be increased accordingly to accomodate this. 

2. In the second phase, the selected candidates will be invited to pass one or several written tests related to the job profile and to take part in a selection interview.

During this recruitment phase, the selected candidates will be evaluated by the Selection Board. After the interviews and tests, the Selection Board will draw up a list of the most suitable candidates to be proposed to the Appointing Authority. Only candidates receiving at least 70% of the maximum points at interview and at the test phase will be included in the list of the most suitable candidates. The Appointing Authority will select the successful candidate and decide whether to also adopt a reserve list. The successful candidates will be informed accordingly.

All candidates will receive an information letter of the outcome of their application.

Please note that a binding commitment can only be made after verification of all conditions and will take the form of a contract signed by the Executive Director.

The reserve list will remain valid for a period of 1 year following its establishment. Therefore candidates whose name will be put on a reserve list could be offered a contract during this period of time. Please note however that inclusion in the reserve list does not guarantee recruitment.

Please note that the selection process may take several months to be completed and that no information will be released during this period. Once a selection process has been completed, its status will be displayed in the e-recruitment.

Please note that once you have created your EMSA profile, any correspondence regarding your application must be sent or received via your EMSA profile.

For any prior enquiry, please refer to the FAQ (Frequently asked questions) section, or send an e-mail to

Requests for information and appeal:

An applicant who would like further information, or considers that he/she has grounds for complaint concerning a particular decision may, at any point in the selection procedure, request further information from the Chairperson of the Selection Board.
For information on how to lodge a complaint and/or an appeal procedure, please consult the ‘General Information for Recruitment’ overview on our website for more information: