Calling All University Students Interested in Designing Space Missions

Press Release From: European Space Agency
Posted: Monday, June 13, 2016

The ESA Academy Training and Learning Programme is offering a new opportunity to European students who are interested in learning how ESA is assessing technical and financial feasibility of future space missions and new spacecraft missions. ESA’s Education Office is looking for 22 talented and motivated university students with an engineering or physics background to take part in a Concurrent Engineering Workshop that will take place from 20 to 23 September 2016.

Europe’s leadership in space depends upon its ability to continue developing world-class satellites. To do that, we need to train a new generation of space engineers and scientists.

Concurrent engineering is a method of designing and developing products in the space sector. In concurrent design, contrary to the traditional design methods, all design steps take place simultaneously. This is a far more efficient way of designing, but it brings challenges as well. Solutions in one area that could impact the design in another must be identified and communicated instantly.

Although concurrent engineering is a more complicated process to begin with, in effect it allows designs to be correct the first time. This is particularly good for space missions where industrial work is expensive, and where the science return is often pressing.

ESA’s main Concurrent Design Facility (CDF) is located at ESA’s technology centre (ESTEC) in the Netherlands. At ESA’s Redu centre, in the frame of the ESA Academy, ESA is developing a similar facility for exclusively educational purposes.

Once operational, the ESA Academy CDF will complement what students are learning at university by familiarising them with the concurrent engineering approach. It will also offer student teams the opportunity to benefit from CDF sessions during the feasibility study or preliminary design of their own space projects.

Content of the workshop

The selected students will journey to the green expanses of Belgium’s Ardennes region, where the ESA Academy Training and Learning Centre is located at the ESA’s Redu Centre. Here at one of Europe’s principal radio links to space, the students will learn about concurrent engineering and its benefits. Guided by ESA experts, the students will learn to use the Open Concurrent Design Tool and identify design drivers. Divided into teams, they will first create a subsystem concept to later achieve an already identified mission concept, function tree and product tree, using concurrent engineering. With this, students will get the opportunity to test and contribute to the improvement of the tools that are under development for the ESA Academy CDF.

The deadline for applications is 15 July 2016, 23:59 CET.

Who can apply?

Students during training week
To qualify for consideration, students must fulfill the following criteria at the time of the application:

be aged between 18 and 32;
be a citizen of an ESA Member or Cooperating State*;
be enrolled as a full-time Master or PhD student in a university in an ESA Member State or Cooperating State*, studying an engineering subject or physics.
ESA is looking for 2-3 MSc or PhD students from the following disciplines: structures, configuration, power, mechanisms, thermal, AOCS, propulsion, optics/sensors, trajectory analysis, communications/data handling.

ESA will cover the cost of accommodation and meals as well as up to 200 euros for travelling to Redu, Belgium, for each selected student.

How to apply?

Fill in the application form;
Upload a motivation letter (PDF, maximum 1 page, no images);
Upload a CV (PDF, maximum 2 pages, no images);
Upload a formal recommendation letter (PDF, maximum 1 page, no images) from a university professor or an academic supervisor;
Upload a copy of academic records.
For more information, please contact @

*ESA Member States
Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom, Canada (Associate Member).

European Cooperating States
Bulgaria, Cyprus, Lithuania and Malta

Cooperating States
Latvia, Slovenia and Slovakia

If you are a citizen of a Cooperating State, obtain a letter of endorsement from your national agency stating that you will be financially supported to join this event and attach the document to your application.

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