Young Graduate Trainee for Structural Engineering, Noordwijk, Netherlands 300 views

EUROPEAN SPACE AGENCY Young Graduate Traineeship Opportunity in the Directorate of Technology, Engineering and Quality.

ESA is an equal opportunity employer, committed to achieving diversity within the workforce and creating an inclusive working environment. Applications from women are encouraged.

Post Young Graduate Trainee for Structural Engineering This post is classified F1.

Location ESTEC, Noordwijk, The Netherlands

Our team and mission

The Structures, Mechanisms & Materials Division is ESA’s centre of competence in all areas related to spacecraft and launcher structures, mechanisms, tribology and pyrotechnic devices, materials and processes. This encompasses spacecraft and launcher lightweight structures, stable structures, advanced mechanical materials applications, structural dynamics, damage tolerance, deployable structures/booms, active structures, hold-down and release devices, electrical motors for space mechanisms, launcher and re-entry vehicle hot and cold structures, landing attenuation systems, seals, valves, parachute systems, separation systems, solar array drive mechanisms, reaction wheels, pointing mechanisms, pyrotechnics, bearings and tribology aspects. The Division provides support to projects, preparatory and technology programmes.

Within this framework, the Structures Section is in charge of all structural engineering aspects, including:

  • Structural Design and Verification Methods / Tools
  • Static / Dynamics / Vibro-Acoustics
  • Crash / Impacts / Meteoroids Absorption Analysis
  • Damage Tolerance / Fracture Control / Health Monitoring
  • Fluid Structure Interaction (e.g. sloshing)
  • Launcher Coupled Dynamic Analysis
  • Demisability / Re-Usability
  • Thermo-Elastic
  • High Stability / High Precision Structures
  • Active / Adaptive Structures
  • Inflatable and Deployable Structures
  • Launchers / Re-Entry (Hot Structures) / Planetary Landing Vehicles
  • Crew Habitation / EVA Suits

Candidates interested are encouraged to visit the ESA website:

Field(s) of activity

As a YGT you will participate in the design, analysis and development of structures for use on space vehicles. Assisting ESA engineers working in this domain, you will be given specific tasks which may include:

  • performing/evaluating instrument/satellite accommodation studies, familiarisation with project requirements and CAD tools.
  • performing structural modelling activities and structural static/dynamic/vibro-acoustic/shock analyses (Nastran, Abaqus, VA-One) in support of ongoing spacecraft and launcher programmes.
  • participating in definition/improvement/verification of structural & configuration analysis tools (including participation in/development of the satellite Concurrent Design Facility).
  • performing fracture mechanics analysis, evaluating material properties for crewed and uncrewed spacecraft (ESACRACK, FRAMES-2, NASGRO).
  • participating in definition/improvement/verification of FSI (Fluid Structure Interaction) analysis tools with emphasis on sloshing, water landing and parachute deployment structural applications.
  • performing numerical simulations of micro-vibration-related problems, considering characterisation of disturbers at the source and evaluating possible isolation and attenuation of the environment at the target.
  • performing hyper-velocity impact simulations and related analyses for the different spacecraft protection measures against in-orbit micro-meteoroid and debris impacts.
  • supporting development of new technologies for structural design/hot structure concepts and materials/health monitoring concepts for reusable launch/re-entry vehicles, including related engineering analyses and support to ongoing programmes.
  • supporting mechanical test programmes, including development and application of tools for mathematical model correlation/cross-checks between analytical predicted and experimentally identified modes, deflections, strain.
  • participating in development and application of the Agency’s structural analysis tools (e.g. ESACOMP, Nastran) for spacecraft and launcher composites structures, including evaluation of composite test methods and implementation of relevant interfaces in FRAMES-2, ESACOMP.
  • participating in development of tools and methodologies for dynamic analysis of spacecraft and launchers, e.g. coupled load and shock propagation analyses, low/medium/high frequency.

You will participate in development of stochastic analysis/design methods, e.g. for damage tolerance, mathematical model correlation, buckling and thermo-elastic stability.

Technical competencies

Knowledge of relevant technical domains

Relevant experience gained during internships/project work

Breadth of exposure coming from past and/or current research/activities

Knowledge of ESA and its programmes/projects

Behavioural competencies

Self Motivation


Continuous Learning

Cross-Cultural Sensitivity



You should have just completed, or be in the final year of a university course at Master’s level (or equivalent) in aeronautical/mechanical engineering, with some knowledge of the topics to be addressed. (e.g. structural dynamics, stress analysis, composite structures, active control, hot structures, hyper-velocity, structural design).

Additional requirements

The working languages of the Agency are English and French. A good knowledge of one of these is required. Knowledge of another Member State language would be an asset.

You should demonstrate good interpersonal skills and the capacity to work both independently and as part of a team.

During the interview your motivation and overall professional perspective/career goals will also be explored.

Other information For behavioural competencies expected from ESA staff in general, please refer to the ESA Competency Framework.

The closing date for applications is 15 December 2019. If you require support with your application due to a disability, please email [email protected]

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Please note that applications are only considered from nationals of one of the following States: Austria, Belgium, the 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. Nationals from Slovenia, as an Associate Member, or Canada as a Cooperating State, can apply as well as those from Bulgaria, Cyprus, Latvia, Lithuania and Slovakia as European Cooperating States (ECS).

Priority will first be given to candidates from under-represented Member States.

In accordance with the European Space Agency’s security procedures and as part of the selection process, successful candidates will be required to undergo basic screening before appointment

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