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Young Graduate Trainee in Advanced Materials and Process Engineering


  • Organization: ESA - European Space Agency
  • Location: Noordwijk
  • Grade: Level not specified - Level not specified
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Engineering
    • Procurement
  • Closing Date: Closed


Young Graduate Trainee in Advanced Materials and Process Engineering

Job Requisition ID:  18441
Closing Date:  7 March 2024 23:59 CET/CEST
Establishment:  ESTEC, Noordwijk, Netherlands
Directorate:  Directorate of Technology, Engineering and Quality
Publication:  External Only
Vacancy Type:  Young Graduate Trainee
Date Posted:  8 February 2024


Young Graduate 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. We therefore welcome applications from all qualified candidates irrespective of gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, beliefs, age, disability or other characteristics. Applications from women are encouraged.


This post is classified F1 on the Coordinated Organisations’ salary scale.



ESTEC, Noordwijk, Netherlands 


Our team and mission

The Structures Mechanisms and Materials Division TEC-MS is the Centre of competence of the Agency in all areas related to Spacecraft and Launcher Structures, and Mechanisms, Tribology and Pyrotechnic devices, as well as 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. It provides support to projects, preparatory programs and technology programs.


The work proposed will be carried out in the Materials and Processes Section. The activities performed within the remit of the Materials and Processes Section include:

  • The qualification for space flight of all advanced metallic and non-metallic materials, structural ceramics and glasses as well as all related manufacturing and surface treatment processes for all ESA spacecraft and launchers programme
  • The development of revolutionary materials and innovative manufacturing technologies both internally and in cooperation with other space agencies and research organisations
  • The failure investigation of materials and processes underperforming and impacting ESA space missions
  • The development, certification and support of new European industrial capabilities, manufacturing processes and manpower skills training related to space applications of materials and components
  • The establishment and implementation of requirements and standards for the development and the procurement of space grade materials and manufacturing processes
  • The development, maintenance and improvement of the European Space Materials Database, storing all relevant data generated for materials and processes intended for Space use


In order to achieve its objectives, the Materials and Processes Section is managing its test facilities in the world leading ESTEC Materials and Electrical Components Laboratory, covering the full spectrum of materials characterisation testing capabilities.

You are encouraged to visit the ESA website:

Field(s) of activity/research for the traineeship

The European Space Agency has recently proposed the ESA Advanced Manufacturing Cross-Cutting Initiative, which captures the opportunity of adopting revolutionary manufacturing capabilities, advanced materials and associated processes and creates sustainable competitive advantage for the European Space Industry in the global market.


The current space missions are often limited in their performances and scientific achievements by the traditional manufacturing processes/concepts. Advanced Manufacturing technologies are readily available in the current European non-space industrial landscape, they can be adopted for producing the next generation of space hardware. This will enable new and highly innovative spacecraft and launchers designs, with significantly reduced manufacturing constraints (including costs and lead-time) and tremendous performances improvement.


Through this initiative, the Agency has identified a number of highly innovative materials and associated manufacturing processes which can be spun-in and which will be matured to a space qualification level. In particular the following materials and processes are currently targeted:
1. Additive Manufacturing: Structure/property performance evaluation and model verification through mechanical and μ-mechanical characterisation
2. Friction Stir Welding, Solid State Joining Technologies for hybrid (metallic/Non-metallic) joining
3. Laser Shot Peening for structural integrity enhancement
4. Advanced composite materials (polymers, metal and ceramic matrix composites) and their performance characterision and prediction in extreme environment
5. Advanced surface engineering for thermal and corrosion management
6. Solder joint reliability (mechanical an thermal fatigue) for high/low T electronics
7. Performance evaluation and Whisker growth behaviour of Pb-free solder alternatives
8. Integrated Computational Materials Engineering - model development and validation


The candidate will use the world leading facilities of the ESA/ESTEC Materials and Electrical Components Laboratory, in order to characterise all the above advanced materials and manufacturing processes.


The aim of the work for targets (1) – (7) will be to perform detailed materials investigations, verification testing as well as, where required, failure investigation related to advanced manufacturing processes (e.g. mechanical and μ-mechanical testing, optical microscopy, SEM-EDX/EBSD, X-ray tomography, and XRD). In the case of target (8), you will perform detailed developments for virtual testing and virtual failure investigations related to advanced manufacturing processes (e.g. validation of process/structure/performance models for advanced manufactured parts, development of P-S-P numerical models and codes, development and implementation of data driven optimization and simulation techniques).


Depending on the expertise of the candidate, the work may focus on either experimental or computational tasks, or can be a combination of both. The final goal is to provide an in-depth understanding of the performances of the identified technologies and provide recommendations for further improvement in view of their space application in highly demanding environments.

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

Result Orientation

Operational Efficiency

Fostering Cooperation

Relationship Management

Continuous Improvement

Forward Thinking


You should have just completed or be in the final year of your master’s degree in material science covering metallic, polymeric and/or composite materials.

Additional requirements

You should have good interpersonal and communication skills and should be able to work in a multicultural environment, both independently and as part of a team.


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.


During the interview 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.


For further information on the Young Graduate Programme please visit: Young Graduate Programme and FAQ Young Graduate Programme


At the Agency we value diversity and we welcome people with disabilities. Whenever possible, we seek to accommodate individuals with disabilities by providing the necessary support at the workplace. The Human Resources Department can also provide assistance during the recruitment process. If you would like to discuss this further please contact us email


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 Latvia, Lithuania, Slovakia and Slovenia, as  Associate Member States, or Canada as a Cooperating State, can apply as well as those from Bulgaria, Croatia and Cyprus as European Cooperating States (ECS).

According to the ESA Convention, the recruitment of staff must take into account an adequate distribution of posts among nationals of the ESA Member States*. When short-listing for an interview, 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 conducted by an external background screening service. 

*Member States, Associate Members or Cooperating States.

This vacancy is now closed.
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