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Young Graduate Trainee in Alternative Materials Assessment for Critical Space Applications


  • Organization: ESA - European Space Agency
  • Location: Noordwijk
  • Grade: Level not specified - Level not specified
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Procurement
    • Outer space and satellite technology
    • Information Technology and Computer Science
  • Closing Date: Closed


Young Graduate Trainee in Alternative Materials Assessment for Critical Space Applications

Job Requisition ID:  18398
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

This position is in the Technical Reliability and Quality Division; and is shared between the ESA REACH Office and Materials' Physics & Chemistry Section. The team’s mission is to assure that ESA projects maintain their access to materials and manufacturing processes which meet ESA missions’ requirements, with the focus on performance in space environments. One of our objectives is the replacement of conventional materials, substances and chemicals, which, whilst essential to the European space industry, may have a negative long-term impact on human health and/or the environment. We identify such cases and search for suitable alternatives. To achieve our goals, the materials and component laboratory and its teams are here to support us with right tools, equipment and test methods.


You are encouraged to visit the ESA website:

Field(s) of activity/research for the traineeship

As a Young Graduate Trainee, you will learn about the materials physics and chemistry specific to materials’ use in space environments. You will help with identification and categorisation of materials based on its chemical content, and for prospective alternatives you may also prepare and potentially execute comparative analytical tests and basic characterisation campaigns. Our interest is in Per-an Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS) and PFAS-containing materials, but there are also other similarly important chemicals, such as siloxanes / silicone elastomers, conventional and alternative epoxy and polyurethane resins in the perimeter of our research.


You will also support ESA REACH Tool and chemical database development team. Outcomes from your work will be reflected in the inputs to the ESA REACH Tool and the database. This will help you to understand complexity of space materials’ use, from early development phase up to the use of materials validated for future space missions. You will also learn about the European regulatory frameworks and about legal obligations associated with the use of relevant chemicals.


You will experience work with multiple ESA teams, and you will get familiar with the work of Materials & Processes Technology Board (MPTB) in the field of REACH regulation and material and processes obsolescence. You will also get familiar with the system of European Cooperation of Space Standardisation (ECSS), specifically those relevant to materials and processes and obsolescence management.

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 have just completed you master’s degree, with thesis linked to general material science, chemistry, aerospace, propulsion or electronic engineering, or environmental sciences.

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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