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Young Graduate Trainee for Power Management and Distribution

  • Organization: ESA - European Space Agency
  • Location:
  • Grade: F1 - Young Graduate Trainee - Junior level
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Logistics
    • Transport and Distribution
    • Mechanics and Electronics (Engineering)
    • Physics and Mathematics
  • Closing Date: 2019-12-15

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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.

Young Graduate Trainee for Power Management and Distribution

This post is classified F1.


ESTEC, Noordwijk, The Netherlands 

Our team and mission

a. Power systems

Among ESA spacecraft, different varieties of power systems building-blocks and architectures driven by current mission constraints and technology trends have been and are being applied. Each of these systems is designed to accommodate particular needs from the viewpoint of mission orbits and on-board power loads (high, medium or low power, pulsed power, solar electric propulsion etc) and are using different types of topologies (direct energy transfer, Maximum Power Point Tracking (MPPT), etc.).

b. Power conversion and distribution

Power conversion is at the heart of space power electronics and has a high impact on overall satellite system performance levels, functionality and reliability.

On a satellite, typically DC to DC conversion is achieved by converters, with or without galvanic insulation.

New and very promising power switches based on wide band gap semiconductors are appearing on the commercial market and are soon likely to be available for space applications, to enable higher switching frequencies and/or higher efficiencies.

On secondary power conversion, very promising concepts of point-of-load converters are appearing that are likely to change dramatically the way regulated voltages are produced in each single electrical unit on our spacecraft.

Candidates interested are encouraged to visit the ESA website:

Field(s) of activity

1. The proposed training project may consist in one of the following tasks:

  • MPPT (Maximum Power Point Trackers) control cell development and optimisation, with integration on existing solar array converter stage;
  • Study of advanced techniques to get similar or better power bus quality (impedance, dynamic behaviour) than the state of the art and at the same time higher power system efficiency, by using AC amplifiers and slow but efficient DC/DC conversion;
  • System-level analysis and modelling of different power system architectures;
  • Trade-off different power system architectures for specific missions.

All activities above entail relevant breadboard realisation and testing in our lab.

2. The proposed training project may consist in one of the following tasks:

  • Advanced power conversion stage based on SiC power devices;
  • Advanced power conversion stage based on GaN power devices;
  • Power conversion control concepts based on digital control
  • Characterisation and system-level evaluation of a power conversion and distribution scheme based on point-of-load converters;
  • Development of a point-of-load converter based on new European components;
  • Development of a current limited overload protection (latching current limiter) based on new European components.

All activities above entail relevant breadboard development and testing in our lab.
For analyses, various advanced model and simulation tools are available (ORCAD Cadence PSPICE, PSIM, Matlab, Mathcad, EcosimPro. etc).

For breadboard and tests, relevant electrical/electronic components, tools and instrumentation are available in the labs (solar array simulators, power and signal generators, scopes, sensors, active/passive loads, network analyser, impedance test bridges, etc.).

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 a relevant technical or scientific discipline.

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


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

We do our best to provide you the most accurate info, but closing dates may be wrong on our site. Please check on the recruiting organization's page for the exact info. Candidates are responsible for complying with deadlines and are encouraged to submit applications well ahead.
Before applying, please make sure that you have read the requirements for the position and that you qualify.
Applications from non-qualifying applicants will most likely be discarded by the recruiting manager.

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