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Young Graduate Trainee for Mechanisms Engineering

  • Organization: ESA - European Space Agency
  • Location:
  • Grade: F1 - Young Graduate Trainee - Junior level
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Engineering
  • 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 Mechanisms Engineering

This post is classified F1.


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 and 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 Mechanism Section is the focal point for matters relating to the design, engineering and verification of space mechanisms. This entails responsibility for:

  • overall mechanism definition, design and engineering;
  • mechanism performance evaluation, simulation and analysis (including hardware tests where appropriate);
  • mechanism technology research and development (addressing areas such as tribology/lubrication engineering and mechanical components including ball bearings/gears, electric motors, motion sensors, pyrotechnics, new/alternative actuation principles e.g. by using active/smart materials); mechanism drive and control laws.

Candidates interested are encouraged to visit the ESA website:

Field(s) of activity

As a YGT you will participate in the conceptual design, analysis and development of mechanisms for use on space projects.

Assisting ESA engineers working in this domain, you will be given specific tasks which may include:

  • critical review of design / analysis / simulation / optimisation / test activities / characterisation / validation (up to correlation of analysis with test results) in the domain of space mechanisms
  • feasibility assessment of new mechanism design concepts
  • participation in definition and implementation of  R&D activities
  • participation in project review processes
  • participation in CDF (Concurrent Design Facility) studies.

In performing these activities, you may have to use the following software packages: MATLAB/Simulink or other more specialised software tools (FLUX, ANSYS Maxwell, COMSOL, ADAMS, D-Cap, CABARET, RBS-DYN etc.), with particular emphasis on:

  • frequency domain performance representation
  • multi-body system simulation
  • electromagnetic system simulation
  • ball bearing loading/strength and stiffness analysis
  • multiphysics modelling and simulation.
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 mechanical engineering.

Additional requirements

You should have have a good understanding of tribology, ball bearings, motor and motion sensor technologies.

A good grasp of system aspects and a good understanding of other engineering domains are desirable, e.g., electronics, structures, materials, control systems, etc. Proficiency in the use of engineering software tools is an asset.

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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