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Young Graduate Trainee for Machine Learning for Software Product Assurance

  • Organization: ESA - European Space Agency
  • Location:
  • Grade: F1 - Young Graduate Trainee - Junior level
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Information Technology and Computer Science
    • Education, Learning and Training
    • Innovations for Sustainable Development
  • 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 Machine Learning for Software Product Assurance

This post is classified F1.


ESTEC, Noordwijk, The Netherlands 

Our team and mission

The mission of the Quality, Dependability & Product Assurance Support Division is to contribute to the success of ESA projects and activities by providing expert support and disseminating knowledge in the areas of responsibility and establishing quality management systems within ESA. The disciplines covered by it are system safety, dependability (reliability, availability, maintainability), quality assurance, quality management and software quality.

Quality assurance, safety and dependability engineering are primarily concerned with the development and implementation of methods, techniques and processes to achieve confidence for safe and reliable system design, manufacturing, operation and disposal.

Candidates interested are encouraged to visit the ESA website:

Field(s) of activity

The objective of this activity is to learn about a new technology, Machine Learning and its impact on software product assurance activities and related standards ECSS-Q-ST-80C and ECSS-E-ST-40C. This is not a theoretical exercise and includes hands-on to create a demonstrator for an engineering-use case or a development-phase case.

For this activity you will need to research the standards and take in an upcoming handbook on “Agile” and other soft skills such as Time Management following a “Personal Kanban” process. You will then follow online courses on the target topic of Machine Learning which will include the use of an ML computer Nvidia Jetson Nano using at least a couple of ML frameworks such as Tensorflow, Keras or PyTorch.

After these courses and after performing some additional research, you will identify the typical development lifecycles applied and the individual processes and activities along with their inputs and outputs. All these will be put into the context of our standards, matching them where possible and identifying those (if any) that do not have clear matches. You will also survey general knowledge (biased vs unbiassed data), best practices (known models that work in some cases) and accepted metrics (size of training data sets, etc.) that can be applied to ML development. All the abovementioned findings and knowledge will be included in a Technical Note.

Lastly, there will be a practical exercise where an engineering-use or a development-use case will be identified and implemented, following the Technical Note produced as a first output of this YGT opportunity. Depending on the use case selected, it will most likely be necessary to liaise with people in other ESA Departments/Directorates and possibly with industry or academic institutions. This activity may involve development of synthetic data sets for the training of the model, as gathering the necessary real inputs may be too difficult or even impossible.

Possible examples of potential applications:

  • implementation of a Star Tracker with computer vision.
  • predictors of operational incidents linked to the software quality metrics.
  • code analysis with Machine Learning to identify hotspots for software problems.
  • identifying problems at requirements level with the help of Machine Learning applications.
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 technical or scientific discipline.

Additional requirements

Basic knowledge or training on artificial intelligence or machine learning will be a definitive 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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