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Young Graduate Trainee for Chemical and Electric Propulsion

  • Organization: ESA - European Space Agency
  • Location:
  • Grade: F1 - Young Graduate Trainee - Junior level
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Biology and Chemistry
    • Engineering
    • Renewable Energy sector
  • 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 Chemical and Electric Propulsion

This post is classified F1.


ESTEC, Noordwijk, The Netherlands 

Our team and mission

As a YGT you will be a member of either the Chemical Propulsion Section or the Electric Propulsion Section of the Propulsion & Aerothermodynamics Division. You will be responsible for tasks related to technology research, development and testing. The team mission is to develop European propulsion systems that can increase the quality and reduce the cost of these European products. The team will work from the initial concept of a space mission to the flight operations of propulsion systems.

Candidates interested are encouraged to visit the ESA website:

Field(s) of activity

Provide support for development of a nanosat, with potential for in-orbit demonstration

  • Research nanosat technologies 
  • Coordinate with other disciplines on component technologies to be developed
  • Input to preliminary system architecture design (possibly generate CAD models)
  • Organise and coordinate with component suppliers/manufacturers
  • Potential small scale fluidics tests on components at ESTEC
  • Organise and coordinate other testing and inspection of components manufactured
  • Generate test plans
  • Evaluate results
  • Report on results

Provide support in developing additively-manufactured (AM) propulsion components

  • Literature research
  • Input to concept design
  • Generate/update CAD models
  • Organise and coordinate with AM suppliers to produced components
  • Fluidics tests on components at ESTEC
  • Generate test plans

Provide support to internal Section studies of advanced propulsion concepts and propulsion system applications.

Specifically, you will be part of the ESA Propulsion Laboratory test team and involved in the:

  • planning and execution of performance characterisation testing of electric  and cold gas thrusters, propulsion components,
  • design, manufacturing and validation of test diagnostics (thrust balances, data acquisition systems, beam probes),
  • standardisation of test results, maintenance of competences and operational procedures compatible with ISO 17025 for measuring thrust, mass flow and electrical parameters.

You will also be involved in feasibility studies performed in the concurrent engineering environment of proposed future ESA missions envisaging the use of such propulsion.

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 their final year of a university course at Master's level (or equivalent) in a relevant technical or scientific discipline, such as physics or engineering.

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 the candidates' 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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