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Young Graduate Trainee for Advanced Materials and Process 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 Advanced Materials and Process 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, 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.

The work proposed will be carried out in the Materials & Processes Section. The activities performed within its remit include:

  • qualification for spaceflight of all advanced metallic/non-metallic materials, structural ceramics and glasses as well as all related manufacturing and surface treatment processes for all ESA spacecraft and launcher programmes
  • development of revolutionary materials and innovative manufacturing technologies both internally and in cooperation with other space agencies and research organisations
  • failure investigation of materials and processes underperforming and impacting ESA space missions
  • development, certification and support of new European industrial capabilities, manufacturing processes and workforce skills-training related to space applications of materials and components
  • establishment and implementation of requirements and standards for the development and procurement of space-grade materials and manufacturing processes
  • development, maintenance and improvement of the European Space Materials Database, storing all relevant data generated for materials and processes intended for space use

To achieve its objectives, the Section is managing its own test facilities as part of the world-leading ESTEC Materials & Electrical Components Laboratory, covering the full spectrum of materials characterisation testing capabilities.

Candidates interested are encouraged to visit the ESA website:

Field(s) of activity

ESA has recently proposed its Advanced Manufacturing Cross-Cutting Initiative, which captures the opportunity of adopting revolutionary manufacturing capabilities, advanced materials and associated processes to create a sustainable competitive advantage for the European space industry on the global market.

Current space missions are often limited in their performance and scientific achievements by traditional manufacturing processes/concepts. While advanced manufacturing technologies are readily available over the current European industrial landscape, they can also be adopted for next- generation space hardware manufacturing. This will enable new and highly innovative spacecraft and launcher designs, with significantly-reduced manufacturing constraints (costs, lead-time) and tremendous performance improvements.

Through this initiative, the Agency has identified a number of highly innovative materials and associated manufacturing processes which can be spun-in and matured to space qualification level. In particular, the following are currently being targeted:

  • Additive manufacturing
  • Friction stir welding
  • Solid state joining technologies for hybrid (metallic/non-metallic) joining
  • Laser shot peening for structural integrity enhancement
  • Advanced composite materials (polymers, metal and ceramic matrix composites)
  • Composite materials for high impact/high radiation protection
  • Advanced surface engineering for thermal/corrosion management

As a YGT you will use the world-leading facilities of the ESTEC Laboratory to characterise all the above materials and processes.

The aim of the work will be to perform detailed materials investigations, verification testing as well as, where required, failure investigation related to advanced manufacturing processes. The final goal is to provide an in-depth understanding of the performance of the identified technologiees and provide reccomendations for further improvement with a view to their application in highly demanding space environments.

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 material science covering metallic, polymeric and/or composite materials.

Additional requirements

 It is an asset to have understanding of diagnostic techniques such as microsectioning, optical microscopy, electron microscopy and thermal vacuum testing as well as knowledge/experience in advanced manufacturing technologies.

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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