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Intern in the Mechanical Department


  • Organization: ESA - European Space Agency
  • Location: Noordwijk-Binnen
  • Grade: Internship - Internship
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Technology, Electronics and Mechanics
    • Mechanics and Electronics (Engineering)
  • Closing Date: 2022-11-30


Internship 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. We therefore welcome applications from all qualified candidates irrespective of gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, beliefs, age, disability or other characteristics. Applications from women are encouraged.




Our team and mission

The Mechanical Department is responsible for automation and robotics, life and physical sciences instrumentation, life support, optics, opto-electronics, structures, mechanisms, materials, thermal control, propulsion and aero-thermodynamics, and the verification of space vehicles systems and subsystems.


The Thermal Control Section is in charge of all thermal control aspects for the support to projects and the development of thermal hardware technologies, and the Thermal Analysis & Verification Section is the focal point for analysis methodologies, software tools and experimental/test services executed in the Mechanical Systems Laboratory.


For further information visit our web site:

Field(s) of activity for the internship

Topic: Space Thermal Control Engineering


Space Thermal Control Engineering, covering one or several of the activities below (note: priority given in 2023 on activities 1, 2, 3,4 and/or 5):

1. Thermal Design & Analysis: Perform thermal design and associated analysis, including steady state/transient analyses of instrument and satellites following familiarization with project requirements and Agency’s tools (ESATAN-TMS). This may also include in-flight correlation of thermal analysis models for ESA projects.
2. Cryogenics: Investigate cryogenic technologies (active and passive coolers) for applications in future ESA spacecraft and launchers
3. Heat Transfer & Heat Rejection: Investigate heat transport technologies such as capillary and mechanically pumped two-phase loops, single-phase loops, heat pipes for thermal control
4. Thermal Protection: Investigate thermal protection technologies (both – re-usable and ablative) for on-going and future missions (e.g. planetary exploration and sample return missions) and re-usable launchers.
5. Generic thermal control technologies: Investigate innovative and advanced technologies for the Thermal Control Subsystem e.g. tunable infrared emittance coatings with electrochromic-based solutions, phase-change materials, heat pumps, etc. Investigate specific thermal technologies for small satellites and CubeSats.
6. Thermal Analysis methods: Research and development in the area of computational methods for space thermal analysis or multi-disciplinary analysis e.g.: a. methods and tools for exchange of thermal analysis data with other disciplines such as structures (e.g.
development of SINAS); b. co-simulation of thermal analysis models with other domains such as power or fluidics; c. next generation methods for radiative, fluidic or thermal analysis; d. methods for improved tool-to-tool data exchange within the thermal domain (development of STEPTAS).
7. Analysis methods in support of testing activities: real time model correlation or identification of discrepancies between model and test data, analysis methods for new test instrumentation such as infra-red cameras, data fusion of thermal analysis and test data, modelling of gas convection for cleanroom testing.
8. Mechanical Systems Laboratory: Participation in the testing activities of the laboratory including evaluation of test data. Participate to the development and acceptance of new test facilities, e.g. thermal cycling, Coefficient of Thermal Expansion.

Behavioural competencies

Result Orientation
Operational Efficiency
Fostering Cooperation
Relationship Management
Continuous Improvement
Forward Thinking


You must have student status and be enrolled at university for the entire duration of the internship. You should preferably be in your final or second to last year of a university course at master’s level in a 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 motivation and overall professional perspective/career goals will also be explored.


Specific required knowledge and interest are different, depending on the field of activity selected:
1. to 5. Physics, thermal / mechanical engineering university degree or equivalent, with basic knowledge of thermodynamics, radiative and conductive heat transfer, cryogenics, fluid/thermal simulations, computer systems.
6. and 7. Thermal/mechanical engineering with basic knowledge of thermal analysis, numerical methods and software engineering.
8. Experimental physics / instrumentation / measurement or mechanical engineering.


Other information:
For behavioural competencies expected from ESA staff in general, please refer to the ESA Competency Framework.

Other information

For behavioural competencies expected from ESA staff in general, please refer to the ESA Competency Framework.


If you require support with your application due to a disability, please email

Internships can take place remotely, on-site or partially on-site depending on the pandemic situation, and in line with the relevant Establishment’s policy (e.g. possible Green Pass requirement) applicable at the time of starting the internship.


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 Latvia, Lithuania, Slovakia and Slovenia, as Associate Member States, or Canada as a Cooperating State, can apply as well as those from Bulgaria and Cyprus as European Cooperating States (ECS).

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.