Young Graduate Trainee in Structural Engineering

Updated: about 2 months ago

Young Graduate 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.

This post is classified F1 on the Coordinated Organisations’ salary scale .


ESTEC, Noordwijk, Netherlands 

Our team and mission

The Structures, Mechanisms and Materials Division (TEC-MS) is the centre of competence of the Agency in all areas related to Spacecraft and Launcher Structures, and Mechanisms, Tribology and Pyrotechnic devices, as well as 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. It provides support to projects, preparatory programs and technology programs.

Within this frame, the Structures Section (TEC-MSS) is in charge of all structural engineering aspects, including:

  • Structural Design and Verification Methods / Tools
  • Static / Dynamics / Vibro-Acoustics
  • Hyper-velocity impact/ Crash / Micro-meteoroid & Debris Protection
  • Damage Tolerance / Fracture Control / Health Monitoring
  • Fluid Structure Interaction (e. g. Sloshing)
  • Launcher Coupled Dynamic Analysis
  • Demisability
  • Re-Usability
  • Thermo-Elastic
  • High Stability / High Precision Structures
  • Active / Adaptive Structures
  • Inflatable and Deployable Structures
  • Launchers / Re-Entry (Hot Structures) / Planetary Landing Vehicles
  • Crew Habitation / EVA Suits

You are encouraged to visit the ESA website:

Field(s) of activity/research for the traineeship

You will participate in the conception, analysis and development of structures for use in space vehicles.

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

  • Perform / evaluate instrument / satellite accommodation studies, familiarization with project requirements and CAD tools.
  • Perform structural modelling activities and structural static / dynamic / vibro-acoustic / shock analyses (Nastran, Abaqus, VA-One, etc), in support to on-going spacecraft and launcher programs.
  • Participate to the definition / improvement / verification of structural & configuration analysis tools (including participation to and development of the satellite Concurrent Design Facility).
  • Perform Fracture Mechanics Analysis and evaluate material properties for manned and unmanned spacecraft (ESACRACK, FRAMES-2, NASGRO).
  • Participate to the definition /improvement/ verification of FSI (Fluid Structure Interaction) analysis tools with emphasis in sloshing, water landing and parachute deployment structural applications.
  • Perform numerical simulations of micro-vibration related problems considering characterization of disturbers at the source and evaluation of possible isolation and attenuation of the environment at the target.
  • Perform Hyper-Velocity Impact Simulations and related analyses for the different Spacecraft protection measures against in-orbit Micro-Meteoroid and Debris Impacts.
  • Support the development of new technologies for structural design / hot structures concepts and materials/health monitoring concepts for Reusable Launch/Re-entry Vehicles, including related engineering analyses and support to on-going programmes.
  • Support to mechanical test programmes, including the development and application of tools for mathematical model correlation / cross-checks between analytical predicted and experimentally identified modes, deflections, strain.
  • Participate in the development and application of the Agency's structural analysis tools (e.g. Nastran, ESACOMP, etc.) for spacecraft and launcher composites structures, including the evaluation of composite test methods and implementation of relevant interfaces in FRAMES-2, ESACOMP.
  • Participate in the development of tools and methodologies for dynamic analysis of spacecraft and launchers, e.g. Coupled Loads Analysis and Shock propagation analysis, low, medium and high frequency.
  • Participate to the development of stochastic analysis/design methods, e.g. for the areas of Damage Tolerance, mathematical model correlation, buckling and thermo-elastic stability.

  • 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

    Result Orientation

    Operational Efficiency

    Fostering Cooperation

    Relationship Management

    Continuous Improvement

    Forward Thinking


    You should have just completed or be in the final year of your master’s degree in Aeronautical / Mechanical Engineering.

    Additional requirements

    You should have good interpersonal and communication skills and should be able to work in a multicultural environment, both independently and as part of a team.

    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.

    During the interview 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 .

    For further information on the Young Graduate Programme please visit: Young Graduate Programme andFAQ Young Graduate Programme

    At the Agency we value diversity and we welcome people with disabilities. Whenever possible, we seek to accommodate individuals with disabilities by providing the necessary support at the workplace. The Human Resources Department can also provide assistance during the recruitment process. If you would like to discuss this further please contact us email [email protected] .


    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, Croatia and Cyprus as European Cooperating States (ECS).

    According to the ESA Convention, the recruitment of staff must take into account an adequate distribution of posts among nationals of the ESA Member States*. When short-listing for an interview, 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 conducted by an external background screening service. 

    *Member States, Associate Members or Cooperating States.

    Similar Positions