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Master in Engineering or Sciences (f/m)

German Aerospace Center DLR / European Astronaut Centre. Köln, 07.08.2017

Start your mission with DLR.

The German Aerospace Center DLR has a dual mandate as the national research center for aeronautics and space, and as the space agency of the German federal government. Approximately 8,000 people work for DLR on a uniquely diverse range of topics spanning the fields of aeronautics, space, energy, transport and security research. They collaborate on projects extending from fundamental research to the development of the innovative applications and products of the future. If the idea of joining a top-class team of researchers working in a supportive, inspirational environment appeals to you, then why not launch your mission with us?

For our German Trainee Programme (GTP) in cooperation with the European Astronaut Centre, Köln, Germany, we wish to recruit a

Master in Engineering or Sciences

Research at the European Astronaut Centre

Your mission:
Have you (almost) completed your degree studies? Are you inspired by space exploration and keen to pursue a career in this exciting field? If so, perhaps you should take a closer look at the German Trainee Programme. Organised by DLR, it offers you the chance to work shoulder to shoulder with experts from the 22 member states of ESA - keeping your finger on the pulse of Europe’s space programmes. Over a period up to 24 months, you will actively contribute to the latest research and/or technology projects. This is complemented by a generous scholarship. What better way to launch your career in international space business? The next GTP commences on 1 February 2018.

This is your opportunity to join the team at the European Astronaut Centre, Köln, Germany
GTP-2018-HRE-AG - Option 1: Spaceship EAC: Energy; Option 2: In-Situ Resource Utilisation

Within the Directorate of Human and Robotic Exploration, ESA, the European Astronaut Centre (EAC) in Cologne, Germany, hosts the European astronaut corps and is responsible for astronaut training and medical operations. In order to prepare for future Beyond Earth Orbit exploration missions, EAC created the "Spaceship EAC" project, which aims at demonstrating low-TRL technologies and operational concepts with particular focus on Moon exploration.
The activities under the "Spaceship EAC" project are executed by a team of highly motivated and capable young professionals under the supervision of the greater EAC team. The implementation of projects is often done in cooperation with institutes of the German Aerospace Center (DLR), which has its headquarters and major facilities surrounding the EAC in Cologne, and with other external partners.

There are offered two GTP graduate trainee positions, please specify in your application which option you prefer:

Option 1:
At EAC, ESA is currently engaged in a large collaborative project, ENERGY@EAC, which aims to provide a standalone power system to supply electricity to our habitat module under development at the centre. This project is in collaboration with DLR, CNES and other energy sector commercial initiatives and companies. The graduate trainee position would be aimed at supporting both the Spaceship EAC project, and this specific energy project.

Within this opportunity, a number of tasks are envisioned. These include:

  • become familiar with the project elements and components (solar panels, inverters, Fuel Cell, Electrolyser) available to meet project goals: Support the development of the ENERGY@EAC project by working with the team engaged with energy related research at EAC, providing assistance during procurement and deployment of energy project assets to the centre and support the daily operation of the energy system at EAC
  • use modeling and estimation software (both in house and COTS/Open Source) to create an operational estimate of usage, including assumptions for losses due to equipment, electrical losses, shading and degredation
  • convert specifications and operational experience with these systems into a robust documentation, for use by the centre to support the ENERGY@EAC project
  • use best known industry standards (ISO) to enhance the project, taking into account requirements and constraints such as scope, budget and location.
  • familiarisation with the "Spaceship EAC" project and - as far as relevant - with ESA’s exploration technology programme
  • support the Spaceship EAC project and activities within the centre
  • liaise with the management team on the ENERGY@EAC project, via meetings and discussions

Option 2:
In-situ resource utilisation (ISRU) is a generic description for utilising resources that may exist natively on planetary surfaces. Within EAC, particular interest is placed on these technologies, as they are fundamentally seen as exploration enabling and a route to sustainable manned missions. As such, a large number of the Spaceship EAC projects deal with ISRU. Our focus is on lunar exploration, and we have been investigating how we could utilise lunar resources (such as regolith) for building elements, radiation shielding and even life support.

Within this opportunity, a number of tasks are envisioned. These include:

  • support ISRU projects at EAC, specifically relating to activities in the domain of additive manufacturing and regolith studies
  • assess known techniques for the thermochemical extraction of water, oxygen and hydrogen from lunar materials, and define demonstration projects (in collaboration with EAC staff)
  • liaise closely with the larger ESA wide efforts relating to ISRU
  • familiarisation with the "Spaceship EAC" project and - as far as relevant - with ESA’s exploration technology programme
  • support the Spaceship EAC project and activities within the centre
  • liaise with the management team on life support related projects at the centre, via meetings and discussions

Please specify in your application which option you prefer.

Please apply by 6 September 2017.

Your qualifications:
  • German citizenship is absolutely necessary
  • applicants should have just completed (conclusion not older than two years) or be in their final year of a university course at Master’s level in a technical or scientific discipline.
  • candidates must be fluent in English or French, the official languages of the agency
  • Option 1: fundamental understanding of renewable energy systems
  • Option 1: practical demonstrated experience dealing with renewable energy systems (e.g. Hydrogen based Fuel Cells, solar photo-voltaic, battery systems, etc.)
  • Option 1: strong demonstrated project management capability
  • Option 2: background in materials science, space science or aerospace with a focus on system engineering, processes or ISRU
  • Option 2: strong demonstrated project management capability

Your benefits:
If you have any questions concerning specific aspects of the job, please contact Larissa Seidlez Please find further information on this vacancy with the reference number GTP-2018-HRE-AG, and details regarding the application procedure, at

Bewerbungsschluss: 06.09.2017