Applications open for Alpbach Summer School 2014
This year, the summer school will be held from 15 to 24 July and will focus on the theme “The geophysics of the terrestrial planets". Applications should be submitted before 31 March, 2014.
Held annually since 1975, the Alpbach Summer School enjoys a long tradition in providing in-depth teaching on different topics of space science and technology with the aim of advancing the training and working experience of European graduates, post-graduate students, young scientists and engineers.
The purpose of the summer school is to foster the practical application of knowledge derived from lectures, to develop organisational and team-work skills and to encourage creativity. Teams will compete to design the best project, judged by an independent jury of experts.
This year, sixty engineering and science students from the Member and Cooperating states of ESA* will be chosen to participate in the 38th year of the Summer School Alpbach tradition. Over ten days participants will attend stimulating lectures on various aspects of space science and technology and will work intensely within a smaller group to define and design a space mission, all under the supervision of noted scientific and engineering experts within the field.
Participants will conceive and design space missions that will improve our understanding of the geophysics of the solid planets: their cores, their mantles and the characteristic structures and dynamics of the solid planetary bodies. The teams will be responsible for selecting and researching the problem to be addressed by their space mission, for cooperatively working with team members to meet difficult deadlines, and for developing their own working style.
The selected summer school students will be exposed to some real-life challenges, such as 20-hour working days (before proposal submission) and an expectation that they are able to immediately apply knowledge and techniques that they have only recently been exposed to. They will also have to handle the trials of establishing and maintaining an international and multi-disciplinary team composed of both scientists and engineers. They will need to balance scientific objectives and requirements with the realistic constraints of mission-design, spacecraft-design, and mission cost. The working language will be English. On day ten of the Summer School, each team presents their mission designs to a jury of experts. Occasionally, these designs have actually gone on to represent real space missions in ESA.
How to apply
Applications should be submitted online via the Alpbach Summer School website to the Aeronautics and Space Agency of the Austrian Research Promotion Agency (FFG) before 31 March 2014. Confirmation of acceptance will be given by the end of April 2014.
A registration fee of €400 will be charged, but participants may be eligible for financial support from their national sponsoring agencies or universities. Registration forms and further information are available on the Alpbach Summer School website.
The Alpbach Summer School is organised by the Aeronautics and Space Agency of the Austrian Research Promotion Agency (FFG). It is co-sponsored by ESA and the national space authorities of its Member and Cooperating States, with the support of the International Space Science Institute (ISSI) and Austrospace.
* ESA Member States in 2013
Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Poland, Romania, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom and Canada (Associate Member).
European Cooperating States
Estonia, Hungary, Slovenia, Latvia
Cyprus, Lithuania, Malta, Slovakia