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Participants of the Concurrent Engineering Workshop of January 2020

Another opportunity to participate in ESA Academy’s concurrent engineering workshop

13/02/2020 6578 views 6 likes
ESA / Education / ESA Academy

ESA’s Education Office is looking for 30 talented and motivated university students with an engineering or physics background from ESA Member States, Canada and Slovenia to take part in the upcoming Concurrent Engineering Workshop set to take place between 26 to 29 May 2020. 

Concurrent engineering is a method of designing and developing products for the space sector. Contrary to traditional design methods, in concurrent engineering all subsystems are designed simultaneously. This is a far more efficient way of working, but comes with its own unique challenge: solutions in one area that could impact the design of another subsystem must be instantly identified and communicated between teams. Although concurrent engineering is a more complicated process to begin with, in effect it allows mistakes to be identified – and rectified – earlier, therefore reducing the overall design time. 

Student team presenting their design to the other participants
Student team presenting their design to the other participants

ESA’s main Concurrent Design Facility (CDF) is located at ESA’s technology centre (ESTEC) in the Netherlands. However, within the framework of the ESA Academy programme, ESA has developed a similar facility exclusively for educational purposes, which is located at ESA’s European Space Security and Education Centre (ESEC)-Galaxia in Transinne, Belgium. Access to this facility during the workshop complements what students are learning at university by familiarising them with the concurrent engineering approach.  

Content of the workshop

Students working on a specific discipline
Students working on a specific discipline

The selected students will travel to the green expanses of Belgium’s Ardennes region, where the ESA Academy Training and Learning Facility is located. Guided by ESA systems engineers, the students will learn about concurrent engineering and its benefits, gaining first-hand experience with the Open Concurrent Design Tool (OCDT) and identifying design drivers. 

Students will be given a mission brief, then use concurrent engineering to create a spacecraft design. 

Students will be divided into groups of between two and four, and will cover the following disciplines:  

  • Structures / mechanisms
  • Configuration
  • Power 
  • Thermal 
  • Attitude and Orbital Control Systems (AOCS) 
  • Propulsion 
  • Optics / sensors 
  • Trajectory analysis
  • Communications / data handling

Within their groups, students will create a subsystem concept in order to achieve their given mission using concurrent engineering. They will start with a first iteration of all the subsystems along with a budget that they will have to review and present. A second iteration will then be completed according to the identified function tree and product tree and, in the end, the mission design will be finalised and presented by the students. 

A few weeks before the workshop, the selected students will follow a short online OCDT tutorial to allow them to become familiar with the tool. 

Who can apply?
In order to participate, students must fulfil the following criteria at the time of application: 

  • be aged between 18 and 32;
  • be a citizen of an ESA Member States, Canada and Slovenia;
  • be enrolled as a full-time MSc or PhD student in a university (not graduating before the workshops);
  • be studying an engineering subject or physics.

ESA will cover the cost of accommodation and meals, as well as up to 200 Euros for travelling to Belgium, for each selected student.  

How to apply

  • Fill in the application form;
  • Select preferred disciplines;
  • Upload a motivation letter (PDF, maximum 1 page, no images);
  • Upload a CV (Europass format, PDF, maximum 2 pages, no images);
  • Upload a formal recommendation letter (PDF, maximum 1 page including signature, no images) from a university professor or academic supervisor from the applicant’s current university;
  • Upload a copy of academic records (PDF). 

All answers and documents should be in English (except academic records if not available).  

The deadline for applications is 30 March 2020, 23:59 CET

For more information, please contact tlp @  


Applicants are kindly requested to note that, depending on the evolution of the corona virus situation in Europe, and in line with the recommendations of ESA's Director General on travel restrictions for health and safety reasons, the ESA Education Office reserves the right to cancel this ESA Academy's training session, to limit potential exposure of participants or employees to the virus.