Students in the concurrent design facility

Concurrent Engineering Workshops – Call for Applications

14/12/2016 6483 views 13 likes
ESA / Education / ESA Academy

Following the success of the first Concurrent Engineering Workshop held in September 2016, the ESA Academy’s Training and Learning Programme is again offering university students  the opportunity to learn how ESA assesses technical and financial feasibility of space missions. Europe’s leadership in space depends upon its ability to continue developing world-class satellites. To do that, we need to train a new generation of space engineers and scientists. 

ESA’s Education Office is looking for 44 talented and motivated university students from an ESA Member or Associate States with an engineering or physics background to take part in one of the two upcoming Concurrent Engineering Workshops which will take place on the following dates: 14-17 March and 9-12 May 2017. 

Concurrent engineering is a method of designing and developing products in the space sector. Contrary to the traditional design methods, in Concurrent Engineering all subsystems are designed simultaneously. This is a far more efficient way of designing, but it has its own challenges as well. Solutions in one area that could impact the design in another must be identified and communicated instantly. Although concurrent engineering is a more complicated process to begin with, in effect it allows mistakes to be identified earlier, therefore reducing the design time. 

Students introducing themselves
Students introducing themselves

ESA’s main Concurrent Design Facility (CDF) is located at ESA’s technology centre (ESTEC) in the Netherlands. At ESA’s Redu Centre, in the frame of the ESA Academy, ESA has developed a similar facility exclusively for educational purposes. 

Access to this facility complements what students are learning at university by familiarising them with the concurrent engineering approach. It also offers student teams the opportunity to benefit from CDF sessions during the feasibility study or preliminary design of their own space projects.

Content of the workshop
The selected students will travel to the green expanses of Belgium’s Ardennes region, where the ESA Academy Training and Learning Centre is located. Here at one of Europe’s principal radio links to space, the students will learn about concurrent engineering and its benefits. Guided by ESA experts, the students will first learn to use the Open Concurrent Design Tool (OCDT) and identify design drivers. 

Students attending presentation
Students attending presentation

Students will be divided into groups of 2 or 3  and will cover the following disciplines: structures, configuration,  power, mechanisms, thermal, AOCS, propulsion, optics/sensors, trajectory analysis, and communications/data handling.

Together with their group, students will create a subsystem concept in order to later achieve an already identified mission concept using concurrent engineering.  They will start with a first iteration of all the subsystems and a budget that they will have to review and present before starting a second iteration. A second iteration will then be done according to the identified function tree and product tree and, at the end, the mission design will be finalised and presented.

A few weeks before the event, the selected students will be informed about the mission and they will receive an OCDT tutorial to get familiar with the tool. Afterwards, a Webex meeting with CDF experts will be organised so that students can be guided on the use of OCDT.

The deadline for applications is 18 January 2017, 23:59 CET

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 or Associate State*;
  • be enrolled as a full-time MSc or PhD student in a university (not graduating before the workshop);
  • 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 Redu, Belgium, for each selected student. 

How to apply

  • Fill in the application form;
  • Select preferred subsystems;
  • Provide availability for the workshops dates;
  • Upload a motivation letter (PDF, maximum 1 page, no images);
  • Upload a CV (PDF, maximum 2 pages, no images);
  • Upload a formal recommendation letter (PDF, maximum 1 page, including signature, no images) from a university professor or an academic supervisor;
  • Upload an official copy of academic records (PDF, in English, with the University Stamp). 


For more information, please contact @ 

*ESA Member States: Austria, Belgium, 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.
Associate Members: Canada, Slovenia.

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