The ESA astronaut Dr Wubbo J. Ockels, has been appointed to the ESTEC Professorial Chair in the faculty of Aerospace Engineering at the Technical University, Delft. This University is the only Dutch University with a separate faculty in aerospace engineering.
Dr. Ockels will be the second occupant of a Chair created some years ago to emphasise and strengthen the long-standing and close ties that have existed since the setting up of ESA's Space Research and Technology Centre (ESTEC) in the Netherlands, and the Technical University.
This fits in well with the philosophy and policy of ESA which seeks to assist young European engineers who wish to specialise in aerospace related disciplines, and to help them prepare for their future role in space industry and space research centres of the ESA Member States.
Dr. Wubbo Ockels was a payload specialist on the highly successful Spacelab D-1 mission in 1985, and is presently active in preparations for European manned space flight activities.
Dr. Ockels will make his inaugural address on 24 March in the central auditorium of the Technical University, Delft. His main theme will be "the Vertical Challenge", including cross fertilisation between aeronautical and space technology disciplines, as well as the general "vertical challenge" facing humans at the present time.
Dr. Ockels sees his new duties, which will include weekly lectures and tutorials, as being a significant challenge to stimulate the coming generations of technical specialists to seek careers in the European aerospace community.