Visit of Irish President
On Tuesday the 3rd of May 2011, the President of Ireland, Mrs Mary McAleese accompanied by her husband Dr McAleese, the Irish Minister for children (Ms Frances Fitzgerald) and the Irish Ambassador to the Netherlands (Her Excellency Mary Whelan) paid an official visit to ESTEC in Noordwijk. They were greeted in the CDF by Franco Ongaro, Director of ESTEC and D/TEC, Thomas Reiter, Director of Human Spaceflight and Operations D/HSO and Magali Vaissiere, Director of Telecommunications and Integrated Applications, D/TIA.
Mr Ongaro gave the President an introduction to the role of ESA and how ESA is a hub of knowledge that is used by Europe to ensure market competitiveness and technological excellence in the high tech arenas associated with the space industry. This was followed by a brief presentation by Massimo Bandecchi (Head of CDF) on the role the CDF plays not only as an innovative design centre for the conception of future space missions, but also as a centre for the development and distribution of concurrent engineering methodology to the European Space Community. He explained how the concepts and practices of concurrent engineering have been exported to both European Industry and Academia through the free availability of both software and expertise and also highlighted where Irish industry is involved in the next major software development for the creation of an open standard data model and related tools.