The first Belgian National Trainee, created by the Belgian National Trainee Program (NTP), has started work in the CDF. Johan Vennekens, a young graduate from the De Nayer Institute and the University of Leuven in Belgium arrived on the first of November for an initial one year placement as an assistant system engineer. Johan said that he was extremely pleased to win the chance to come to the CDF as his masters degree at Leuven had given him a real desire to gain experience in systems engineering and the chance to put this into practice at the conceptual stage of space mission design was like a dream come true for him.
Belgium is the latest of a number of countries that promote NTPs and the main purpose of the Belgian NTP is ‘giving young people who strive for a job in the space industry the opportunity to gain experience’ The secondary purpose is to get more students interested in space and a study in science and engineering. The NTP scholarships are sponsored by BESLPO, the Belgian science policy office.