Over the next five years, the ESA will host up to 10 Irish trainees in its centres across Europe, providing opportunities to work on projects covering topics such as human spaceflight, the launch and operation of unmanned exploration missions to other planets and the Moon, Earth observation, science and telecommunication, and designing launch vehicles.
Holders of postgraduate qualifications in science and engineering will be able to apply for a place on the prestigious training programme through a competitive process run annually by the Irish Research Council.
Announcing details of the partnership today, Dr Eucharia Meehan, director of the Irish Research Council, said: “Space exploration is one of the most thrilling and attractive sectors for science and engineering graduates. We are delighted to be embarking on this partnership, which will allow Irish graduates in these sectors to get involved in cutting-edge space research projects on the international stage.”
Jan Woerner, director general of the ESA, commented: “This agreement will provide opportunities for young men and women from the Irish R&D community to come to ESA sites around Europe and collaborate on exciting space projects and innovative technology developments with our experienced, top-class staff. We look forward to welcoming Irish trainees over the coming years.”
Minister of State with responsibility for Research John Halligan TD, added: “The opportunity for young Irish researchers to apply their knowledge in cutting-edge projects at ESA’s superb facilities will be immensely valuable for their development and career. From Ireland’s perspective, providing early-stage opportunities such as these, funded by the Irish Research Council, will ensure that we continue to support a pipeline of skilled talent to take Ireland forward in its contribution to space research, development and innovation.”