I started the Graduate Development Program at Astrium in 2012 after graduating with an MSc in Astronautics and Space Systems Engineering from Cranfield University. I work in the ENS department which stands for Earth Observation, Navigation and Science, and means that I deal with the more unique and specialist space missions.
During the program we rotate placements every six months within the company in order to increase our exposure to the activities elsewhere and even across different sites; my second placement was in the mechanical design office in Friedrichshafen, South Germany!
At the end of the scheme I will end up in my home department which is spacecraft systems engineering, this is ensuring that a spacecraft meets the requirements of the customer at every level in a project, from its individual subsystems and parts right up to the full spacecraft itself. I spent my first seven months working as a systems engineer on the European Mars rover, ExoMars. This was a fascinating project to start on as it is an Astrium first, we will be sending a rover to the surface of Mars to search for signs of life, past or present, which is extremely exciting!