How did you get into your job?
After an Erasmus year at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow, Scotland, I knew that I wanted to return to the United Kingdom and work in space and astrophysics. I continued my studies in Space Techniques and Instrumentation at the Université Paul Sabatier in Toulouse, France. To complete my Master's degree, I did a thesis in Thermal Engineering at the Centre Spatial de Liège in Belgium and worked there for just over 2 years.
I was looking for a new role and having heard of some of the world-class science carried out by the company, I applied to a job vacancy at STFC RAL Space.
Three years on, I can say that I am very glad to work in an organisation where I get to interact with amazing people making incredible contributions to science and technology.
What is your role?
I'm a Thermal Engineer. This means I am involved in the thermal design, analysis and testing of spacecraft to ensure that they will function at the correct temperature, i.e. don't get too hot or too cold, when up in space.
Why is it important you do what you do?
A good thermal engineering system is essential for a spacecraft to be able to function in space. It can be very challenging to control spacecraft temperatures. Some can have a Sun-facing side, where temperatures can reach to above 200 degree Celsius, whilst another side, that faces the darkness of deep space, will have temperatures that plummet to below -200 degree Celsius. Thermal engineers have to come up with different concepts and strategies to withstand these extreme temperature contrasts and fluctuations.
What's the best thing about your job?
The best thing for me is to be able to contribute to world-class spacecraft. Spacecraft can help us to better understand our environment, helping us out with tasks such as detecting the air quality and predicting the weather forecast.
What advice would you give to people looking for a job in your industry?
My advice would be to persevere in doing what you enjoy.
Is there anything you wish you could tell your younger self now?
I would say: keep doing what you enjoy, ask as many questions as you want, and believe in yourself as every day is a step closer to your dreams.
2009- The year I completed a Erasmus year at University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, where I started to consider a career in the space industry
2016-The year I joined RAL Space