Coraline Dalibot
28 Jan 2019



Senior Thermal Engineer in the Space Engineering and Technology Division


​​​​​​Coraline​ Dalibot in her current ​role as a Senior ​Thermal Engineer​


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 activities carried out​ by the company, I applied to a job vacancy at STFC RAL Space.

About four 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 leading thermal activities (such as the design, analysis, manufacture and testing) of space instrumentation and spacecraft to ensure that they will function at the correct temperature range​, 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 control system is essential for a spacecraft to be able to operate as required and carry out its mission 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 space technologies and sciences. 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 and make sure you enjoy what you are doing along the way towards your goals​. 

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​