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AGH University’s alumni to begin traineeships in ESA facilities

A decorative image of a phone screen with the ESA's logo in pront of a background with a photo of space

AGH University’s alumni to begin traineeships in ESA facilities

Five AGH University’s alumni are to begin two-year traineeships in the facilities of the European Space Agency (ESA). The National Trainee Programme in the structures of the ESA allows graduates of renown Polish and foreign universities to participate in key research and technology ventures of the Agency.

The trainees will gain valuable professional experience in an international environment in the fields such as system engineering; assembly, integration, and testing of the Lunar Gateway space station; creation of an analogue of the Moon’s surface; mission control and support for manned spaceflights; technologies related to Earth observation. Two-year traineeships in the ESA also make it possible to learn how the Agency works in practice and gain knowledge and skills applicable in the Polish space sector. There is also an opportunity to continue one’s career in the ESA after the traineeship.

Poland has joined the National Trainee Programme as a result of an agreement concluded last year between the Ministry of Economic Development and Technology and the ESA. The works were coordinated by the Polish Space Agency (POLSA).

From 52 applications submitted in the first call, as many as 14 people have been chosen (5 female and 9 male trainees) to develop their competencies under the supervision of the ESA’s experts. The selected applicants have high qualifications and vast experience; they are interested in advanced technologies and space missions, participate in the implementations of complicated projects, are former active members of student research clubs and Student Council at POLSA.

The call closed in March is the first of two planned by POLSA. By 2025, 30 people are to complete their two-year paid traineeships.

Trainees from the AGH University

Rafał Sawa
Graduate of Energy Engineering (Faculty of Energy and Fuels) and Renewable Energy Sources (Faculty of Geology, Geophysics, and Environmental Protection), participant of the Erasmus+ Programme in Instituto Superior Técnico in Lisbon. In the course of his studies, Rafał Sawa was a member of the Eko-Energia and AGH Solar Boat student clubs, where he and his colleagues carried out projects related to renewable energy using cutting-edge technologies applied in space. University representative at the Polish Academic Championships in sailing, long-term activist of the Polish Scouting and Guiding Association (ZHP) and the Mentor Erasmus Student Network.

Kamil Serafin
Graduate of Automatic Control and Robotics at the Faculty of Electrical Engineering, Automatics, Computer Science, and Biomedical Engineering. Member of the KRAKsat student mission (5th Polish satellite), one of the co-founders of the SatLab AGH research club currently working on a project of the HYPE nanosatellite. Participant of multiple trainings and workshops by the European Space Agency (ESA Academy) in system engineering and planning observation and interplanetary space missions. Participant of Alpbach Summer School 2023 and NASA TransAtlantic Training 2023. Jury member during the European Rover Challange. In his engineering and master’s theses, Kamil Serafin was focused on the applications of observation cameras placed on the boards of satellites for determining their orientation on the Earth’s and Moon’s orbits. Laureate of the Polish Space Fellowship Program, as a result of which he could gain experience related to full-fledged space projects at GMV Innovating Solutions, still being a university student.

Maciej Skorupski
Graduate of Materials Engineering at the Faculty of Materials Science and Ceramics. Analysis Engineer at Sener Aerospace & Defence where he is occupied with the preparations for future ESA missions, including Comet Interceptor and FORUM. Active in student research clubs as a president of the board and leader of the space section in Nucleus and member of space projects in AstroBio. Laureate of programmes (Polish Space Fellowship Program, Leaders of Innovation of the Chancellery of the Polish Prime Minister) and scholarships (Management of Technology by Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Digital Business by University of Chicago). Participant of a research traineeship at the Kumamoto University in Japan where, as a member of the Thermoelectric Research Laboratory, he conducted research on the synthesis of metallic nanomaterials with the use of methods such as Pulsed Plasma in Liquid and Ultra-high pressure dynamic compression for the use in thermoelectric modules in the space sector. Finalist of the Forbes 25under25 ranking in Science, member of Polsa President’s Student Council.

Marcelina Stasik
Graduate of Materials Engineering at the Faculty of Materials Science and Ceramics. Engineer of space, quantum, and material technologies. Member of Polsa President’s Student Council. Holder of scholarships by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the USA and the Kumamoto University in Japan. In 2023, she was on the Forbes 25under25 list in the Science category. She owes her success to the implementation of unusual solutions on the verge of physics, chemistry, and materials engineering to space technology issues. She is engaged in social initiatives and actions for the development of Polish science and technology. Graduate of a music school in the class of violin and the Ballet Studio of the Krakow Opera.

Iga Szczęśniak
Graduate of the AGH University (Geoinformatics at the Faculty of Geology, Geophysics, and Environmental Protection) and the Aalto University in Finland. She is currently employed as an Earth Observation Project Developer in the Atlantic International Research Centre, an organisation specialised in innovative research on the applications of Earth observation data for the Atlantic area. She gained international experience in the satellite sector by internships and trainings among others in the European Space Agency and the Institute of Meteorology and Water Management. Her interests focus on the applications of satellite data and the Internet of Things in the context of climate change and geo-intelligence. She is committed to commercialising space technologies and increasing the presence of women in space and STEM sectors.  She is engaged in programmes such as the Master Program in Space Entrepreneurship and Space4Women, both of which support the space entrepreneurship and promotion of women in the field.