Space Applications study programme responds to the space industry boom in Brno

28. February 2024
The Brno region has a growing number of space industry companies. Scientists and engineers are increasingly participating in European Space Agency (ESA) projects. As a result, the demand for systems engineers with industry knowledge is increasing. So in 2022 the Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Communication of Brno University of Technology has created the first Master's degree programme in Space Applications in Czechia. The applications are now open until the end of March 2024.
Space Applications study programme responds to the space industry boom in Brno
The Master's degree programme is designed to provide students not only with theoretical knowledge in the field of mechanical and electrical engineering, but also with practical experience through paid internships at leading companies and research institutions in the region, including the Czech Aerospace Research Centre, S.A.B Aerospace and Honeywell. With an emphasis on practical training and study in English, it offers a unique opportunity to become part of teams working on ground-breaking projects, whether directly in Brno or anywhere in the world.

"I don't think there are many other industries that have such an impact. But at the same time, it's not difficult to know the big players in the world and meet and talk to them. In this area, we automatically move straight into the global market," says Václav Havlíček, manager of the Brno Space Cluster, which includes 22 entities from the #brnoregion and initiated the creation of the study field.

student's point of view

Jiří Veverka belongs to the group of nine students who started studying a brand new field of study in 2022.  With a background in software, as an undergraduate at the Faculty of Information Technology at Brno University of Technology, he was deciding what direction to take next. Opening a new field of study, the first and only one in the Czech Republic focused on space, came in handy in this decision.


Student oboru Space Applications na FEKTu VUT v Brně
What attracted you to the Space Applications major when you were deciding where to go next for your undergraduate studies? 
I was intrigued by the fact that I would not have to specialize in a single area, a sub-technology, but rather be able to put together a whole system like Lego pieces. Building a satellite involves both working on the computer to create designs, model the structure, write the code and so on, but it also involves working directly with the components, prototyping and testing. At the same time, we have an overlap with astrophysics, for example, because of the motion of cosmic bodies, electromagnetic phenomena, the study of radiation and the basics of orbital mechanics or vacuum.

Did your attraction to space tech play a role in your decision making?
I'm not fulfilling any childhood dream of being an astronaut or going into space. Rather, I've always been interested in space and the technology associated with it. But among my classmates, there are those who met the first Czechoslovak cosmonaut Vladimir Remek, have a pilot in their family, or perhaps work at the Brno Observatory and Planetarium, and have been fascinated by space since childhood. I got excited when I saw the BUT campaign presenting the newly emerging field.

Did the study program meet your expectations?
It did. Everything we learn, we can try out right away. Whether it's directly in space companies on paid internships or on our own projects. We've started a student club called YSpace, which is launching its own missions. We are working on the first Czech student satellite CIMER, which in cooperation with Mendel University will test the generation of oxygen in space. Or we're building a satellite that should reach the Orbiter in 2025 as part of the KOSTKA mission, to test technologies from the Institute of Aerospace Engineering and serve as a platform for other students and their development and testing needs. In the future, we want to get to develop our own rockets or rovers.

But YSpace is not just about work.
No, it's mainly a group of like-minded people, friends who are passionate about the cause and are trying to show others how satellite or space applications are developed, meet people and give advice to other interested students. For example, together with industry experts, we organise a SpaceBeer event, where we are just trying to introduce the development of space technology to the public.

What are the prerequisites for studying Space Applications?
A technical background is best, with most students coming from electrical engineering, mechanical engineering or computer science. But it's not a prerequisite. Passing the entrance exam requires more logical reasoning and critical thinking. And the study is in English, because the space industry is by its nature an international affair.

Does that automatically bring opportunities to work with big players in the space industry?
During our studies, we can participate in prestigious programmes organised by the European Space Agency or have access to the world's space centres. For example, we participated in the European CubeSat Symposium in Leuven, Belgium, the International Astronautical Congress in Azerbaijan, etc.  But most importantly, we have a direct line to companies anywhere in the world that are looking for space engineers in large numbers. Or we can stay directly in Brno, where successful companies have been around for a long time, plus new ones are emerging. For their needs of well-prepared people the Space Applications study program was created.

E-applications for the Master's degree programme Space Applications are open until 31 March 2024!

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