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Apprenticeship: Feedback from an apprenticeship student at ISAE-SUPAERO

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Céline Lorkowski is currently following the new apprenticeship curriculum offered by ISAE-SUPAERO. She chose to follow this training program at CNES, a godsend for the company which now has the benefit of new, qualified skills and real backing to support and develop its missions.

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Céline LORKOWSKI suit actuellement le nouveau cursus en apprentissage proposé par l’ISAE-SUPAERO

Can you tell us about your background?

After I got my “S” baccalaureate with the Engineering Sciences option, I turned to a “Grandes École” preparatory class (PCSI) planning later to go to an engineering school in aeronautics and aerospace.
On the other hand, this curriculum is highly theoretical. I prefer training that combines theory and practice, which is why I redirected by studies to a DUT (University Technical Degree) in Physical Measurements at Sorbonne Paris Nord University. After my DUT, I was still looking to go to an engineering school. When I found out that ISAE-SUPAERO was opening its doors to DUT graduates for the 2020 academic year, I immediately applied.
After going through the different selection phases, I was admitted to ISAE-SUPAERO for the apprenticeship program called “Engineer in Industrial Aeronautical and Space Engineering through apprenticeship”. Last but not least, I had to find a work-study partner company! The public health situation didn’t make things any easier, but I relentlessly applied for all the openings I could find.

Where are you currently doing your apprenticeship? Could you tell us about your integration into the workplace and your missions?

I decided to go to the Centre National d’Études Spatiales (CNES - National Centre for Space Studies) for a position as “apprentice engineer in satellite control and stabilization”. I managed to fit in quite easily. As soon as I got there, I met my company tutor who introduced me to the rest of the department and gave me a tour of part of the premises. Then I had a meeting with my department head and my tutor to discuss the different missions I was to be entrusted with. I was given the following missions:

  • Production of a database for SCAO (Attitude and Orbit Control System) equipment;
  • Characterization of a magnetometer;
  • Implementation of test handling for the MMX Rover project (use of a gyroscope for real tests on estimation algorithms);
  • SCAO engineer work for the AéroSat mission (nanosatellite)

Why did you choose to take the apprenticeship route? What do you think is the advantage of apprenticeship training?

I chose the work-study apprenticeship route because it corresponds to the model of training that I think is part of the apprenticeship ideal. It combines practice and theory and the application of knowledge you have acquired directly in connection with the professional environment. With work-study, no two days are the same, the pace changes regularly. Work-study also lets you gain experience – an important asset when you go looking for a job.

What projects do you have for the future after you complete the program?

For the moment, I don’t have any set projects for the future. I don’t know if I’ll want to or will be able to continue with a thesis in 3 years. I love to learn and I love to do research. For me, studying means listening, having a passion, making progress with your eyes wide open on the world and a desire to understand.
If I have the opportunity to stay with CNES, I’ll stay. Otherwise, why not explore other fields!

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