Serco Middle East Launches Graduate Space Programme in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Aug 07, 2023


Having recently launched their Saudi Space Division based out of Riyadh, Serco Middle East has opened applications for its Graduate Space Programme, with the aim of recruiting young national engineers. With the growth of its international reputation in the space industry a key pillar in Vision 2030, the Communications, Space & Technology Commission (CST) is tasked with ensuring that local talent is nurtured and developed in what is still a developing sector for the nation.

Serco, as a government impact partner will, through its Saudi Space Division, utilise more than 40 years of space experience globally to develop the talent and skills of national residents within relevant fields. The launch of its graduate programme is the first phase in ensuring the transfer of operational knowledge and capabilities to young engineers and scientists in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The space-specific programme is the first of its kind within the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and across Serco globally.

With a strong international presence in the space industry, Serco employs over 2,000 space specialists globally. For more than four decades, Serco has supported civil and military space programmes, including those of the European Space Agency, the UK Ministry of Defence and NASA and is now bringing that expertise to the region to support local talent and develop their capabilities.

Applications are now open for a two-week period with a number of graduates to be recruited by October.

The application process will be kept open indefinitely past the initial closing date thus allowing other students across the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to learn more about the opportunities available through Serco and express interest in new roles, as they become available.

Those graduates who are brought onto the programme will benefit from on-the-job training through the programme’s six-month placement at world-leading space facilities in Europe, offering them international exposure through Serco and its partners together with the opportunity to apply skills and knowledge in a global setting. Upon their return to KSA they will continue their growth, through theoretical lessons, on-the-job training, shadowing and mentorship with the aim of deploying them into Serco’s own operational contracts in the regional space sector.

Frank Salzgeber, Acting Vice Governor for Space for the Communications, Space & Technology Commission (CST) said:

“Building up human capabilities in the Kingdom for the Space sector is one of our objectives. We're delighted to see that private industry is supporting this endeavour and we welcome others to follow the example of Serco.”

Amar Vora, Head of Space for Serco Middle East said:

"With Serco’s experience in space it seemed only right we moved quickly to begin transferring our knowledge and expertise to the next generation to proactively support nationalisation goals. Our initial graduates will benefit from valuable placements that will equip them with the skills and know-how to support Saudi’s own ambitions. Serco is a proud partner of the Saudi government and the launch of this specialised graduate programme is a demonstration of our commitment to the country and our best possible contribution in ensuring Saudi has the local talent it needs to become a world leader in space.”

Mona Althagafi, KSA Country Director for Serco Middle East said:

“Investing in a two-year space programme for Saudi graduates not only fuels their scientific progress but also empowers them to become pioneers and expand their knowledge and skills to propel the nation to new heights. This signifies Serco’s commitment to innovation and exploration, thus securing Saudi Arabia’s advancement in space exploration.”

Roberto Mulatti, Managing Director for Space, Serco Europe who are supporting the initiative said:

“Serco’s knowledge of the public and private space sector is both global and extensive, with more than 40 years of experience supporting the European Space Agency and a significant presence in 6 European countries. We are proud to now bring that expertise to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and assist Serco’s Saudi Space Division with the training of nationals, to enable the region to strengthen its own capabilities.”

Further details about the programme

Serco is currently accepting applications for two positions based on immediate needs – a Graduate Space Data Engineer and a Graduate Space Operations Engineer.

Graduate Space Data Engineer

This graduate role will play a key role in managing and utilising Earth observation (EO) data for various projects. This role will include an up to six-month placement in Frascati, Italy supporting programmes for the European Space Agency (ESA) Centre for Earth Observation (ESRIN).

Graduate Spacecraft Operations Engineer

This graduate will play a vital role in the planning, execution and monitoring of spacecraft operations for various missions. It will include an up to six-month placement in Darmstadt, Germany supporting functions for the European Space Agency (ESA) European Space Operations Centre (ESOC) on an operational contract, gaining hands-on experience in a real-world operational environment.

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