„It’s not a man’s world“

The “Technical Computer Science” dual study course at OHB provides an entry into the space industry

“IT is not gender-specific, so why should I as a woman not be able to perform this work just as well as my male colleagues,” she says with a smile on her face. Seniz Yildirim has been working at OHB System AG, a subsidiary of OHB SE, as a lead engineer for two years. Aged 34, she is the first female lead engineer in the Verification & Validation team, which is responsible for performing extensive testing of the satellite software.

More and more women are pursuing technical careers at OHB

Even as a child, Seniz Yildirim was interested in computers. “My father was a computer teacher so I was exposed to technology at an early age,” she says. She has no idea why women are still underrepresented in many technical jobs: “Software has got nothing to do with physical strength so it’s obvious that a women can do this kind of work just as well as a man.” Her role model is Margaret Hamilton, who was a lead software engineer on the Apollo 11 mission and made a crucial contribution to the lunar landing. Once considered to be something of a sensation, this has long since become daily routine at OHB: In fact, 35 percent of the members of the Verification & Validation team are women. Seniz Yildirim is pleased about this: “Many women joined our team last year. I think that’s really great. I would like to encourage women to consider a technical career. It’s not a man’s world.”

Students building their own satellite

OHB is going new ways in its search for skilled employees. This winter semester, it will be launching the new “Technical Computer Science” dual study course together with the Bremen University of Applied Sciences and Europaschule Schulzentrum Utbremen. The practical elements at OHB in particular make the course very attractive. “Students will get really close to the satellites that will later be orbiting the earth in space. That’s extremely exciting,” says OHB training manager Ulrich Uffelmann.

Graduates have the possibility of applying for a permanent position at OHB / closing date for applications May 31, 2018

In addition to the tuition blocks at the university and vocational center, the young people will be able to work on two technical projects: In robotics, they well be programming Lego robots and in satellite systems they will be building their own small satellite. “We prepare students to optimum effect for the career world and invite them to apply for a permanent position,” says Uffelmann.

The course lasts a total of three years, with students graduating with a bachelor of science after eight semesters. It will be commencing in September 2018.  If you are leaving school this year and share OHB’s fascination for space, your can apply by May 31, 2018. Further information is available from training manager Ulrich Uffelmann at ulrich.uffelmann@ohb.de. By the way, men are of course also welcome to apply.        

Seniz Yildirim is Lead Software Engineer at OHB © OHB SE