Jon Reijneveld

Delft University of Technology
Delft, The Netherlands

Aerospace Engineering/Space Systems Engineering

Principal Investigator: Dr. Peter Jenniskens
Project: Developing of a Proposal for 'The 2011 Draconids Multi-Instrument Aircraft Campaign'

About me:

'A strong desire to understand everything around me', that's who I am. Since I was young my two passions have always been biology and technology. As a kid I loved to spend time outside and I was virtually able to name every plant and animal I came across. My other favorite pastime was the disassembly of every device I could get my hands on: 'to figure out how they worked'. This was quite a burden for my parents, especially when after reassembly I discovered I didn't need all parts anymore, oops!

Interest in Space:

My interest in space started when I was around the age of 10: from this period I have a clear memory of me and my dad sitting on our roof watching comet Hale-Bopp leaving its perihelion. The first images taken by the Mars rover Sojouner were also released in that year, which I read about in the news paper with much fascination: my passion for spaceflight was born!

After a national competition in 2002 I was selected by ESA to participate, as the Dutch representative, in NASA's Advance Space Academy. At the Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, Alabama I experienced what it was like to be an astronaut. After this experience I was sure I wanted a career in space!

In 2004 I had the opportunity to go abroad for my other passion, biology. After participating in the National Biology Olympiad I was selected to take part in the International Biology Olympiad in Brisbane, Australia. During this event I learned about the development of early life on our planet and this got me interested in the area where space and biology overlaps: astrobiology.


In September 2004 I chose to continue my studies in the field of Aerospace Engineering at the Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands. My Bachelor was concluded with a thesis project on a mission to investigate the presence of a subsurface ocean on Jupiter's moon Europa.

During the last year of my Bachelor I was also active in the Space Department of the study association, where I organized space related lectures and excursions. The highlight of that year was a lecture of the second man on the moon, Buzz Aldrin. This experience was just exhilarating and strengthened my space fanaticism.

After finishing my Bachelor cum laude in 2007 I was asked to join the board of the study association. Together with 6 other students I spend a year working full time in service of the Aerospace Engineering students. We organized a wide variety of activities including a study tour to the USA and Brazil and a technological career fair with over 100 companies and 1300 students. In this year I learned how to work in groups, communicate efficiently and what it is like to be part of a professional organization.

In 2008 I started with my Master Space Systems Engineering at the Delft University of Technology. During my Master I completed my Honours Track at the ETH Zurich, Switzerland, where I worked on a research project on Exoplanet detection probability. Currently I am working on my thesis for which I am developing the Attitude Determination and Control System for the 2nd University satellite named Delfi-n3Xt; my graduation is expected early 2012.

Work Experience:

In 2010 I worked as an intern at EADS Astrium in Germany on the SWARM satellite project, which will investigate the Earth magnetic field. In an international setting, I was responsible for the design of Matlab simulation software and I assisted in the magnetic measurements of flight equipment in the clean room.

Beside my master I currently have a student job as Program Officer of the international postgraduate Master program SpaceTech, where I am responsible for the organization of all logistics. This job has given me a unique insight into the worldwide space sector and I experienced what it is like to work in an international and intercultural environment.

Academy Expectations:

space engineer, continue to develop my ability to work in international teams and enhance my leadership skills. Next to that, this program will give me a good insight in the US space industry, giving me stronger skills and understanding for future contributions within the European space environment. It is likely that many critical space endeavors in the future will be in joint efforts between Europe and the United States, and we will need engineers and leaders in the space industry that have insight about how NASA and US industry works. Altogether participating in NASA Ames Academy should be a very rewarding experience!

Future Goals:

Ten to fifteen years from now I aspire to act as catalyst for collaboration between NASA and ESA and to be a game changer in the way of doing business. New huge projects need to be started, which will fascinate the general public for years to come. These large and intriguing projects will be very complex and so expensive that they can only succeed when we work together on a global scale. The opportunity to contribute to such projects would be extremely fulfilling and we will be the ones that give structure to these projects, so let's go and realize them!