From education to employment

Brighton student earns spot on top European Space Agency cyber security training programme

typing on a laptop

University of Brighton student, Lewis Heap, is one of an elite few picked from 22 countries to attend the advanced cyber security training programme in Belgium.

The final year BSc Computer Science with Cyber Security student was selected by the continental space exploration institution from among hundreds of applicants.

The programme is designed to train the next generation of cyber security professionals on how to identify and deal with threats and risks, specifically within the space sector. They will be provided hands-on experience in securing space communication systems and develop an understanding of overall cybersecurity monitoring and mitigation against threats.

The training will include an introduction to security engineering for space systems that prioritize cyber protection, alongside operational risk management for cybersecurity.

Lewis said:

“This will be a major boost to my computing and cyber security journey. Throughout my degree programme, I have gained useful experience with some of the technology to be used in this training. Their application within space is rather new to me, but that’s what makes the course so exciting. It’s such an interesting area of study and I cannot wait to get started”.

The 28-year-old, also a native of Suffolk in the Bury St Edmunds area, will join 29 other university students at the European Space Agency (ESA) Education Training and Learning Facility in ESEC-Galaxia, Belgium, for five days.

With places on the programme reserved for only current undergraduate and masters students enrolled to Computer Science and IT related degree courses in Europe, Lewis says his studies at the university’s School of Architecture, Technology and Engineering, have been instrumental in securing his spots.

He said:

“The course is very well structured to give us the opportunity to study equal parts of computer science alongside cyber security. The computer science modules have provided a good foundational knowledge in computing technologies that has complimented the cyber security aspects well and I think they will be key skills to take forward into a role once my studies are finished”.

As former IT Technician at the West Suffolk Council, Lewis said:

“I originally chose the course to pursue my aspirations of getting into penetration testing, but throughout my studies I’ve been introduced to several different roles available in cyber security and I think that’s what makes it such an interesting area of study. I feel that cyber security has a huge role to play in all aspects of our daily lives as technologies grow and progress, and having the opportunity to be involved in the field will always be exciting”.

Participants in the ESA cyber security programme will work in groups throughout the week before making a final presentation at the end of the training. Upon arrival they will be issued certificates of participation and a course transcript, allowing them to request ECTS credit(s) from their respective universities.

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