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Interview with Francesco Di Lauro

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“Taking part in student associations is an essential part of a student’s career. EUROAVIA is offering to thousands, every year, a way to connect while sharing the same passion for the aerospace world.”

Francesco got his bachelor’s degree in Aerospace Engineering at the Università degli Studi della Campania “Luigi Vanvitelli” in 2016. Later that year, he moved to Pisa for his master’s degree. In 2019, he spent five months in the US, at Princeton University, to work on his thesis. His research focused on the study of the ionization in magnetoplasmadynamic thrusters, a class of space electric propulsion thrusters.
francesco picture

He is currently working as spacecraft controller for earth observation missions at the ESA European Space Operations Centre (ESOC) in Darmstadt, Germany, and he is still involved in EUROAVIA as President of the Alumni Association.

It was in Pisa when Francesco first joined EUROAVIA, participating in many events and getting in touch with a lot of incredible people. Some time later, he decided to not be just a passive member of the association, but to actively get involved. He was thus appointed as Secretary of the Local Board of EUROAVIA Pisa for the business year 2017-2018.

In that period, he was one of the main organisers of the third edition of the SpaceUp “unconference” in Italy. SpaceUp Pisa was an event that gained a great success and attracted more than a hundred of people among EUROAVIAns and aerospace professionals.

His EUROAVIA experience developed even further in 2018 when he was elected President of the International Board of EUROAVIA, together with Mattia Maltauro, Cristina Barradas, and Luis Estanqueiro.

From his international experience, Francesco remembers countless of amazing moments. Of course, he explains, taking care of an international association is challenging and sometimes very exhausting, because besides your tasks and responsibilities you still have exams, projects, and all the other academic duties of a university student. But the achievements and that feeling of “doing something good”, like creating new opportunities which benefit the entire association, definitely pay off, he concluded.

“When you run for election as an International Board officer you are running alone, as most of the time you don’t know your future colleagues beforehand. And that’s probably the most challenging task: putting together different people with different ideas, who probably don’t know each other, and forming an amazing team with a common vision and clear goals. Mattia, Cristina, and Luis were more than colleagues in the end, they were true friends, and I am glad I shared this fantastic experience with them all.”

EMEAC 2019 Aachen

EMEAC 2019 in Aachen

Francesco believes that there is nothing more beautiful and fascinating than having many people from different backgrounds, cultures, and nationalities, working together for the same purpose. Whether it is organising an event, participating in a student project, or just having fun together. He thinks that this is the true essence of the EUROAVIA spirit, and that we can just spread it by keep doing this, by fostering collaboration between all European countries. Probably, he says, we need this now more than ever.

Lustrum 2019

Lustrum 2019 in Aachen, celebrating the 60 years after the EUROAVIA foundation in 1959

He also claims that taking part in student associations is an essential part of a student’s career. EUROAVIA, for instance, is offering to thousands, every year, a way to connect while sharing the same passion for the aerospace world. Additionally, EUROAVIA is also a very old association, since it was founded in 1959. For this reason, he says, becoming part of the association also means becoming part of a huge family that spans over more than two generations of aerospace passionates.


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