ESTL’s Space Tribology Course for New ESA Player States

ESTL has pleasure to announce that we will present our highly acclaimed and technically detailed two-day Space Tribology Course in Warsaw on 9th and 10th April 2019. The course is only open to participants whose organisations are located in one of the ‘new ESA player’ states. As ESA will fund the course, it will be delivered to the eligible participants free of charge!

Delegates who are located in the following states are warmly invited to attend the course and take away a wealth of information; Romania, Poland, Estonia, Hungary, Czech Republic, Luxembourg, Greece, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Slovakia and Slovenia. It will be held at the NIMBUS Conference Centre in Warsaw and presented by Simon Lewis and Michael Buttery from ESTL, the European Space Tribology Laboratory which is part of ESR Technology Ltd and supported by ESA.

For more details about the course, please visit our website ( or complete and return your registration application form (which can be found here) to confirm your place on the course. Please be quick, as places are limited and will be allocated on a ‘first-come, first-served basis’.

If you can’t make the course for whatever reason, please be aware that we will be holding an open version of our two-day Space Tribology Course on 16th and 17th September in Munich. These are the two days before the prestigious ESMATS event, but unfortunately this version of our course will not be free! We hope to see you soon!

ESR Technology takes part in Sellafield’s SME Trade Mission

As part of their strategy to increase spend with SMEs, Sellafield Ltd have organised a number of trade missions, covering Warrington and districts of Cumbria. ESR Technology attended the Trade Mission on 23rd January, at which we ‘pitched’ our capabilities to a selection of their Tier 2 partners.

The aims of this fascinating and well-organised event were to showcase the capabilities of invited SMEs and to create direct links, opportunities and relationships between the SMEs and Sellafield’s Tier 2 buyers.

Along with around 10 other SME’s, ESR Technology presented a two-minute overview of our capabilities. Then the Tier 2 partners spent about five minutes talking to each SME around a table. After a short break for lunch, the T2’s then visited the SME’s of their choice, and for around 50 minutes had a more detailed overview of the organisation that they were visiting and a tour of their facilities.

The event was held at the impressive new office facility of Cavendish Nuclear in Birchwood Park. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. represented ESR Technology in what was a fun, intense and hopefully successful day!

Our thanks go to Sellafield, particularly John Berry who organised the day, to Cavendish Nuclear and all the Tier 2 partners who talked to us and visited us on the day of this great event.

ESR Technology is Growing in Aberdeen

ESR Technology is very pleased to announce the recruitment of a new Technical Lead Consultant in our established Aberdeen office. Chris Proud has re-joined ESR Technology having previously spent almost ten years with the company in a range of roles, latterly as Aberdeen Team Leader. Chris brings a wealth of experience in offshore safety and risk studies for a range of operators, with particular expertise in major hazard quantified risk assessments, consequence modelling and general Safety Case support and development.

This appointment is part of a wider strategy to significantly grow our Aberdeen office, to both serve our existing safety and risk clients and also extend ESR Technology’s service offering in Aberdeen in Forensics Engineering and Advanced NDT best practice.

Phil Ramskill, ESR’s Business Director for Safety and Risk Management commented; “We are delighted to welcome Chris Proud back to ESR Technology to strengthen and help grow our Aberdeen consultancy team. This is part of our wider growth strategy for both Aberdeen and our other UK centres of excellence that we are pursuing”.

Chris will work closely with Terry Atkinson, our Head of Business Development and the Oil & Gas Key Account Lead, to serve our clients in the Oil and Gas sector with a focus on our established Aberdeen based clients.
For more information, please contact Terry at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or Chris on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

ESR recruits bright stars for the future!

Whilst there is some uncertainty around the nation at the moment, (don’t mention the ‘B’ word!) ESR Technology has in just one month employed seven bright young people into our growing and progressive company. This is the equivalent of 10% of our average workforce in 2018. We are even recruiting more people, so watch this space for news!

So, we are very pleased to welcome Rachel, Matthew, Dominic, Chris, Caroline, Jasmine and Mark to ESR Technology. These highly qualified and experienced young scientists and engineers will play an important part in our future, as we continue to develop and grow to help our customers resolve their often complex and important technical issues.

Our new recruits will work across all of the major disciplines and specialities of our business, which include space and vacuum tribology, safety and risk management, Non-Destructive Testing (NDT) and industrial tribology and materials engineering.

ESR Technology is looking towards a bigger and better future, in which we will work together with industry and our clients to provide better solutions, technology and processes.

ESTL’s contribution to BepiColombo

On 20th October 2018 the BepiColombo mission was successfully launched from Kourou, French Guiana onboard an Ariane 5 launch vehicle, beginning the spacecraft’s 7-year flight to the planet Mercury. Once arriving into orbit the spacecraft will spend the next 3-years surveying the planet, including its magnetic field, magnetosphere and surface structure. For ESR Technology the launch represents the culmination of over 15-years of contributions and activities by the European Space Tribology Laboratory (ESTL), which ESR runs, into ensuring this mission’s success.

The BepiColombo mission comprises two scientific spacecraft, The Mercury Planetary Orbiter (MPO) built by ESA, and the Mercury Magnetospheric Orbiter (MMO) built by JAXA, together with the Mercury Transfer Module (MTM) also built by ESA. These three components are launched together, separating upon arrival at the planet Mercury. Over the last decade and a half ESTL has provided technical support to all three spacecraft components, covering a range of mechanisms and projects, each requiring a unique and detailed solution. These activities include, but are not limited to;

  • Consultancy – Strip-down and inspection of Antenna Pointing Mechanism (APM) and Solar Array Drive Mechanism (SADM) gearboxes for the MPO and MTM.
  • Testing – Rotary joint and main bearing tests for the MPO High Temperature Gain Antenna, plus cup-cone Hold Down and Release Mechanism (HDRM) testing, and post-storage validation activities.
  • Lubrication – Lubrication of bearings and gear contacts with sputtered Molybdenum Disulphide (MoS2) to provide long life and low friction under the harsh environment and high temperatures of Mercurian orbit, including for the MMO Antenna Despin Mechanism (ADM).
  • R&D – Numerous spin-out activities providing further support to BepiColombo and other European spacecraft missions. These have included CTE shrinkage effects of self-lubricating composites, the behaviour of MoS2 at elevated temperatures, and hybrid lubrication studies. Much of this work is performed for ESA under the Tribology Application Programme (TAP), generating essential tribological data for the benefit of the European space community.

BepiColombo has played a significant part in the shaping of ESTL’s activities over the last 15 years. We look forward to the next major scientific missions undertaken by ESA, and the future technical support ESR Technology can provide.

For more information about ESR Technology, ESTL or our contributions to BepiColombo, please contact us.

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