Lincolnshire girl waiting on call over dream job at European Space Astronomy Centre
A student who grew up in a Lincolnshire Wolds village is waiting for a call from the European Space Astronomy Centre after an interview for her dream job.
Former Caistor Grammar School pupil Hannah Laurens and her mum Gill travelled to the complex near Madrid after she secured a 30-minute shot at a 12-month training post.
Now, 22-year-old Miss Laurens – who is finishing a master's degree in astro-physics and space science this summer – is biting her nails at Lancaster University.
She was chosen from more than 2,000 applicants to interview for one of 80 year-long placements at the centre.
She was the only student from the UK in the final four of the graduate trainee scheme's 2013 intake.
If successful, she will spend a year at the complex, 30 kilometres from Madrid. She would concentrate on specific duties monitoring space weather systems which can cause damage to satellites.
Miss Laurens has already studied solar flares and the Aurora Borealis – the phenomenon popularly known as the Northern Lights – during her master's research.
"This is my dream job, the one I've been preparing for since I was a child," she said.
"I did think about becoming a chemical engineer, but my heart's always been in space.
"When I saw the job advertised on the agency's website I just applied – and now I'll find out in a few weeks if I've been successful.
"The interview was the hardest I've ever done, but I did my best and the whole experience was amazing.
"I got to see quite a lot of the centre and I'd be very happy to spend a year there."
Miss Laurens, from Wilmore Lane at Grasby, near Caistor, is the eldest of three sisters who are all academically talented.
Charlotte, 20, is studying equine business management at Bishop Burton College, near Beverley, and 14-year-old Gabrielle – who plays piano and cello – is on a Lincoln Minster School music scholarship.
Proud mum Gill, 45, is purchasing and sales manager at Uncle Henry's Farm Shop and Coffee Stop at Grayingham Grange Farm, near Gainsborough.
"Even if Hannah isn't successful in securing this job, just visiting the space centre for three days was an experrience in itself," she said.
"She had the backing of the university because she did research work on this subject last year and they were very pleased with her.
"She's also the students' representative for the science department and takes any concerns to the lecturers and staff."