Raphaël Liégeois, Doctor of Engineering Science from ULiège, joins ESA's new class of astronauts

In Institution Research International
Photo: ©ESA - P.Sebirot

Raphaël Liégeois, who holds a PhD in neuroscience from the University of Liège, was selected from among more than 22,000 European candidates to join the new class of astronauts at ESA, the European Space Agency. He is one of five ESA astronauts who will soon join the ESA astronaut school in Cologne, directed by Frank De Winne.


aphaël Liégeois holds a master's degree in biomedical engineering and obtained his PhD in neuroscience at the University of Liège under the supervision of Professors Rodolphe Sepulchre and Steven Laureys. His thesis defended in 2015, entitled 'Dynamical modelling from resting-state brain imaging' explores experimental issues such as the role of brain anatomy in the emergence of brain dynamics, as well as methodological aspects related to system identification. He presented it to the public in 2014 during the My Thesis in 180 seconds competition (Belgian final) under the more evocative title "What mathematical tools to explore consciousness?"

The European Space Agency has selected 17 new astronaut candidates from over 22,500 applicants from its member states. The names of the selected candidates were announced this November 23, 2022, after the ESA Council at ministerial level. The new class of ESA astronauts includes career astronauts, members of the astronaut pool and astronauts with a physical disability for a feasibility project. They will begin 12 months of basic training at ESA's European Astronaut Center in spring 2023.

Anne-Sophie Nyssen, Rector of ULiège
Congratulations from the University of Liege to Raphaël Liégeois. What a wonderful recognition for him, and for his training as a biomedical civil engineer and his doctorate in neuroscience at the ULiège. It is a wonderful signal sent to all young people who are interested in scientific studies, which can lead them to the ... stars!

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