Engineering company Nitrexo specialises in the delivery of cost-effective solutions for thermal, mechanical and analytical problems, particularly in the fields of space and thermal engineering. Founded in March 2019 at the NSC Space Campus, the company has completed projects for seven clients engaged in manufacturing satellites and launchers, spacecraft, and other electronic products.
Nitrexo’s focus is on conducting thermal analysis of space systems and sub-systems prior to the implementation of the thermal design. This ensures that the device or product that undergoes analysis and testing will function effectively under specific, extreme temperature space conditions. The temperatures to which satellites and spacecraft are subjected can range from as high as 1,510 °C (2,750 °F) during launch to 0 Kelvin (equivalent to -273 degrees Celsius and -495 degrees Fahrenheit) in orbit.
The company is led by founder and CEO Yannick Melameka, who started his career as a thermal space engineer in France. Before leaving to start his own enterprise, Yannick worked as a senior engineer for a satellite company, where he developed his proficiency in software tools and testing techniques as well as digitalisation of engineering workflows, thermal analysis and thermal testing for the space industry.
“The decision to set up Nitrexo in Ireland was logical. It provides the same European access as siting in the UK while entirely circumventing the problems of Brexit. It also means access to not only all of the EU and ESA programmes, but to Ireland’s very strong indigenous start-up supports as we scale.”
But just one year after the space startup launched, Nitrexo was faced with COVID-19 and the resulting lockdown challenges it brought.
“Even when we’ve not been able to be on site at the NSC Space Campus, the commercial support offered by the NSC has been invaluable to us. They’ve partnered with us for a variety of spread of funding opportunities and research calls within ESA and Horizon 2020 tenders. Their extensive network of industry contacts has also been tremendously useful to us. So COVID-19 has meant both challenges and brand-new opportunities for us.”
Throughout the pandemic, Nitrexo has been able to maintain commercial focus on testing, verifications, and the integration of improvements across engineering designs and processes. The company is now hoping to expand operation to other markets including automotive and aerospace from their company HQ at the NSC Space Campus.