Apply for Systems Engineer Position at South African Radio Astronomy Observatory


SARAO has exciting career opportunities for two (2) Systems Engineers to join our Systems Engineering team reporting to the Systems Engineering Manager.

Job description

The key purpose of these roles is as follows:

  • Plan and execute assembly, integration and verification of complicated systems, both in the laboratory and in the field.
  • Responsible for systems engineering over multiple lifecycle phases with a strong ability to address the speciality engineering and “ilities” of systems design, for subsystems and systems with medium criticality.
  • Establish baselines and design configurations of the system under development, including preparing and implementing engineering changes to the baselines.
  • Provide “field engineering” services for telescope sub-systems to aid in fault diagnostics and rectification
  • Advance the maturity of systems and products through the application of recognised engineering competence and skills.
  • Perform detail engineering analysis and synthesis of alternative solutions derived from unclear or vague specifications.
  • Provide systems engineering support on a primary product or project while providing additional support on secondary products or projects.
  • Review and integrate multiple activities reports into system-level analysis and reports to ensure quality and integrity of results and recommendations.
  • Coach or mentor 1 or more young engineers in the field of engineering and specifically systems engineering.
  • Participate in- or lead work teams focussed on Project or Programme planning and strategic decision making.
  • Contribute to the organisational maturity through the maintenance and upgrade of engineering processes within his/her realm of responsibility.

Desirable additional educational, work experience, and personal qualities:

  • Technical knowledge and experience related to systems engineering in various domains and disciplines.
  • Recognised competence in the application of systems engineering in a particular discipline or domain.
  • Associate / Certified Systems Engineering Professional (ASEP /CSEP) accreditation
  • Systems Engineering modules at postgraduate level
  • Conceptual/systems thinking.
  • Analytical problem-solving skills
  • Excellent interpersonal skills and leadership
  • Multi-tasking
  • Communicate effectively in English (both written and verbally)

The ideal candidate will have the following competencies:


  • Operate independently or as part of a team to engineer products and systems, typically at any level of the system’s hierarchy from materials & components up to systems.
  • Undertake engineering activities covering multiple lifecycle phases of the system under development with a strong ability to address the speciality engineering and “ilities” of system design.
  • Perform detailed engineering tasks and analysis with limited or no supervision, employing academic and practical knowledge gained on the job.
  • Provide systems engineering on a primary system across multiple domains while supporting secondary product development.
  • Contribute to- or lead- the evolution and implementation of improved engineering processes.
  • Use advanced interpersonal skills in order to influence engineering attitudes and systems design for operational environments.
  • Coach or mentor 1 or more young engineers in the field of engineering and specifically systems engineering.


  • Integration, test and verification of complicated systems
  • Hi-tech product development
  • Applied Systems Engineering

o Across the multiple lifecycle stages of a system or product,

o At all levels up to systems (L5) of the system’s hierarchy.

  • Use of Computer-aided Systems Engineering Tools (e.g. CORE)
  • Application and control of systems engineering processes and procedures.
  • Baseline establishment and management
  • Change control


  • Recognised domain knowledge of systems engineering, technology and/or software, based on theoretical aspects and experience in systems engineering methods, procedures, tools and techniques.
  • Configuration management and configuration management systems
  • Systems Engineering Standards, e.g.

o ISO/IEC/IEEE 15288, 15289 & 26702

o ANSI/EIA-632,

  • Quality assurance systems (ISO 9001)
  • Government procurement practices

About The Employer

The South African Radio Astronomy Observatory (SARAO) spearheads South Africa’s activities in the Square Kilometre Array Radio Telescope, commonly known as the SKA, in engineering, science and construction. SARAO is a National Facility managed by the National Research Foundation and incorporates radio astronomy instruments and programmes such as the MeerKAT and KAT-7 telescopes in the Karoo, the Hartebeesthoek Radio Astronomy Observatory (HartRAO) in Gauteng, the African Very Long Baseline Interferometry (AVN) programme in nine African countries as well as the associated human capital development and commercialisation endeavours.

As a business unit of the NRF, SARAO is committed to employment equity and redress. Type of employment: Contract. SARAO reserves the right to amend and/or withdraw adverts at any time without notification.

Minimum Education and Relevant Work Experience Required:

  • B.Eng/B.Sc (Eng) with 4+ years; OR
  • M.Eng with 3+ years; OR
  • PhD/D.Eng with 1+ years.

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