Chief Scientist Needed At The South African National Space Agency


The South African National Space Agency (SANSA) is committed to attracting, developing and retaining employees who are passionate about the success of the national space industry. Personal growth, which is one of their values, encourages employees to invest time in education and training through bursaries and training courses offered to them.

The Earth Observation Programme situated in Pretoria, Gauteng is looking for an individual with the relevant skills, drive, competencies, qualifications and who puts the interests of the nation first, has a commercial mind-set, thinks as our customers, knowledge-driven and people-centric.

Reporting to the Managing Director, the successful candidate will provide appropriate Earth observation research direction and capability for SANSA’s Earth Observation Programme, while setting and driving a national EO research agenda, undertaking cutting edge research and managing all aspects of the Research & Applications Development Unit (RAD).

Responsibilities will include but not limited to:

  • Drive and facilitate the establishment of the national EO research agenda.
  • Direct and support researchers at SANSA and postgraduate students.
  • Identify funding opportunities and national and international collaboration opportunities.
  • Provide scientific expertise to SANSA’s sensor portfolio and satellite mission planning.
  • Supervise/lecture student groups to create Space Science pipeline.
  • Organize conferences and workshops to share cutting edge research.
  • People management within the assigned unit.
  • Implementation of strategic and/ or operational decisions pertaining to the area of responsibility.
  • Drive change management.

The ideal candidate will have the following requirements:

  • Ph.D. in Remote Sensing, Geographical Information Systems, with a minimum of 10 years’ research leadership experience
  • An excellent international research track record that includes peer-reviewed publications, student supervision (Ph.D. level) and successful research grants (funded proposals)
  • International recognition and a National Research Foundation rating is a requirement.

Remote sensing software knowledge and experience such as PCI Geomatica, ArcMap/ArcGIS, Quantum GIS, Idris, Erdas, Envi, etc. and high-level programming skills in languages such as Fortran, Matlab IDBL, Python, R, etc. will be advantageous.

Please note that the appointment will be on a level commensurate with qualifications and experience.

Background verification, including criminal record, credit checks, security clearances, qualification, and citizenship checks as well as competency assessment and psychometric testing, may form part of the selection process

SANSA subscribes to the principles of Employment Equity and welcomes applications from all persons with disabilities. Preference will be given to candidates in accordance with this.

Should you meet the above requirements, please register your detailed CV at

Closing date:  21 February 2020

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