SARAO Has Multiple Job Openings

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The National Research Foundation / South African Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRF/SARAO) is recruiting for multiple positions. These positions include a Manager: Communication and Science Engagement, Science Processing Developer: Storage and Archive (LTC), Software Developer: Pipelines, Science Processing Developer: DevOps (LTC), Technical Lead: Networks. 

Manager: Communication and Science Engagement

This is a 5-year fixed-term contract. The successful candidate will join the NRF/SARAO team in Cape Town. In addition, the successful applicant will be responsible for ensuring effective and strategic communication and science awareness for SARAO through the development, planning, implementation and evaluation of communication and science engagement programs. This includes developing and delivering highly effective science engagement programs, and materials to generate broad stakeholder awareness and support for SARAO activities; ensuring effective external communications, and coherent brand identity, to positively promote SARAO ‘s reputation across a broad range of external stakeholders.

Key Responsibilities:

  • Ensure the design, planning and implementation of highly effective science engagement programs for public buy-in;
  • Monitoring and evaluation of science engagement and communication;
  • Effective external communications to ensure positive sentiment amongst high influence stakeholders;
  • Develop, deploy and manage resources required for science engagement projects/programs; and
  • Maintain science engagement partnerships across various sectors.

Key Requirements:

Qualification:

  • Postgraduate degree in Communication, Journalism, Natural Science or related field;
  • 10 years of experience in science communication/ public engagement, of which a minimum of five years have been in a management role; and 
  • Valid Driver’s Licence.

Experience:

  • Minimum five years’ experience in science engagement events/projects;
  • Existing networks in, and sound working knowledge of, the science engagement sector in South Africa;
  • Proven experience in science communication/public engagement in the South African scientific research sector will be a distinct;
  • Proven experience in the development of communication resources for external uses; and
  • Willing and able to travel extensively within South Africa.

Knowledge:

  • Communicate and increase public access to accurate scientific information;
  • Responsible, reliable and end-user;
  • Analyse and summarise scientific research in user-friendly language;
  • Lead dynamic, cross-functional and inter-organisational projects;
  • Analyze and summarise scientific research in user-friendly language;
  • Work under pressure;
  • Develop and maintain a network of professional contacts; and
  • Drive, as there will be a fair amount of travelling from time to time.

Science Processing Developer: Storage and Archive (LTC)

This is a contract-based role, and the successful candidate will work with the Hartebeesthoek Radio Astronomy Observatory (HartRAO) team in Gauteng. The successful candidate will join the team that develops and maintains the observatory’s storage solution and archive. The developer will be expected to take part in the planning, design, development, testing, and deployment of storage software solutions, work with other colleagues to design, deploy and maintain the underlying storage and archive infrastructure, and provide the ongoing support for the solution.

Key Requirements:

Minimum education requirement: 

  • Qualified with at least a 3-year tertiary qualification in computer science, computer engineering, related applied science or engineering qualification.

 Minimum work experience required: 

  • A minimum of 5 years experience developing storage solutions, configuring and deploying petascale network storage solutions;
  • Experience with file systems implementation (e.g., Ceph, BtrFS, ZFS, Ext4, NFS);
  • Experience in Linux systems programming, preferably using Python programming language;
  • Experience in Docker / Kubernetes programming; and
  • Knowledge and experience in Agile practices.

Desirable additional education, work experience and personal qualities:

  • Familiarity or understanding of distributed storage systems (Ceph, S3);
  • Excellent git skills;
  • Desire to continuously learn, solve problems and acquire new skills with cutting edge technology;
  • Familiarity with JIRA or other task management software packages;
  • Experience testing, automating, operating, and troubleshooting production systems; and
  • Knowledge of cloud-native technologies and protocols including containerization (e.g. Docker, Kubernetes), virtualization, REST. 

 Duties Include (but are not limited to): 

  • Development, maintenance and support of the Science Processing storage and archive ecosystem;
  • Contributions to the development, review and implementation of the SARAO science data lifecycle policy;
  • Development, maintenance and support of data transfer needs between SARAO and its data users;
  • Analysis of user requirements and conversion of accepted requirements into solutions;
  • Rollout, upgrade and maintenance of storage and archive infrastructure;
  • Build and release maintenance and optimization of software build and release process;
  • Support IT security and related incident response;
  • Develop relevant documentation for users and systems engineering;
  • Researching, designing and developing next iterations of the storage and archive solution set;
  • Scripting and automation of builds, integration and release tasks;
  • Support operations of the production environment;
  • Research new tools, technologies and best practices;
  • Pilot new technology implementations; and
  • Occasional after-hours support. 

Software Developer: Pipelines

This is position provides subject matter expertise to the Science Processing team in its effort to develop astronomy packages, respective pipelines, as well as the quality tools that supplement the software. The Pipelines Developer, working with senior pipelines developers, is responsible for the identification, research and analysis of the problem sets, investigation of potential solutions, implementation, testing and verification of such solutions, depending on circumstances. The successful candidate will join the Hartebeesthoek Radio Astronomy Observatory (HartRAO) team in Gauteng

 Key Responsibilities:

  • Develop and improve science-focused telescope data processing software;
  • Participate in science support or research opportunities that have relevance to observatory or Science Processing objectives;
  • Designing and developing software, operational procedures and documentation by applying organizational systems engineering principles;
  • Support, maintain and document relevant science pipelines software;
  • Participate in science projects within the SDP or SARAO with the intention to improve telescope design, utility and product quality; and
  • Participate in skills development training organized by the organization with the purpose of acquiring new or additional skills, improving current skills, or developments towards domain expertise.

Key Requirements:

Education Required:

  • B.Hon/MSc/PhD in astronomy, physics, mathematics, applied mathematics, computer science, or related field

Experience:

A minimum of 5 years experience in astronomy, astrophysics, or related, applied/interdisciplinary sciences in development, testing, deployment, commissioning, release and support of science projects. Experience may be in some of the following:

  • Radio astronomy interferometry imaging;
  • Radio astronomy interferometry Radio Frequency Interference (RFI) analysis;
  • Radio astronomy data calibration;
  • Software development using Python or similar languages;
  • Experience with Linux and open-source software environments; and
  • Experience analyzing large data sets (giga-terabyte scale). 

Knowledge:

  • Understanding of radio interferometric theory and practice;
  • Understanding of signal processing;
  • Understanding of data analysis and machine learning;
  • Linux operating system;
  • programming in Python and/or other modern languages;
  • Knowledge of Systems Engineering practices; and
  • Knowledge of formal Agile development practices. 

Science Processing Developer: DevOps (LTC)

The role requires the candidate to be based in Carnarvon, Northern Cape. SARAO is currently seeking to appoint a DevOps developer to automate and support the tools and processes relating to continuous delivery, integration and deployment for science data processing software packages, platforms, operating systems and infrastructure.

Minimum education requirement: 

Qualified with a 3-year tertiary qualification in computer science, computer engineering, related applied science or engineering qualification.

Minimum work experience required: 

  • A minimum of 5 years experience in DevOps and computer engineering;
  • Experience in open-source software stack: Linux, Ansible, Docker;
  • Experience configuring computer infrastructure: Servers, networks and their supporting infrastructure;
  • Experience implementing logging and monitoring software stack;
  • Knowledge of Python programming language; and
  • Knowledge and experience in Agile practices.

Duties Include (but are not limited to): 

  • Development, maintenance and support of the Science Processing DevOps ecosystem;
  • Rollout, upgrade and maintenance of computing infrastructure;
  • Implement and manage the logging and monitoring toolset;
  • Build and release maintenance and optimization of software build and release process;
  • Scripting and automation of builds, integration and release tasks;
  • Support operations of the production environment;
  • Research new tools, technologies and best practices;
  • Pilot new technology implementations;
  • Modifying existing DevOps systems to correct errors and adapt them to new hardware or to upgrade interfaces and improve performance;
  • Occasional after-hours’ support;
  • Provide technical guidance and input;
  • Consulting with observatory’s other operations teams in order to optimise the computing environment;
  • Support IT security and related incident response;
  • Develop relevant documentation for users and systems engineering;
  • Researching, designing and developing DevOps systems; and 
  • Conducting research and improving or developing concepts, theories, instrumentation, software and operational methods related to DevOps. 

Technical Lead: Networks. 

SARAO is currently seeking to appoint a Networks Technical Lead to join our Cape Town team. Working with the Computing Infrastructure Technical Lead, this individual will take overall technical responsibility for both business and science networks within the organisation. The successful applicant will join the team at Carnarvon, Northern Cape on a 5-year contract. 

Minimum education requirement: 

  • Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science, Information Systems, Information Technology or Electrical Engineering *or* equivalent NQF 7 qualifications and
  • Minimum required certification in CompTIA A+. 

Minimum work experience required: 

  • 7 years of relevant technical networking and leadership experience.

 Duties include (but are not limited to):

  • Play a hands-on technical and day-to-day role in the management and leadership of the company’s network department;
  • Ensure that the networks department effectively supports the business and engineering IT needs of SARAO across all locations (CT, JHB, Karoo, HartRAO);
  • Manage and plan office network infrastructure, including being the company interface to suppliers and managing the procurement of related hardware and software;
  • Be available to advise key SARAO stakeholders in the area of networks; and
  • Direct responsibility for the company’s network (including telescope data) and primary network services including user authentication and authorisation and associated network infrastructure and communications;
  • Work with the security lead to help develop and implement a robust organisation-wide security policy;
  • Take responsibility for FortiGate firewall management and updating firewall rules as required;
  • Provide second line support to IT help desk and technical support functions;
  • Assist in the move towards greater standardization for improved long term support across the project in particular alignment with the company’s requirements and adopted ISO frameworks;
  • Monitor, report and document networking systems;
  • Develop business justifications and cost/benefit analysis for network spend and compliance with project procurement policies for network equipment;
  • Take responsibility for asset management for network hardware and licencing.

The ideal candidate will have the following competencies:

Ability to:

  • Assess and organise resources;
  • Communicate complex information clearly and encourage commitment to learning in others; and
  • Display a strong networking and computing background display strong interpersonal skills, including the ability to motivate, negotiate, influence and build strong relationships.

Experience in:

  • Technical and performance management of a small team;
  • Developing innovative solutions and contributing to strategic planning;
  • Managing and controlling budgets, resources, funding and an understanding of financial management; and
  • Systems engineering environment.

Knowledge of:

  • Industry products, services and available solutions;
  • Systems/services for software/hardware development and how they relate to each other;
  • Network architecture fundamentals, including high-speed networks;
  • Network equipment, transceivers, cabling, physical network layer;
  • ITIL 3 or 4 Framework and ICT operations;
  • TCP/IP, IPv4, IPv6, Routing, DNS, DHCP, OSI Stack, WAN, VPN, OSPF, BGP, VRF, MPLS, Optical network transmission systems (DWDM);
  • Networking switch and router configuration – Cisco, HPE, Mellanox, Arista;
  • Linux operating system, Opensource software and networking tools would be advantageous;
  • Service delivery to customers; and
  • Applicable regulations and processes.

Applications should be accompanied by a letter of motivation indicating the applicant’s suitability for the position. The names and contact details of at least three referees should be provided. The closing date for applications is 12 November 2021. 

To apply and for more information, click here:  Manager: Communication and Science Engagement, Science Processing Developer: Storage and Archive (LTC), Software Developer: Pipelines, Science Processing Developer: DevOps (LTC), Technical Lead: Networks

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