SARAO is Hiring a SKA Mid–Senior Network Engineer

SARAO is Recruiting

The South African Radio Astronomy Observatory (SARAO) is hiring a SKA mid-senior network engineer on a permanent contract. The successful candidate will lead the network team of the SKA-Mid telescope at the facility in Cape Town, Western Cape. The SKA mid-senior network engineer’s position works alongside the SKAO’s network architect, computing infrastructure lead, other domain specialists, project managers and system engineers. The successful candidate will initially report to the head of computing & software for SKAO South Africa and will ensure that the networks for the SKA-Mid telescope are fit for purpose, providing the quality needed for a system that will have to last and be continually developed, for decades.

Furthermore, due to the locations involved in the SKA project, in particular Australia and the United Kingdom, the SKA mid-senior network engineer will be expected to work outside normal hours, including occasional international; and domestic travel to the Karoo Site near Carnarvon.

Key Responsibilities

  • Work with the stakeholders to continually refine network requirements for the SKA telescopes to ensure they meet the system requirements in an appropriate and cost-effective manner.
  • Support the ongoing network design activities required for procurement.
  • Develop the technical content of the network procurement packages once the designs have been agreed.
  • Assist in the deployment and support of the telescope networks.
  • Assist with security audits and risk assessments undertaken by specialists inside and outside of the organisation.
  • Be an integral member of an international networking team.
  • Provide updates and reports as necessary on the status of the SKA network installation in South Africa.
  • Travel, as required, to national and international meetings to represent the SKAO and the Computing and Software of SKA-Mid in South Africa in particular.
  • Communicate openly, effectively, and respectfully with all staff, clients, and suppliers in the interests of good business practice, collaboration, and enhancement of SKAO and SARAO’s reputation.
  • Adhere to the spirit and practice of both SKAO and SARAO’s Values as well as the Code of Conduct, Health, Safety and Environment procedures and policy, Diversity initiatives and Zero Harm goals.
  • Undertake any other reasonable duties as directed.

Key Requirements


  • Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science, Information Systems, Information Technology or Electrical Engineering or equivalent qualifications.


  • 10 years of experience in the architecture and design of large network systems with a demonstrable understanding of new and emerging networking and security technologies.
  • Demonstrated experience in data centre networking technologies.
  • Proven experience in the installation, optimisation and maintenance of network and security devices and services, and the ability to assure compliance with SKAO security policies and applicable legislation and regulations.
  • A demonstrable understanding of Lean Principles, including the importance of customer focus and the minimisation of waste in business processes.
  • Experience in a leadership position, or evidence of potential to fulfil a leadership position, promoting diversity and developing an inclusive, high-performing culture.


  • Teamwork and Collaboration: Cooperates with others to achieve organisational objectives and may share team resources in order to do this. Collaborates with other teams as well as industry colleagues.
  • Influence and Communication: Identifies critical stakeholders and influences them via an influential third party, for example through an established network, to gain support for sometimes contentious proposals/ideas.
  • Resource Management/Leadership: Provides leadership that fosters an environment that encourages new ideas and provides support for the development of emerging skills. Creates trust by displaying consistency, understanding, integrity and patience. Plans, seeks, allocates and monitors resources to achieve outcomes.
  • Judgement and Problem Solving: Anticipates and manages problems in ambiguous situations.
  • Develops and selects an appropriate course of action and provides for contingencies. Evaluates, interprets and integrates complex bodies of information and draws logical conclusions, synthesises proposals and defends options with reasoned arguments.
  • Independence: Assesses the risk and opportunity of identified strategies, options and actions. Overcomes problems and setbacks in achieving goals. Invariably includes consideration of the value-added future impact on the bottom line when determining the optimal and efficient use of resources.
  • Adaptability: Demonstrates flexibility in thinking and adapts to and manages the increasing rate of organisational change by adjusting strategies, goals and priorities.

Additional notes


Knowledge and understanding of

  • High-performance computing environments,
  • Software-defined networking systems,
  • Zero trust networking principles,
  • Long haul networking technologies.
  • Automation,
  • Cloud-based security services,
  • Apple and Google computing devices and management systems,
  • System Information and Event Management (SIEM) systems and Syslog tools,
  • Telemetry.
  • Ability to communicate effectively with a wide range of stakeholders including gathering and distilling information and tailoring it appropriately for the target audience.
  • Knowledge and background with IT Service Management disciplines and Frameworks such as ITIL and Change Management.
  • Experience in the procurement, management, and delivery of network contracts in a complex, high-value environment.

Organisational Values

The SKA-Mid Senior Network Engineer will be expected to demonstrate the SARAO and SKAO’s values, and to work actively to instil those behaviours in all SKA-Mid staff in South Africa.

SKAO’s values are

  • Diversity and Inclusion
  • Excellence
  • Collaboration
  • Creativity and Innovation
  • Sustainability

SARAO’s values are:

  • Passion for Excellence
  • World-class service
  • People-centred
  • Respect
  • Integrity and Ethics
  • Accountability

Both SARAO and SKAO value and respect difference and are committed to building an inclusive culture by creating an environment where you can balance a successful career with your commitments and interests outside of work. We believe that you will do your best at work if you have a work/life balance.

How to Apply

Applicants should submit a comprehensive CV here before  31 July 2022. Furthermore, applicants should include a letter of motivation indicating their suitability for the position in their applications. In addition, the applicants must provide the names and contact details of at least three referees.

South Africa’s National Research Foundation (NRF) offers a challenging career and competitive remuneration package commensurate with qualifications and experience. Also, the NRF is committed to employment equity and redress, and appointments to the position will be made in line with the NRF Employment Equity Plan. In addition, the NRF reserves the right not to make an appointment and will send correspondence to short-listed candidates only.

You can get more information regarding the opening here.

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