SARAO is Hiring a SKA Mid Telescope Engineering Manager


The South African Radio Astronomy Observatory (SARAO) is hiring a SKA Mid telescope engineering manager on a permanent contract. The successful candidate will report to the SKA MID Telescope Engineering Manager at the Cape Town, Western Cape facility.

The Telescope Engineering Manager is part of the Engineering Operations team and will be responsible for managing the telescope engineering team. The telescope engineering team are essential to the SKA-MID radio telescope project’s construction, commissioning, and operational success. They will be responsible for ensuring that the telescope and its associated infrastructure are maintained to the highest industry standards while enabling the telescope’s reliability, availability, and the success of the science mission.

The SKA-MID Telescope Engineering Manager must have extensive experience in managing multi-disciplinary engineering teams and programmes. They should also have a strong understanding of developing maintenance strategies, planning, execution, coordination and asset life cycle management. In addition to this, the Telescope Engineering Manager must have excellent communication and interpersonal skills to manage their team and liaise with other departments effectively.

Key Responsibilities
  1. Develop and manage the implementation of the asset care and asset lifecycle management strategy to ensure the telescope and infrastructure availability.
  2. Responsible for all off-site/D-level maintenance of telescope and infrastructure components and subsystems.
  3. Provide engineering support to the SKA-MID telescope construction project.
  4. Develop and monitor the implementation of the telescope and infrastructure long-term maintenance plans.
  5. Develop, implement and optimise engineering policies, procedures and processes.
  6. Introduction of world-class maintenance standards to ensure low-cost asset availability and reliability.
  7. Develop and implement asset condition monitoring and condition-assessments systems and projects to ensure long-term reliability.
  8. Drive continuous improvement programmes.
  9. Ensure Operational Readiness for new assets regarding maintainability, spare availability, skilled maintenance and operational personnel, technical support, and facilities.
  10. Benchmark, source, implement and monitor systems and tools to ensure effective asset lifecycle management, keep abreast of the latest market developments, train, and ensure correct deployment.
  11. Ensure compliance with all legal, environmental, quality, occupational health and safety, risk management legislation, standards, and best practices.
  12. Responsible for developing and managing engineering projects, contracts and service-level agreements.
  13. Line and performance management of engineering staff.
  14. Manage the departmental budget within prescribed parameters.
  15. Develop technical skills base by mentoring and training graduate engineers.

Key Requirements

  1. B-Tech, coupled with 9+ years’ experience in leading and managing complex engineering and large-scale high-technology projects with a proven delivery record.
  2. BSc./BEng Degree coupled with 8+ years’ experience in leading and managing complex engineering and large-scale high-technology projects with a proven delivery record.
  3. PhD or Master’s Degree coupled with 7+ years’ experience in leading and managing complex engineering and large-scale high-technology projects with a proven delivery record.
  4. Must be registered or eligible for registration with ECSA as a professional engineer or technologist.
  5. A government certificate of competency (GCC) is desirable.
  1. Broad domain understanding of technologies and methodologies relevant to Radio Astronomy (Antennas/Receivers, Cryogenic cooling systems, control systems, mechanical systems, electrical systems); and
  2. Extensive domain knowledge of at least one of the fundamental technologies to Radio Astronomy (Mechanical Structures, Digital Electronics, Digital Signal Processing, Radio Frequency Electronics, High-Performance Computing, and Electrical Power Systems).
  1. Structure and manage a team of engineers and technicians that will be able to deliver on projects assigned to the engineering division and engage strategically and technically with stakeholders.
  2. Set, communicate and implement long-term strategies for the Engineering Division to ensure a transformed and internationally recognised Radio Astronomy Instrumentation capability is sustained within SKA-MID.
  3. Exercise a substantial degree of independent professional responsibility and discretion, working to broad parameters and policy guidance.
  4. Manage and participate in multi-disciplinary projects.
  5. Monitor and report on their projects’ financial, schedule and technical status.
  6. Manage budgeting process for the Engineering Division and monitor and control expenditures against allocated budgets.
  7. Set quality and professional standards and ensure quality assurance is maintained in their programmes.
  8. Facilitate effective communication and workflow both internally and externally.
  9. Communicate effectively in English (both written and verbal).

Additional Notes

Related Skills
  1. Working on R&D or science-related projects.
  2. Proven history of delivering on large projects.
  3. Working in a multi-national project environment.
  4. Systems Engineering/ Product development processes.
  5. Configuration Management and Maintenance of Product Configuration.
  6. Production processes relevant to their functional area.
  7. Development and implementation of operational plans.
  8. Project management (extensive).
  9. Writing technical proposals/documents.
  10. Developing and implementing revised or new work methods, designs, policies and processes.
  11. Participate and oversee PDR/CDRs on programs/projects in the engineering division.

SARAO and SKAO value and respect differences and are committed to building an inclusive culture by creating an environment where employees can balance a successful career with their commitments and interests outside work. In addition, SARAO believes 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  25 August 2023. Furthermore, applicants should include a letter of motivation indicating their suitability for the position in their applications. In addition, the applicants must provide at least three referees’ names and contact details.

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 align 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.

Kindly check here for more information regarding the job opening.

Click here to get real time data and information on every Segments and players in the African space and satellite industry.