SARAO is Recruiting an Engineering and Technology Development Head


The South African Radio Astronomy Observatory (SARAO) is recruiting an engineering and technology development head to its facility in Cape Town, Western Cape. The incumbent will be responsible for strategic leadership and managerial oversight of the Engineering and Technology direction to enable SARAO to deliver on its primary mandate. In addition, the successful candidate provides management of engineering contracts, external service providers and contractual obligations are taken on by SARAO. Furthermore, the Head will be responsible for driving staff retention and employment equity through targeted recruitment, succession planning and career progression planning for engineering and technology development.

Key Responsibilities
  • Responsible for developing and delivering the strategic plans for the engineering division and will be accountable for ensuring that the organisation meets key performance indicators related to the entire engineering division and roll-out of projects;
  • The incumbent will be a professional specialist with a high level of expertise, a substantial degree of independent professional responsibility and discretion, working to broad parameters and policy guidance;
  • Work will include significant professional expertise and/or experience to develop and implement revised or new administrative/technical/professional policies and processes to effectively manage the engineering division;
  • Responsible for the long-term planning (timescale of years/decades) and is therefore responsible for the structure and development of the engineering division;
  • The incumbent is required to ensure that programs are effectively planned/structured and that projects are effectively executed from inception through to fully functional handover to operations and are therefore required to set quality and professional standards and manage service delivery, i.e. portfolio management;
  • The work includes developing and implementing longer-term plans to fit with broader organisational and NRF strategy by defining the long term engineering strategic plan;
  • Programs managed are of strategic importance to the organization for an expected timescale of 20 or more years;
  • Liaise with international SKA on issues related to SKA roll-out, SARAO’s role in these and impact on SARAO internal programs associated with SKA Mid;
  • Implementation and management of activities in support of agreed to processes and procedures (including providing inputs to and approval of Project Management Plans; System Engineering Management Plans, Quality Assurance Management Plans, Integrated Logistics Support Plans);
  • Stakeholder coordination and management as required (this includes the international SKA organisation, African partner countries and relevant state departments);
  • Appoint and manage engineering consultants and other specialist consultants as and when required; and
  • Ultimately responsible for managing schedule and budget for Engineering Division.
  • M.Eng OR PhD in an engineering discipline, coupled with 10+ yearsexperience in leading and managing complex engineering and large scale high-technology projects with a proven record of delivery; AND
  • PMP (or equivalent); OR
  • Pr Eng registration.
  • Broad domain understanding of technologies and methodologies relevant to Radio Astronomy (Mechanical Structures, Digital Electronics, Digital Signal Processing, Radio Frequency Electronics, Cryogenic and Vacuum systems, Digital Data Networks, High-Performance Computing, Telecommunications, Electromagnetic Compatibility, Metrology, Civil Construction, Systems Engineering, Configuration Management, Integrated Logistics Systems, Quality Assurance);
  • Extensive domain knowledge of at least one of the technologies that are fundamental to Radio Astronomy (Mechanical Structures, Digital Electronics, Digital Signal Processing, Radio Frequency Electronics, High-Performance Computing);
  • Working in a multi-national science or engineering project environment;
  • Systems Engineering/ Product development processes;
  • Configuration Management and Maintenance of Product Configuration;
  • Development and implementation of operational plans;
  • Project management (extensive);
  • Writing technical proposals/documents;
  • Participate and oversee in PDR/CDRs on programs/projects in the engineering division;
  • Team management Structure of more than 100 engineers and technicians that will be able to engage strategically and technically with stakeholders internally and externally;
  • Monitor and report on financial, schedule and technical status of projects; and 
  • Manage budgeting process, monitor and control of expenditure against allocated budgets.
  • Government procurement processes;
  • Supplier Management;
  • ISO9001 Quality System;
  • Systems Engineering and INCOSE best practices;
  • Documentation management and quality assurance;
  • Planning and time management;
  • Display problem-solving skills;
  • Display excellent interpersonal skills; and 
  • Work independently as well as in a team environment.
How to Apply

Applicants should submit a comprehensive CV by logging in here before 04 March 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.

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