SARAO is Recruiting Telescope Operators


The South African Radio Astronomy Observatory (SARAO) is recruiting two telescope operators to work permanently at its facility in Cape Town, Western Cape. The incumbent(s) will be part of the telescope operators team responsible for ensuring the KAT-7, MeerKAT telescopes and other instruments work optimally while identifying and resolving issues [including scheduling and tracking activities] to minimise interruptions to scientific operations.

Key Responsibilities
  • Ensure observations are completed, and scientific data quality is maintained;
  • Minimise downtime and ensure that systems are returned to observations;
  • Provide appropriate instructions to the telescope systems;
  • Monitor the systems constantly and respond to faults;
  • Planning and coordinating activities while providing proper instructions and information;
  • Follow procedures and collect data to fix and report faults;
  • Respond to issues/faults timeously;
  • Record and capture details of the system, and provide data to stakeholders;
  • Utilise Radio Astronomy to promote public outreach and education;
  • Working shifts (including nights), standby, weekends and public holidays; and
  • Travel and work in remote telescope sites.
Key requirements
  • B-Tech/BEng in Electrical/Electronics/Computer Engineering, OR
  • BSc in Physics/Astronomy/Applied Mathematics/Mathematics/Computer Science
  • Three (3) years of working experience in a technical/scientific environment
  • Valid driver’s licence
  • Experience in fault-finding and applying corrective actions
  • Root cause analysis and identifying problems
  • Developments of technical and procedure documentation
  • Experience in planning and progressing engineering/technical/scientific work activities
  • Linux operating system
  • Python software programming
  • Electronics
  • Working with Google Suite
Additional Notes
  • Understanding of software development using Python, C or C++ in a Linux environment
  • Process control and optimisation thinking
  • Ability to work within a team environment
  • Ability to work independently and without supervision
  • Ability to pay attention to detail
  • Demonstrated ability to work and cope under pressure
  • Proven communication and interpersonal skills
  • Ability to communicate with non-technical or scientific stakeholders in outreach programmes
How to Apply

Interested applicants should submit a comprehensive CV here before 16 August 2022. Applicants should also include a letter of motivation in their applications, demonstrating their suitability for the role.  In addition, applicants must provide at least three referees’ names and contact information.

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.

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