SARAO is Hiring a Senior Telescope Maintenance Engineer


The South African Radio Astronomy Observatory (SARAO) is recruiting a Senior Telescope Maintenance Engineer to its Cape Town facility, Western Cape, on a permanent contract. The successful candidate will be part of the engineering operations team and will be responsible for leading a team of engineers/technicians to develop solutions to fulfil requirements at subsystem and system levels

Key Responsibilities
  • Develop and manage the implementation of the asset care and asset lifecycle management strategy to ensure the telescope and infrastructure availability;
  • Responsible for all off-site/D-level maintenance of telescope and infrastructure components and subsystems;
  • Provide engineering support to the SKA-MID telescope construction project;
  • Develop and monitor the implementation of the telescope and infrastructure long-term maintenance plans;
  • Develop, implement and optimise engineering policies, procedures and processes;
  • Introduction of world-class maintenance standards to ensure low-cost asset availability and reliability;
  • Develop and implement asset condition monitoring and condition-assessments systems and projects to ensure long-term reliability;
  • Drive continuous improvement programmes;
  • Ensure operational readiness for new assets in terms of maintainability, spare availability, skilled maintenance and operational personnel and technical support and facilities;
  • Benchmark, source, implement and monitor systems and tools to ensure effective asset lifecycle management and keeping abreast of the latest market developments, training and ensuring correct deployment;
  • Ensure compliance with all legal, environmental, quality, occupational health and safety and risk management legislation, standards and best practices;
  • Responsible for the development and management of engineering projects, contracts and service-level agreements;
  • Line and performance management of engineering staff;
  • Manage the departmental budget within prescribed parameters; and
  • Develop technical skills base by mentoring and training graduate engineers.
Key Requirements
  • Bachelor of Technology (B-Tech) degree with a minimum of eight years of experience in electronics, electrical, mechanical engineering, or a closely related and equivalent field;
  • Bachelor of Science (BSc) or Bachelor of Engineering (B.Eng) degree with at least 7 years of experience in electronics, electrical, mechanical engineering, or a closely related and equivalent field; and
  • Master’s degree with a minimum of six years of experience in electronics, electrical, mechanical engineering, or a closely related and equivalent field;
  • Knowledge of leading 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;
  • Knowledge of setting, communicating and implementing long-term strategies for the engineering division to ensure a transformed and internationally recognised Radio Astronomy Instrumentation capability 
  • Managing multi-disciplinary projects;
  • Knowledge of monitoring and reporting on financial, schedule and technical status of projects;
  • Knowledge of managing and budgeting process for the engineering division and monitoring and control of expenditure against allocated budgets; and
  • Knowledge of setting quality and professional standards and ensuring quality assurance is maintained in their programmes.
  • Broad domain understanding of technologies and methodologies relevant to Radio Astronomy (Antennas/Receivers, Cryogenic cooling systems, control systems, mechanical systems, electrical systems); and
  • 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).
Additional Notes
  • Must be registered or eligible for registration with ECSA as a professional engineer or technologist; 
  • Facilitate effective communication and workflow both internally and externally
  • Exercise a substantial degree of independent professional responsibility and discretion, working to broad parameters and policy guidance;
  • Possess a government certificate of competency (GCC);
  • Proactiveness;
  • Strong leadership qualities;
  • Documentation rigor, quality and maintaining configuration;
  • Adherence to development processes and quality systems;
  • Planning and time management;
  • Display problem-solving skills;
  • Display excellent interpersonal skills;
  • Work independently as well as in a team environment; and
  • Strategic thinking.
How to Apply

Applicants should submit a comprehensive CV here by 22 October 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.

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