SARAO is Hiring a Telescope Engineering Manager


The South African Radio Astronomy Observatory (SARAO) is recruiting a Telescope Engineering Manager to its Cape Town, Western Cape facility. The successful candidate will be responsible for building a team of engineers with extensive domain knowledge of all technologies that are fundamental to the operation and maintenance of a radio telescope. 

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 OEM and 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 regarding maintainability, spare availability, skilled maintenance and operational personnel, technical support, and facilities;
  • Benchmark, source, implement and monitor systems and tools to ensure effective asset lifecycle management and keep abreast of the latest market developments, training and ensuring correct deployment;
  • Ensure compliance with all legal, environmental, quality, occupational health and safety, risk management legislation, standards, and best practices;
  • Responsible for developing and managing engineering projects, contracts and service-level agreements;
  • Line and performance management of engineering staff.
  • Manage the departmental budget within prescribed parameters.
  • Develop technical skills base by mentoring and training graduate engineers.
Key Requirements:
  • B-Tech with over nine years of experience in electronics/electrical/mechanical engineering or similar equivalent relevant;
  • BSc. /B.Eng Degree with over eight years of experience in electronics/electrical/mechanical engineering or similar equivalent relevant; and
  • PhD or Master’s Degree with over seven years of experience in electronics/electrical/mechanical engineering or equivalent relevant;
  • Working on R&D or science-related projects;
  • Proven history of delivering on large projects;
  • Working in a multi-national project environment;
  • Systems Engineering/ Product development processes;
  • Configuration Management and Maintenance of Product Configuration;
  • Production processes relevant to their functional area;
  • Development and implementation of operational plans;
  • Project management (extensive);
  • Writing technical proposals/documents;
  • Developing and implementing revised or new work methods, designs, policies and processes; and
  • Participate and oversee PDR/CDRs on programs/projects in the engineering division.
  • 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;
  • 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;
  • Exercise a substantial degree of independent professional responsibility and discretion, working to broad parameters and policy guidance;
  • Manage and participate in multi-disciplinary projects;
  • Monitor and report on the financial, schedule and technical status of their projects;
  • Manage budgeting process for the Engineering Division and monitor and control expenditures against allocated budgets;
  • Set quality and professional standards and ensure quality assurance is maintained in their programmes;
  • Facilitate effective communication and workflow both internally and externally; and
  • Communicate effectively in English (both written and verbally)
Additional Notes:
Competency Requirements:
Extreme Importance (Essential):
  • Government Certificate of Competency;
  • Professional registration: must be registered as a professional engineer or technologist;
  • Teamwork and Collaboration: must cooperate with others to achieve organisational objectives and may share team resources;
  • 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 supports the development of emerging skills;
  • Creates trust by displaying consistency, understanding, integrity and patience;
  • Plans and 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, interpret and integrate complex information bodies and draw logical conclusions, synthesise proposals and defend options with reasoned arguments;
Desirable Abilities:
  • Proactiveness;
  • Strong leadership qualities;
  • Organised and systematic way of working;
  • Documentation rigour, 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

Interested candidates must submit a comprehensive CV by logging in here by 2 July 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.

For more information, click here.

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