To execute the systems engineering during design and construction and commissioning of the SKA Science Processing Centreand co-located operations and administrative facilities in Cape Town along with the SKA Engineering Operations Centre and co-locatedfacilities at Klerefontein, Northern Cape.

Key Responsibilities:

  • To advance the maturity of two key science and engineering facilities from concept designs to operational facilities through theapplication of recognised systems engineering competence and skills.

  • Establishing baselines and design configurations, including preparing and implementing engineering changes to the baselines.

  • Performing detail engineering analysis and synthesis of alternative solutions derived from unclear or vague specifications.

  • Addressing the specialty engineering and “ilities” of systems design for the two centres and their co-located facilities.

  • Planning and executing assembly, integration and verification of complicated sub-systems, both in the laboratory and in the field.

  • Reviewing and integrating multiple activity reports into system level analysis and reports to ensure quality and integrity of results andrecommendations.

  • Provide field engineeringservices after delivery to aid in fault diagnostics and rectification.

  • Coaching or mentoring young engineers in the field of engineering and specifically systems engineering.

  • Participate in work teams focussed on Project or Programme planning and strategic decision making.

  • Contribute to the organisational maturity through the maintenance and upgrade of engineering processes within his/her realm ofresponsibility.


  • B.Eng/B.Sc (Eng) with 4+ years relevant experience;OR

  • [URL Removed] with 3+ years relevant experience;OR

  • PhD/D.Eng with 1+ years relevant experience


  • Infrastructure design, development and delivery, with a focus on data-centres.

  • Applied Systems Engineering across the multiple lifecycle stages of a system or product, at all levels up to user systems (L6) of thesystems hierarchy.

  • Integration, test and verification of complicated systems.

  • Use of Computer-aided Systems Engineering Tools (e.g. CORE)

  • Application and control of systems engineering processes and procedures.

  • Baseline establishment and management.

  • Change control

Additional Notes:

  • The successful applicant is expected to:

  • Operate independently or as part of a team to engineer products and systems, typically at any level of the systems hierarchy frommaterials & components up to systems.

  • Undertake engineering activities covering multiple lifecycle phases of the system under development with a strong ability to addressthe specialty engineering and “ilities” of system design.

  • Perform detailed engineering tasks and analysis with limited or no supervision, employing academic and practical knowledge gainedon the job.

  • Provide systems engineering on a primary system across multiple domains while supporting a secondary product development.

  • Contribute to- or lead- the evolution and implementation of improved engineering processes.

  • Use advanced interpersonal skills in order to influence engineering attitudes and systems design for operational environments.

  • The Systems Engineer will operate within a matrix engineering organisation and thus may be deployed between various projects andteams with different specific roles as dictated by the current organizational needs.

  • ASEP/CSEP accreditation will be an advantage

Desired Skills:

  • Systems engineering
  • System Design

About The Employer:

The National Research Foundation (NRF) supports and promotes research and human capital development through funding, the provision of National Research Facilities and science outreach platforms and programmes to the broader community in all fields of science and technology, including natural sciences, engineering, social sciences and humanities.

The South African Radio Astronomy Observatory (SARAO) spearheads South Africa’s activities in the Square Kilometre Array Radio Telescope, commonly known as the SKA, in engineering, science and construction. SARAO is a National Facility managed by the National Research Foundation and incorporates radio astron-omy instruments and programmes such as the MeerKAT and KAT-7 telescopes in the Karoo, the Harte-beesthoek Radio Astronomy Observatory (HartRAO) in Gauteng, the African Very Long Baseline Interferom-etry (AVN) programme in nine African countries as well as the associated human capital development and commercialisation endeavours.

The NRF offers a challenging career and competitive remuneration package which is commensurate with qualifications and experience. The NRF is committed to employment equity and redress and the appointment to the position will be made in line with the NRF Employment Equity Plan.

The NRF reserves the right not to make an appointment.

Correspondence will be sent to short-listed candidates only

Learn more/Apply for this position