Postion Summary:
The SKA-Mid Senior Network Engineer, will lead the network team of the SKA-Mid telescope. The position works alongside the SKAO’s Network Architect, Computing Infrastructure Lead, other domain specialists, project managers and system engineers, to ensure the networks for the SKA-Mid telescope are fit for purpose, providing the quality needed for a system that will have to last, and be continually developed, for decades. The role will initially report to the Head of Computing & Software for SKAO South Africa. The system will be based on designs submitted by worldwide-based design consortia, but it is anticipated that there will be continual evolution as the systems are delivered and the commercial-off-the-shelf market evolves during telescope construction. Due to the locations involved in the SKA project, in particular Australia and the United Kingdom, this role will require an ability and willingness to work outside normal hours. It will also require occasional domestic travel to the Karoo Site near Carnarvon and may require occasional international travel.

Key Responsibilities:

  • Work with the stakeholders to continually refine network requirements for the SKA telescopes to ensure they meet the system requirements in an appropriate and cost-effective manner
  • Support the ongoing network design activities required for procurement
  • Develop the technical content of the network procurement packages once the designs have been agreed
  • Assist in the deployment and support of the telescope networks
  • Assist with security audits and risk assessments undertaken by specialists inside and outside of the organisation
  • Be an integral member of an international networking team
  • Provide updates and reports as necessary on the status of the SKA network installation in South Africa
  • Travel, as required, to national and international meetings to represent the SKAO and the Computing and Software of SKA-Mid in South Africa in particular
  • Communicate openly, effectively, and respectfully with all staff, clients, and suppliers in the interests of good business practice, collaboration, and enhancement of SKAO and SARAO’s reputation
  • Adhere to the spirit and practice of both SKAO and SARAO’s Values as well as the Code of Conduct, Health, Safety and Environment procedures and policy, Diversity initiatives and Zero Harm goals
  • Undertake any other reasonable duties as directed

Minimum Qualification:

  • Bachelors Degree / Advanced Diploma / NQF 7

Minimum Experience:

  • 10-11 years
  • Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science, Information Systems, Information Technology or Electrical Engineering or equivalent qualifications


  • 10 years’ experience in the architecture and design of large network systems with a demonstrable understanding of new and emerging networking and security technologies
  • Demonstrated experience of data centre networking technologies
  • Proven experience in the installation, optimisation and maintenance of network and security devices and services, and the ability to assure compliance with SKAO security policies and applicable legislation and regulations
  • A demonstrable understanding of Lean Principles, including the importance of customer focus and the minimisation of waste in business processes
  • Experience in a leadership position, or evidence of potential to fulfil a leadership position, promoting diversity and developing an inclusive, high-performing culture


  • Teamwork and Collaboration: Cooperates with others to achieve organisational objectives and may share team resources in order to do this
  • 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 provides support for the development of emerging skills
  • Creates trust by displaying consistency, understanding, integrity and patience
  • Plans, seeks, 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, interprets and integrates complex bodies of information and draws logical conclusions, synthesises proposals and defends options with reasoned arguments
  • Independence: Assesses the risk and opportunity of identified strategies, options and actions
  • Overcomes problems and setbacks in achieving goals
  • Invariably includes consideration of value-added future impact on the bottom line when determining the optimal and efficient use of resources
  • Adaptability: Demonstrates flexibility in thinking and adapts to and manages the increasing rate of organisational change by adjusting strategies, goals and priorities

Additional Notes:
Desirable:Knowledge and understanding of:High performance computing environments,Software defined networking systems,Zero trust networking principles,Long haul networking [URL Removed] based security services, Apple and Google computing devices and management systems,System Information and Event Management (SIEM) systems and Syslog tools,Telemetry.Ability to communicate effectively with a wide range of stakeholders including gathering and distilling information and tailoring it appropriately for the target [URL Removed] and background with IT Service Management disciplines and Frameworks such as ITIL and Change [URL Removed] in the procurement, management, and delivery of network contracts in a complex, high value [URL Removed] Values The SKA-Mid Environmental Officer will be expected to demonstrate the SARAO and SKAO’s values, and to work actively to instill those behaviours in all SKA-Mid staff in South Africa. SKAO’s values are:Diversity and Inclusion ExcellenceCollaborationCreativity and InnovationSustainability SARAO’s values are:Passion for ExcellenceWorld-class servicePeople-centeredRespectIntegrity and EthicsAccountability Both SARAO and SKAO value and respect difference and are committed to building an inclusive culture by creating an environment where you can balance a successful career with your commitments and interests outside of work. We believe that you will do your best at work if you have a work / life [URL Removed] NRF website provides more details on the initiatives and activities
Applicants should submit a comprehensive CV by registering and apply online through the NRF Recruitment and Selection Portal.
Applications should be accompanied by a letter of motivation indicating the applicant·s suitability for the position.
The names and contact details of at least three referees should be provided.

Desired Skills:

  • Skilled in applied field of position
  • Knowledge to be relevant
  • Responsible in performing duties

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 Square Kilometre Array (SKA) Telescope is an international effort by more than a dozen countries to build the world’s largest, most advanced radio telescopes in South Africa and Australia. Both South Africa and Australia are co-host members of the SKA Observatory (SKAO), a UK-based intergovernmental organisation responsible for the construction and operation of the SKA telescopes.

The first phase of the SKA will consist of two telescopes:

South Africa will host the mid-frequency telescope (SKA-Mid). SKA-Mid will comprise up to 197 dishes spread along spiral arms spanning 150 km in the Karoo, Northern Cape. The South African Radio Astronomy Observatory (SARAO), a facility of the National Research Foundation, is responsible for managing all radio astronomy initiatives and facilities in South Africa, including the MeerKAT Radio Telescope, a precursor to the SKA telescope.

Australia will host the SKA’s low-frequency telescope (SKA-Low). SKA-Low will comprise up to 131,072 antennas in clusters along spiral arms spanning 65 km at CSIRO’s Murchison Radio-astronomy Observatory (MRO) in WA.

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