Postion Summary:
The Senior Control Software Engineer plans, implements, modifies, administers and evaluates Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) software and systems for the SKA-Mid telescope. As a senior member of the team, they work with the SKA Observation Monitoring and Control Agile Release Train in coordination with the Control System Architect and other Control System Engineers to develop the SKA control system, using the TANGO framework. They must also possess a deep understanding and experience in Agile methodologies and DevOps processes. They must demonstrate a high level of proficiency in Python, Git, Test-Driven Development, Test Automation & Continuous Integration. Experience with the TANGO toolkit including TANGO device development and client-side tools, understanding of Interferometry techniques, C++, Docker, Kubernetes, Gherkin, Behaviour Driven Development & practical experience configuring instrumentation and commissioning control systems and parts of scientific instruments will be beneficial. Senior engineers will be expected to guide and work with more junior team members to accomplish their tasks. Senior engineers are expected to be accountable for their deliverables. As part of the SKA-Mid Operations team, they are expected to provide a senior level of Control systems support, able to investigate, diagnose and resolve complex issues with minimum guidance.

Key Responsibilities:

  • Development and maintenance of the telescope operational softwareAssist in systems engineering documentation refinementSupport users, operators, as well as the implementation of releases, system changes and fixes
  • Establish and maintain working relationships with members of other teams within the organization
  • Work with other Software Team members to respond to inter-team issues
  • Participate in project management and activity management activitiesAttend relevant training/courses to gain experience and improved knowledge
  • Research new technologies, methods or approaches, with the purpose of utilizing them within the organization
  • Participate in innovation and technology development initiatives
  • Mentor and educate more junior engineers as and when required

Minimum Qualification:

  • Bachelors Degree / Advanced Diploma / NQF 7

Minimum Experience:

  • 5-13 years
  • BTech/ BEng/ MTech/ MEng/PHD in Mechatronics, electronic engineering, Control systems, Computer Science, or such relevant qualifications


  • BTech coupled with 13 years’ full-time experience in a software engineering environment, preferably in an engineering development project environment with a strong control systems software development focus; orBEng/ MTech coupled with 9 years’ full-time experience in a software engineering environment, preferably in an engineering development project environment with a strong control systems software development focus; or MEng coupled with 7 years’ full-time experience in a software engineering environment, preferably in an engineering development project environment with a strong control systems software development focus; or PHD coupled with 5 years’ full-time experience in a software engineering environment, preferably in an engineering development project environment with a strong control systems software development focus
  • Python or C/C++ programming language and experience in development, testing, deployment, commissioning, release and support of projects in Python or C/C++
  • Specialization or leadership in one or more required Job Knowledge areas


  • Experience in programming in Python
  • Experience in developing SCADA, Control systems and plc developmentExperience with control systems frameworks, e
  • g
  • TANGO toolkit including TANGO device development and client-side tools, or comparable toolkits Software development, including database development, real-time sensor messaging management, Behaviour Driven DevelopmentComputer and environment setup and configuration, including the use of containers, Kubernetes, Gherkin, etc
  • Practical experience configuring instrumentation, integrating and commissioning control systems, and operator training
  • Willingness to transition between system development and system support and operations team

Additional Notes:
SKILLS/ COMPETENCIES/ ABILITIES: Extreme Importance/ Essential: • Control systems software engineering and development• IT and Information systems analysis, design, implementation, integration, delivery and operations• Agile approaches to systems development• IT systems architecture concepts• An understanding of DevOps processes• Data curation, transfer, management, archival and governance• IT Services, Operations and Support management• Risk managementDesirable:• Knowledge of control systems frameworks, preferably TANGO • Knowledge of Radio Astronomy techniques, instrumentation and observatory practices• Ability to communicate effectively to a wide audience and a wide range of stakeholders, gathering information and distilling information and tailoring it appropriately for the target audience.• Ability to develop and convey a technical solution as part of a team• Ability to reliably estimate and plan work as part of a [URL Removed] Modern software collaboration tools such as Github, Containers, Google Drive, JIRA etc.• Understanding and experience in implementation of project management and system engineering principles.• Experience with test-driven development and integration testing techniques, methodologies and frameworks; and supporting systems like revision control and build systems.• Experience with quality assurance processes and software development processes and willingness to participate in improving software development processes and software quality procedures.• 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.• 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.• Adaptability: Demonstrates flexibility in thinking and adapts to and manages the increasing rate of organisational change by adjusting strategies, goals and priorities. • Willingness to participate in formal and informal learning and mentorship programsOrganisational Values:The SKA-Mid Senior Control Software Engineer will be expected to demonstrate the SARAO and SKAO’s values, and to work actively to instil those behaviours in all SKA-Mid staff in South [URL Removed] values are:1. Diversity and Inclusion 2. Excellence3. Collaboration4. Creativity and Innovation5. SustainabilitySARAO’s values are:1. Passion for Excellence2. World-class service3. People-centred4. Respect5. Integrity and Ethics6. AccountabilityBoth 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 balance. Some roles lend themselves to flexible options more than others, so if this is important to you, please raise this during your interview, as we are open to discussing flexible working opportunities during the hiring [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 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 astronomy instruments and programmes such as the MeerKAT in the Karoo, the Hartebeesthoek Radio Astronomy Observatory (HartRAO) in Gauteng, the African Very Long Baseline Interferometry (AVN) programme in nine African countries as well as the associated human capital development and commercialisation endeavours. The Square Kilometre Array Observatory (SKAO) ( is a next-generation global radio-astronomy facility that will revolutionise our understanding of the Universe and the laws of fundamental physics. It is one observatory with two telescopes – SKA-Mid in South Africa and SKA-Low in Western Australia. South Africa is a co-host member of the SKAO, an intergovernmental organisation headquartered at Jodrell Bank (near Manchester in the United Kingdom) responsible for SKAO construction and operations globally.

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