Commissioning Scientist: MeerKAT Radio Telescope

Submission Information
Publish Date: 
Tuesday, February 4, 2020
Archive Date: 
Tuesday, March 3, 2020
Job Summary
Job Category: 
Scientific/Technical Staff
Institution Classification/Type: 
Government Agency
South African Radio Astronomy Observatory
Department Name: 
Science commissioning
Street Line 1: 
2 Fir Street
Street Line 2: 
Black River Park (North)
Street Line 3: 
Cape Town
South Africa
Job Announcement Text: 

The MeerKAT telescope is a 64-dish radio interferometer located in South Africa, inaugurated in 2018. In parallel with an exciting science program, development of new capabilities continues. Commissioning work is ongoing to support the deployment of new receiver bands and correlator modes, and to tackle advanced calibration issues related to wide-field, wide-band imaging.

MeerKAT's sensitivity, wide field of view, wide bandwidth, and sensitivity to low surface brightness emission pose new challenges in characterisation and calibration of the telescope. This leads to an exciting opportunity for a Commissioning Scientist with knowledge of polarimetry and continuum imaging to join the  MeerKAT commissioning team. 

The successful candidate will be considered for appointment at a standard or senior level, commensurate with experience and record, and will be based at the SARAO offices in Cape Town, South Africa. The candidate will have the opportunity to conduct their own research, subject to telescope delivery demands, with a typical fraction of 25% of time allocated to research.

Minimum education requirement:
PhD in astronomy, astrophysics or related field

Minimum work experience required:

  • Three years working in the field of radio astronomy, post PhD
  • Experience in radio telescope operations
  • Track record of publications in peer-reviewed journals in physics or astronomy
  • Experience in reduction and analysis of interferometric radio astronomy data using advanced calibration and imaging techniques

Experience in widefield imaging and spectropolarimetry would be advantageous. 

For more information and to apply please see email addresses listed below.

About The Employer
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 telescope 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.

Application Deadline: 
Friday, March 6, 2020
Selection Deadline: 
Friday, April 10, 2020
Current Status of Position: 
Accepting Applicants
Apply to Job
Attention To: 
Nomomde Ndyoko
Inquiries About Job
Attention To: 
Dr Sharmila Goedhart
MeerKAT commissioning scientist