Domain Specialist - MID Telescope

Submission Information
Publish Date: 
Saturday, January 5, 2019
Archive Date: 
Saturday, February 2, 2019
Job Summary
Job Category: 
Science Engineering
Institution Classification/Type: 
Square Kilometre Array Organisation
Jodrell Bank, Macclesfield
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
Job Announcement Text: 

Location: SKA HQ, Jodrell Bank Observatory, Cheshire, UK

Closing Date for applications: 31st January 2019. 

Submission of applications: See below. Email to

Organisation Background

The Square Kilometre Array (SKA) is a global project to build a multi-purpose radio telescope that will play a major role in answering key questions in modern astrophysics and cosmology.  To accomplish this goal the SKA Office employs unique and highly qualified Scientists and Engineers, Project Managers and IT System Engineers.

The Office of the SKA Organisation leads the SKA system design and oversees the detailed design being undertaken within the globally distributed SKA work packages (WPs) ready for construction & delivery starting in 2020.

Twelve governments are now participating in the project, with others engaged in discussions regarding possible membership.  Facilities for the new telescope will be located in South Africa and Australia, with our headquarters in a purpose-built building at Jodrell Bank, Cheshire, UK.  SKA HQ currently houses around 80 staff but has just undergone a major expansion to accommodate up to 150 staff as the project moves towards construction and operation of the SKA telescopes.

Negotiations between the governments of SKA member countries to establish the SKA Observatory as an Inter-Governmental Organisation (IGO) have recently concluded; the IGO is expected to be established in late-2019 or early-2020.

The Role

The Domain Specialist - MID Telescope is a member of the MID Telescope Delivery Team (TDT), a multidisciplinary team responsible for the “delivery” of the MID telescope. Within the MID TDT the Telescope Domain Specialist provides engineering support and leadership, both in their specific discipline and across the entire MID telescope.  Working in collaboration with the SKA System Scientist, they are responsible for the performance of the MID telescope. The Domain Specialist – MID Telescope reports to the SKA Project Engineer.

The Domain Specialist - MID Telescope will have the following duties and responsibilities:


Key Responsibilities, Accountabilities and Duties

  • Provide technical leadership in the area of domain expertise for the SKA MID telescope, as a member of the MID Telescope Delivery Team (TDT)- providing guidance, advice and technical leadership both at a system level and in their area of expertise
  • Support the SKA Project Engineer and SKA System Scientist in leading engineering analysis, technical notes, and engineering reports as required
  • Advise the TDT Project Manager on technical risks and performance compliance
  • Identify and manage any technical issues through engineering analysis
  • Lead team projects, and provide specialist assistance (SME) to working groups, colleagues and engineering project managers
  • Support and advise on system design and verification work for the MID telescope
  • Participate in and lead project design reviews as requested
  • Undertake any other reasonable duties as directed by the SKA Project Engineer or a member of SKA Organization Senior Management

Mandatory Knowledge, Skills and Experience

  • University degree in Physics or Engineering, another closely related and relevant field, or equivalent expertise
  • Strong demonstrable and lengthy experience (in technical leadership roles) in the engineering of large high value research and development projects; radio astronomy, astronomy, telecommunications or defence - or a broad technical knowledge of the engineering of high technology systems, such as large observatories, space systems, telecommunications networks, nuclear power plants, etc.
  • Proven experience in one or more of the following fields as specialist engineer:
    • Radio Frequency (in the MID operational Frequency Band)
    • Antenna and Feed design, including experience in cryogenic systems
    • Beam Forming and Phased array, including experience of calibration techniques
    • Mechatronic and mechanical design of telescope/antenna infrastructures
    • Verification of complex systems
    • SW development and integration for scientific projects
  • Familiarity with telescopes based on radio interferometry, including experience with debugging interferometers at an early stage of development
  • Experience in working with international projects and scientists from a variety of cultures, including projects with’ in-kind’ contribution
  • Good English oral and written communication skills and the ability to influence people in widely differing parts of a complex organisation
  • Willing to travel, nationally and internationally, and work outside normal business hours, including evenings and weekends


Desirable Knowledge, Skills and Experience

The following competencies are desirable:

  • Membership of, or eligibility for a recognised national or international system engineering institute
  • Knowledge of, or a demonstrable interest in, the development, operation and ethos of large-scale international research infrastructures such as observatories
  • Experience in design for volume production and/or in large-scale manufacturing and assembly

For more information on the SKA project visit

SKA Organisation offers a competitive salary and a generous company pension scheme.  The successful applicant’s workplace will be located at SKA Organisation’s Global headquarters in Jodrell Bank Observatory.


How to apply:

Please send a CV and covering letter, including details of your current remuneration, to, quoting the reference number above.  Applications should include a summary of your experience, detailing how you meet the mandatory and desirable knowledge, skills and experience criteria. 

Closing date for receipt of applications is 31st January 2019. When applying please state where you saw the vacancy advertised.


Equal Opportunities Statement:

SKA Organisation is committed to being an equal opportunities employer. Our aim to is recruit and retain the most talented individuals, regardless of gender, race, disability, age, sexual orientation, religion or nationality.

At all stages of the recruitment process and beyond, we strive to treat applicants and employees with a high standard of care, honesty and politeness.

Women have traditionally been under-represented in the fields of science and engineering; SKA Organisation welcomes and encourages female applicants.

Where applicants with a disability need facilities or adjustments to enable them to participate in the recruitment process, these will be provided. If you need equipment or adjustments to enable you to complete your application and/or attend an interview, then please let us know.

Pay Compensation
Compensation Notes: 
Attractive remuneration package including a competitive salary
Application Deadline: 
Saturday, February 2, 2019
Selection Deadline: 
Friday, February 15, 2019
Current Status of Position: 
Accepting Applicants
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Attention To: 
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