LOW Integration Engineer (10126)

At the SKAO we are coordinating a global effort to deliver one of the largest science facilities on the planet. The SKAO telescopes will be next-generation instruments that will help to answer key questions in astrophysics, drive technological innovation and support human capital development. 

More than a dozen partner countries and over a thousand scientists and engineers around the world are already on board, making the SKA project an international collaboration like no other, and one of the most ambitious science and engineering endeavours of the 21st century.

Headquartered in the UK, with telescope sites in Australia and South Africa, the SKAO will be one observatory operating two telescopes, an endeavour spanning three continents. Multinational by design, in early 2021 the SKAO became an intergovernmental organisation, one of only a select handful of science infrastructures to do so worldwide.

Construction activities for the SKAO's telescopes in Australia and South Africa are expected to begin later in 2021, along with a ramping up of SKAO staff in both countries. It is expected that the transition from the Construction Phase to the Operations Phase will happen around 2028.

SKAO Operations in South Africa will be conducted in partnership with the South African Radio Astronomy Observatory (SARAO). SKAO Operations in Australia will be conducted in partnership with the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO). The Observatory will also partner closely with a global network of SKA Regional Centres through which astronomers will access science data products and a suite of tools and resources to further analyse the SKA telescopes' data.

For more information on the SKA project visit http://www.skatelescope.org/

The SKA Observatory offers a competitive salary and a generous pension and benefits package. As an employee of an intergovernmental organisation, an appointee who is not a national of the country in which the role is based may be subject to personal Privileges and Immunities.

LOW Integration Engineer

A unique opportunity in Western Australia for an electronic engineering professional with experience in the Integration, Testing and Verification of large scientific, technology or engineering projects.

Job Location
Area / Department
Engineering and Project Management
Contract Type
Competitive salary with generous pension and leave benefits
Closing Date
Ref No

The Role

The LOW Integration Engineer will play a key role in the construction of the SKA1 Observatory LOW Radio Telescope in Australia.

The LOW Integration Engineer will report to the LOW AIV Lead Engineer who has the overall system Assembly, Integration and Verification (AIV) responsibility for the SKA1 LOW Radio Telescope.

The LOW Integration Engineer will help establish and manage a small competent team in Geraldton, Western Australia, to support the integration, testing, verification and de-bugging of products arriving from suppliers at the Integration Test Facility (ITF).

The LOW Integration Engineer will work together with the LOW AIV Manager, who is provided by CSIRO as part of the LOW AIV Work Package. The LOW AIV Team is responsible for carrying out integration and tests, for developing scripts and procedures, and for the overall verification of the LOW Telescope System Requirements.

The LOW Integration Engineer will support and coordinate with the LOW AIV Manager and the LOW Product Delivery Team (PDT) located at the SKAO headquarters in the UK to ensure that the SKA1 LOW Telescope becomes ready for an Operational Readiness Review at the end of the construction phase, before the handover to the Operations Team.

The LOW Integration Engineer is a member of the LOW PDT, a multidisciplinary team responsible for the “delivery” of LOW products. Within the LOW PDT the LOW Integration Engineer provides engineering support and technical leadership, both in her/his specific discipline and across the entire LOW telescope.

This role will be based in Geraldton, Western Australia, and will be known internally as LOW System ITF Manager.

Flexible working patterns will be considered for the role holder as compatible with reviews, milestones and site activities and flexible working outside of standard working hours will be required on occasion.

Key Responsibilities, Accountabilities and Duties

  • Deputise if required for the LOW Lead AIV Engineer.
  • Supporting establishment and overseeing a small competent CSIRO team as well as providing a high standard of technical support and safety management to all areas of the Integration Test Facility.
  • Integrating and maintaining a subset of the LOW Telescope (System Under Test) and its Test Environment at the ITF, developing procedures and scripts for automatic and remote testing and logging of the system under test.
  • Leading and providing technical expertise and guidance for evaluation, verification, and performance review of the System Under Test.
  • Supporting the LOW Telescope System Requirements verification in the Integration Test Facility, coordinating with the AIV LOW Team workflows and procedures at the ITF and being followed on-site.
  • Attending training provided by international suppliers and providing technical training to the AIV LOW Team, Science Commissioning and Operation users.
  • Cooperating with the Project Office Planning Manager, the LOW PDT and the LOW AIV Manager in the development, reviewing and optimization of the planning and preparation of the Integration Test Facility and on-site AIV activities.
  • Attending and supporting test activities at suppliers and prototype integration facilities.
  • Occasional national and international travel to suppliers will be required (typically 3-4 times a year for one or two weeks).

Mandatory Knowledge, Skills and Experience

  • Relevant professional experience (typically at least three years) in the AIV and commissioning of large multidisciplinary high technology projects.
  • A proven track record of successfully addressing hardware and software issues with suppliers, with the ability to identify, manage and solve complex and novel technical issues through engineering analysis and out of the box thinking.
  • A proven record of successful technical delivery in the field of assembling, integrating, testing and verifying of large electronic multidisciplinary projects.
  • A good understanding of standard Project Management tasks and concepts, such as structural breakdowns, schedule and resource planning, change and risk management, in order to be able to deputise for the Lead Engineer.
  • Able and keen to build, develop and lead a small engineering team, working as part of a larger team.
  • Able to communicate with and effectively influence senior technical experts.
  • Be a flexible team player who is adaptable to change.
  • Be willing and able to travel as required.

Desirable Knowledge, Skills and Experience

  • Membership of or elibigility for membership of recognised national or international system engineering institutes.
  • Experience in design verification for volume production and/or in large-scale manufacturing and assembly.
  • Experience in the area of Quality Assurance.
  • Software development and integration for scientific projects.
  • Knowledge of Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe).
  • Experience of leading and managing a team.
  • Experience of Project Management.

Equality Diversity and Inclusion Statement

SKA Observatory recognises that our diversity is a strength. We aim to create a welcoming and inclusive environment where everyone feels they belong, and diverse perspectives and ideas thrive. As such, Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion are at the core of SKA Observatory’s agenda.

Our aim to is recruit and retain the most talented individuals, regardless of gender, race, disability, age, sexual orientation, marital status, religion, nationality or background. 

 Women have traditionally been under-represented in the fields of science and engineering; SKA Observatory 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.

SKA Observatory welcome all candidates, especially those from member countries.

The “How to Apply” information contained within the SKA Observatory recruitment portal provides more detail regarding our application and selection approach.