Project Manager - Networks, Timing, and Computing

Jodrell Bank, Cheshire, UK
Competitive Salary and Flexible Benefits
07 Jun 2018
02 Jul 2018
Job Function
Project Manager
Contract Type
Full Time

Organisation and Project 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.  Ten governments are now participating in the project, with others engaged in discussions regarding possible membership.  Over the next few months, this global headquarters will expand with the construction of an extension to the existing building to accommodate the additional staff needed for the Construction and Operations phases of the SKA telescope facilities that will ultimately be located in South Africa and Australia. Negotiations are currently underway between the governments of SKA member countries with the aim of establishing the SKA as an Inter-Governmental Organisation (IGO).  These negotiations are expected to be concluded in 2018 and the IGO to be established thereafter.

SKA Organisation is currently co-ordinating the design activities in the ‘Pre-Construction’ phase of the project.  The company leads the SKA system design and oversees the detailed design being undertaken by globally distributed design consortia. These design workpackages are due to conclude in 2018 with Critical Design Reviews. The project will then proceed via a System Critical Design Review to a Procurement Preparation phase and then the SKA1 Construction phase.

The Role

The SKA Organisation Project Managers report to the SKA Head of Project Management Group and are responsible for the overall management, control and successful delivery of the specific design workpackages under their stewardship in Pre-Construction.  In the Procurement Preparation phase they will then be responsible for managing the creation of procurement packs for the delivery of their assigned parts of the construction project, and will assist in the assessment of bids and contract negotiation.  In Construction they will then manage these contracts through to successful completion.  The Project Managers will form the primary managerial link between the SKA Organisation and the contractors.

The Project Manager will be managing the preparation and delivery of the contracts related to one or more of the following areas, for both the SKA1-MID and SKA1-LOW telescopes:

  • data and computer networks
  • timing subsystem (includes the timescale, timing and frequency distribution)
  • computing hardware

Within the SKA Organisation, the successful applicant will work closely with other project managers, engineers, scientists and operations planners. He/she will work as part of a matrixed team and co-ordinate efforts to advise and support the contractors engaged in the delivery of the networks/timing/computing contracts.  He/she will ensure that the project management products for these contracts and the work of the internal team are integrated into the project level tools and systems.

Key Duties, Accountabilities and Responsibilities

The post holder will:

  • Contribute to the final stages of the Pre-Construction phase, ensuring the networks/timing/computing workpackages are accurately represented in the Construction Plan and Proposal;
  • Contribute to the Procurement Preparation activities for networks/timing/computing;
  • Manage costs, schedule, issues and risks;
  • Monitor and report on progress;
  • Manage the configuration and review of the workpackage and contract documentation;
  • Manage communications with the contractors and other stakeholders;
  • Manage networks/timing/computing activities within the matrix organisation at SKA HQ;
  • Deliver the networks/timing/computing contracts and successfully handover to operations;
  • Ensure project controls implemented for networks/timing/computing such that these workpackages are delivered to the expected cost, time and quality and stakeholders are appropriately engaged;
  • Travel, as required, to any of the SKA countries and elsewhere as required.

Mandatory Qualifications, Experience and Knowledge:

  • Recognised university degree-level education/training in engineering, computing or physical sciences;
  • Membership of, or eligibility for membership of, recognised national or international project management and/or engineering/computing institutes;
  • A proven track record of managing delivery in multi-disciplinary, multi-national projects;
  • Experience of working collaboratively with geographically dispersed teams;
  • Experience of the delivery of engineering projects involving IT; and
  • Good English oral and written communication skills.

Desirable Qualifications, Experience and Knowledge:

  • Post-graduate qualification in management, engineering, computing or physical sciences;
  • Experience in large scale science infrastructure projects;
  • Experience of projects using system engineering;
  • Experience in timing and frequency distribution systems;
  • Experience in agile software delivery;
  • Industry experience, and/or a track record in successful collaborative links with industry; and
  • Familiarity with the formalism for, and requirements of, quality control environments such as ISO9001.

In addition, the role will be required to:

  • Undertake training in the financial, occupational health and safety, and human resource management procedures applicable to the SKA or its partners.
  • Undertake any other reasonable duties as directed by the post holder’s line manager or a member of SKA Organisation Senior Leadership Team.

For more information on the SKA project visit The SKA Organisation offers a competitive salary, a generous company pension scheme and a flexible benefits package. The successful applicant’s workplace will be located at the SKA Office’s headquarters at Jodrell Bank.

How to apply:

Please send a CV and covering letter, including details of your current remuneration, to, quoting reference EPM/18.  Applications should include:

  • A summary of significant accomplishments and project experience, detailing how you meet the mandatory and desirable qualifications, experience and knowledge criteria;
  • The names of at least three professional referees, at least one of whom must be your current employer (or most recent employer if not working); and
  • Details of your current (or most recent) remuneration package.

Closing date for receipt of applications is 2nd July 2018.

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.

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