Project Manager: SKA-MID Digitisation

Competitve salary and generous pension
18 Jun 2019
15 Jul 2019
Job Function
Project Manager
Contract Type
Full Time

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.   

Thirteen countries 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 2020.

Ideal for a Project Manager with radio astronomy/ digitisation/ signal processing/ correlator/ time & frequency/ telecomms/ space/ defence experience.

The Role

This role will operate under a matrix structure. The SKA Organisation Project Manager will report to the Senior Project manager SKA-Mid and will participate in the Telescope Delivery teams led by the Sr. Project Manager responsible for the timely delivery of the telescope deliverables to the project. They 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 Mid Digitiser, Mid Central Signal Processor and Mid Clocks & Timing contracts for the SKA1-MID telescope.

Within the SKA Organisation, the successful applicant will work closely with other project managers, engineers, scientists and operations planners. 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 Responsibilities, Accountabilities and Duties

The post holder will:

  • Contribute to the final stages of the Pre-Construction phase, ensuring the Mid Digitisation workpackages are accurately represented in the Construction Plan and Proposal;
  • Contribute to the Procurement Preparation activities for Mid Digitisation;
  • 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 Mid Digitisation activities within the matrix organisation at SKA HQ;
  • Deliver the Mid Digitisation contracts and successfully handover to operations;
  • Ensure project controls implemented for Mid Digitisation 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 Knowledge, Skills and Experience

  • Recognised university degree-level education/training in engineering or physical sciences;
  • Membership of recognised national or international project management and/or engineering institutes or equivalent experience;
  • A proven track record of managing delivery in multi-disciplinary, multi-national projects;
  • Knowledge in at least one (ideally all three) of the following: digital signal processing, correlators, synchronisation & timing with the ability and desire to learn about other technical fields managed under this position;
  • Experience of working collaboratively with geographically dispersed teams;
  • Good English oral and written communication skills; and
  • A flexible and self-motivated team player who is adaptable to change.

Desirable Knowledge, Skills and Experience

  • Post-graduate qualification in management, engineering or physical sciences;
  • Experience in large scale science infrastructure projects;
  • Experience of projects using system engineering;
  • Experience in NEC contracting;
  • 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.

Equal Opportunities Statement 

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion are at the core the SKA's agenda and we are 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, marital status, religion or nationality. 
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.