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SKA Programme Director

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Job Details

  • SKA HQ, Jodrell Bank, Cheshire, UK
  • Closes 31st July 2017

SKA Programme Director
Application deadline: 31 July 2017
Competitive Salary and Flexible Benefits

Job Title: SKA Programme Director
Reference: ProgDir/01
Reports To: Director-General
Location: SKA HQ, Jodrell Bank, Cheshire, UK
Closing Date for applications: Closing date for receipt of completed applications is 31st July 2017. For details of how to apply please see below.

Submission of applications: Email to jobs@skatelescope.org

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. It will be one of a small number of cornerstone observatories around the world that will provide astrophysicists and cosmologists with a transformational view of the Universe. The SKA will be constructed in two distinct phases. Among major science goals for the first phase, SKA1, will be to study the history and role of neutral Hydrogen in the Universe from the dark ages to the present-day, and to employ pulsars as probes of fundamental physics.

SKA Organisation was incorporated as a UK company in December 2011 to co-ordinate global 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. To accomplish this goal, SKA Organisation employs highly qualified scientists, specialised engineers, project managers, system engineers and support staff. Design work packages for the major SKA subsystems have been contracted to a small number of work package consortia who are responsible for the management, execution and delivery of the work packages.

Ten governments are now participating in the project, with others engaged in discussions regarding possible membership. SKA Organisation is permanently headquartered in a purpose-built building at Jodrell Bank, Cheshire, UK. Over the next 18 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 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) governed by a Convention; the organisation will be called the SKA Observatory. It is expected that these negotiations will be concluded by mid-2017 and the IGO will be set up as soon as possible afterwards. It is envisaged that this post will transfer to the IGO.

The Role

The SKA Programme Director will be a person who has the drive and the vision to ensure that the SKA Project is delivered to time, budget and specification. This will include both the coordination of the Construction Proposal to the SKA Observatory Council for approval and then the delivery of the full construction phase.

Key Duties, Accountabilities and Responsibilities

Under the direction of the SKA Director-General the postholder will:

  • Lead the overall project engineering to complete pre-construction, including Critical Design Review (CDR), and construction activities;
  • Define the process by which the SKA Observatory and contractors will undertake the SKA construction;
  • Coordinate the integrated efforts of the project management and all engineering and construction activities across the SKA Project;
  • Ensure that the SKA Office engineering team recruits the best and brightest;
  • Coordinate the resources available according to agreed priorities;
  • Oversee the definition and negotiation of the work-package contracts;
  • Oversee the management of the construction contracts;
  • Ensure that all appropriate management and monitoring processes are in place;
  • Ensure that the SKA Office is appropriately represented on all key design reviews; and
  • 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 or physical sciences;
  • Experience of senior, executive level management within a high-technology environment;
  • Experience of project management for the design and construction of a large scale multi-disciplinary, multi-national project; and
  • Good English oral and written communication skills.
  • Post-graduate qualification in management, engineering or physical sciences;
  • Experience in large scale astronomical design and construction projects;
  • 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.

Desirable Qualifications, Experience and Knowledge:

For more information on the SKA project visit http://www.skatelescope.org. 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 jobs@skatelescope.org, quoting reference ProgDir/01. 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 31st July 2017.

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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