Control Software Engineer (10211)

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.

Our Global HQ is located near the buzzing city of Manchester at the historic Jodrell Bank Observatory, a UNESCO World Heritage site located in the Cheshire countryside. It is home to a rapidly expanding international team of more than a hundred, working in a highly collaborative and inclusive way, in coordination with SKAO teams in Australia and South Africa as part of a global astronomy and engineering community.

Being part of Team SKA means contributing to something extraordinary: a uniquely exciting project to advance human knowledge that will last for decades. In return, we offer a diverse multicultural working environment, 30 days annual leave plus public holidays, a generous pension scheme, visa and support with relocation (if applicable), regular social events, a family-friendly environment and much more. Come and join us!

Control Software Engineer

An amazing opportunity for a Software Developer with background in real time control and monitoring systems to join an international organisation and contribute to the delivery of one of the largest scientific facilities on the planet.

Job Location
Cheshire, UK (Head Office)
Area / Department
Software Data Management and IT
Contract Type
GBP 60,000 - 70,000 depending on experience, with excellent benefits
Closing Date
Ref No

The Role

Reporting to the Control System Architect, the Control Software Engineer will join the SKA Computing and Software team and work alongside other engineers. The Control Software Engineer will ensure that the Control Systems for the two SKA telescopes are developed to the highest standards, providing their technical skills to all software development teams involved in the realisation of the controls software.

The SKA Telescope monitoring and control systems will be based on the Tango Control System Framework ( and the Control Software Engineer will closely interact with the open source community developing the framework.

SKAO is committed to providing a flexible working environment meeting the requests of our Colleagues whilst also fulfilling the needs and objectives of the Observatory. We encourage open conversations during the interview and application process in relation to any specific requirements, and later with line managers to assess individual flexible working arrangements alongside the needs of the organisation and responsibilities and accountabilities of the specific role and team.
There may be occasions where this role requires the post holder to work across different time zones and, in line with SKAO policy, flexible working hours will be supported in agreement with the line manager.

Key Responsibilities, Accountabilities and Duties

  • Work within the SKA Observation Monitoring and Control Agile Release Train in coordination with the Control System Architect and other Control System Engineers, also joining our TANGO Community of practice.
  • Act as a technical expert in the development of the SKA control system, by providing guidance and best practices in the development of TANGO-enabled software products.
  • Actively participate in the software development activity by writing and reviewing code in critical areas of the project, working with international agile teams (e.g. Europe, India, South Africa, Australia) as needed for a given number of increments.
  • Play an active role in the TANGO Collaboration, contributing to the development of future versions of the TANGO framework in adherence with SKA necessities.

Mandatory Knowledge, Skills and Experience

  • Experience of software and systems engineering applied to the development of Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) systems.
  • Expertise in at least one of C++ and Python software development in a GNU/Linux environment. Applicants are encouraged to provide evidence in the form of publicly available code if and where possible.
  • Understanding of the software development life cycle, based on common code versioning tools like Git, with particular attention to quality aspects, testing and configuration management.
  • Be a flexible team player who is adaptable to change and able to meet deadlines.

Desirable Knowledge, Skills and Experience

  • Willingness to work based on lean/agile principles adopting DevOps practices.
  • Familiarity with the TANGO toolkit, including TANGO device development, and TANGO client-side tools.
  • Working knowledge of virtualisation and containerisation technologies.

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 is to 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.