Technical Information Engineer (10195)

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, regular social events, a family-friendly environment and much more. Come and join us!

Technical Information Engineer

An amazing opportunity for an experienced engineer to develop and manage a technical information database for the operation of the world's largest radio telescopes.

Job Location
UK (Head Office)
Area / Department
Telescope Operations
Contract Type
Competitive salary with generous pension, private healthcare and leave benefits
Closing Date
Ref No

The Role

The Technical Information Engineer will support the operations of the SKA Telescopes by creating a technical information database. They will play a leading role in defining the format and the information required for operations.

The Technical Information Engineer will be responsible for the management and re-packaging of the Maintenance and Operational data and procedures into data modules. They will also integrate information received from the SKA construction contractors and will be responsible for developing an interactive electronic technical publication system using the Confluence platform.

The Technical Information Engineer will restructure and develop a range of data modules and work packages, and ensure that financial, quality, and timeframe objectives are met.

The Technical Information Engineer will establish and continually develop a Common Source Database (CSDB) to contain the operational procedures and technical information required for the successful operations and maintenance of the SKA Telescopes located in Australia and South Africa. They will also be responsible for the development and maintenance of electronic technical publications for the SKA Observatory including operations, maintenance, and safety procedures.

The Technical Information Engineer will be part of the SKA Operations Group, reporting to the Head of Engineering Performance. The Technical Information Engineer will play a leading role in specifying the format and contents that will be provided by contractors during construction, and will further develop the information obtained and integrate the data into a CSDB which forms the basis for the publication of operations and maintenance procedures.

This role will be based at the SKAO Headquarters at Jodrell Bank, Cheshire, UK, and flexibility around working hours will be accommodated in agreement with the Line Manager and where operationally viable.

Key Responsibilities, Accountabilities and Duties

  • Develop and format the Operational and Maintenance information into data modules, and ensure the engineering activities are delivered effectively and meet safety, scheduling, cost and quality objectives.
  • Develop, author and edit data modules to be used by the Operational and Maintenance personnel at the SKA Telescopes sites in Australia and South Africa.
  • Integrate, review and approve the data modules into a Common Source Database (CSDB).
  • Publish and distribute technical documentation and publications.
  • Manage the technical documentation workload, including documentation received from contractors and external partners, ensuring work is allocated appropriately and resources are fully utilised.
  • Coach and mentor colleagues to share learning and experience and contribute to the development of SKA Operations and Maintenance information management capabilities.
  • Identify and assess potential safety and security implications of proposed activities, taking the relevant corrective action or escalating to the relevant manager to ensure a safe and secure working environment for all.

Mandatory Knowledge, Skills and Experience

  • Degree in Electronics Engineering, Physics, Applied Physics or another closely related and relevant field, or equivalent experience.
  • Proven technical authoring experience (typically at least ten years) in engineering research and development projects, in radio astronomy, astronomy, telecommunications or defence, or a broad electronic technical publication knowledge.
  • Experience in electronic technical documentation projects with an ability to provide direction and mentoring for others.
  • Experience of ASD S1000D specification and/or DITA technical authoring, including Common Source Database (CSDB), Data Module Content Management Systems, structured documentation and xml editing.
  • Up to date knowledge of external issues (legislative, regulatory, best practice standards etc.) including safety areas.
  • Experience of using collaboration environments, such as Confluence, to create a technical documentation database.
  • Good English oral and written communication skills with the ability to influence people in widely differing parts of a complex organisation.

Desirable Knowledge, Skills and Experience

  • Membership, or eligibility for membership, of recognised national or international institutes.
  • Experience with Jira ticketing environment.
  • Experience using authoring tools such as Adobe FrameMaker, Adobe Robohelp, Microsoft Word, WordPress, Acrobat (for PDF creation).
  • Experience in illustration software such as Adobe Illustrator, Visio, SmartDraw, PaintShop Pro, PhotoShop.
  • Experience of using configuration management software and or Logistic Support Analysis Systems.

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.