Telescope RAM and Logistics Engineer (10171)

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!

Telescope RAM and Logistics Engineer

An amazing opportunity for an experienced engineer with broad technical knowledge of the system engineering of high technology systems to join an international team and contribute to the delivery of one of the largest scientific facilities on the planet.

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 Telescope RAM and Logistics Engineer will contribute to the overall System Engineering effort, providing direction and influencing activities leading to the creation of a Maintenance and Support Plan for the SKA Telescopes.

The Telescope RAM and Logistics Engineer will support the operations group by preparing the work to develop an engineering operations and support plan. They will work with the project and design engineers to ensure coherence at the system level, will determine, plan, and perform RAM and Logistics Support Analysis (LSA) at the telescope level, and will participate in the development of an LSA database and a Support Simulation Model. The Telescope RAM and Logistics Engineer will also participate in the development of a Data Module Requirement List (DMRL) and a Common Source Database (CSDB) at the observatory level, and will analyze the reliability and logistic problems with a focus on the optimisation of operational availability.

The Telescope RAM and Logistics Engineer will play a leading role in defining the maintenance plan and performance monitoring requirements for telescope operations, being responsible for the analysis and implementation of improvements to the plan during operations. They will also integrate the information from SKA construction contractors and be responsible for developing an interactive electronic technical publication for SKA engineering operations.

This role will be based at the SKAO Global Headquarters at Jodrell Bank, Cheshire, UK, and flexibility around working hours will be accommodated in agreement with the Line Manager where operationally viable, ensuring telescope delivery is not impacted.

Key Responsibilities, Accountabilities and Duties

The SKA Telescope RAM and Logistics Engineer will:

  • Be responsible for the application of Reliability and Logistic Engineering on the SKA Telescopes and ensure good communication amongst the telescope teams.
  • Develop a maintenance plan and guide colleagues, project members and the operational teams through the decision-making process to achieve an optimal maintenance solution.  
  • Monitor the Engineering and Telescope performance to ensure that the Operational Availability, KPIs and Cost objectives/budget are achieved.
  • Lead and participate in failure analysis with operations and project team leaders on the development of telescope systems.
  • Conduct Availability and Maintenance reviews to identify opportunities to improve the processes, facilities or equipment proposals to enhance operational efficiency.
  • Maintain relationships between project management, systems engineering, and mission assurance.  
  • Manage the internal and external teams to ensure a high quality of service that meets safety, quality and performance standards.
  • Produce technical reports, providing conclusions and recommendations, regarding Operational and Maintenance issues.  
  • Coach and mentor colleagues to share learning and experience, and contribute to the development of SKAO Engineering Performance capabilities.
  • Represent SKAO and Operations at technical and professional forums to keep up to date with best practice.
  • Support the continued development and evolution of SKA operations by developing engineering skills and keeping up to date with relevant developments within operations.
  • Identify, assess, and understand potential safety and security implications of proposed activities, initiate the relevant action (and provide inputs to safety procedures) to ensure a safe and secure working environment.
  • Regularly travel nationally and internationally as required.

Mandatory Knowledge, Skills and Experience

  • University degree in Engineering, Physics, or other closely related and relevant fields.  
  • Broad technical knowledge of the system engineering of high technology systems, such as large observatories, space systems, telecommunications networks, nuclear power plants, military projects etc.
  • Recognised technical expert in RAM and Logistics engineering with up-to-date knowledge of external issues (legislative, regulatory, best practice standards, safety etc.).
  • Experience in Reliability, Availability and Maintainability (RAM) analysis, modelling and simulation of complex systems, Logistics Support Analysis (LSA), Support Simulation Modelling and Technical Publications requirements such as MIL-STD-1388-2B, Def Stan 00-60, ASD S1000D and IETM/IETP.
  • Experience in critical technologies or major units within large RF systems, such as radio astronomy observatories or radars.
  • Ability to adapt to the needs of a significant engineering and technical/scientific project, requiring a working knowledge or demonstrated ability to quickly learn about astronomical telescope infrastructure and/or software.
  • Ability to understand the financial implications of reliability and support related problem areas.
  • Excellent planning and organising skills, with the ability to delegate.
  • Excellent communication and influencing skills, with the ability to build effective working relationships with different internal and external stakeholders.
  • Ability to coach and mentor.
  • Ability and willingness to travel nationally and internationally as required.

Desirable Knowledge, Skills and Experience

  • Membership of, or eligibility for membership of, recognised national or international system engineering institutes.
  • Industry experience and/or a track record of successful collaborative links with industry.
  • Experience of the development, implementation and execution of integrated logistics processes in projects in high technology environments.
  • Experience using Logistics Support Analysis and RAM modelling tools.
  • Experience using Computerised Maintenance Management systems.
  • Experience of working in a (radio) astronomical observatory or similar large-scale facility.
  • Experience in using configuration management software.
  • Experience in using collaboration environments such as Confluence and/or Jira ticketing system.
  • Microsoft Word, Word Press, Acrobat (for PDF creation).

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.