Meet the team
Meet the SARAO management team
- Ms Pontsho Maruping – SARAO Managing DirectorMs Pontsho Maruping was appointed SARAO Managing Director effective from 01 October 2022. She directs and manages SARAO in all its dimensions, including MeerKAT and Hartebeesthoek operations, and leads fulfilment of South Africa’s obligations as a host country for the SKA, and upholds SARAO integration as a business unit of the NRF.
- Dr Rob Adam - Special Advisor to the Managing DirectorDr Rob Adam was appointed the SARAO Managing Director from 1 January 2016 until September 2022. Prior to this, he was the Group Executive: Nuclear at the Aveng Group. Before that, he served as the CEO of the South African Nuclear Energy Corporation (Necsa) from 2006 to 2012, and as Director-General of Science and Technology from 1999 to 2006.
- Dr Adrian Tiplady - Deputy Managing Director: Strategy and PartnershipsDr Adrian Tiplady is responsible for developing, driving and directing SARAO strategy and partnership programmes through key outwardly focused Divisions. These include Strategy, Communications, Construction Planning, Human Capital Development and the Africa Programme.
- Professor Justin Jonas - Chief TechnologistProfessor Justin Jonas provides technical direction and oversight for all activities undertaken by SKA South Africa through constant interaction with scientists, engineers, technicians and programme managers within the SKA SA project office and at partner organizations. His broad areas of influence are radio telescopes and associated instruments built and/or supported by SKA SA, sites and infrastructure to support these telescopes and instruments, and the training of engineers and technicians to build and operate the telescopes and instruments. His current key direction and oversight responsibilities include the construction, testing, commissioning and operation of the MeerKAT radio telescope, the development of the Karoo radio observatory site to meet the requirements of the MeerKAT, SKA1-mid and various Guest Instruments, and the technical aspects of the African VLBI Network (AVN) programme. Professor Jonas will play a key role in the successful integration of the MeerKAT Precursor into SKA1-mid, and he is a member of the Science and Engineering Advisory Committee (SEAC) of the SKAO. He determines the priorities for technician training programmes and academic engineering research projects that are supported by the Human Capital Development Programme (HCDP), and evaluates the quality and impact of these programmes and projects. He also participates in initiatives to identify innovative technologies that enable new opportunities in radio astronomy and the commercial market.
- Dr Fernando Camilo - Chief ScientistAs Chief Scientist, Dr Fernando Camilo directs the SKA SA science program and the scientific program of MeerKAT as a world-leading facility in the pre-SKA era, and work with the user community to ensure the maximum scientific productivity of the MeerKAT large survey projects and open time.
- Mr Shawn Basson - Head: Finance and Acting Deputy MD of Operations and Business ProcessesMr Shawn Basson joined SKA SA in August 2012. He holds a B.com and Honours degree as well as an MBA and Masters degree in Capital Development Finance. Shawn’s role is to ensure that all policies of the National Research Foundation (NRF) as well as that of the Department of Treasury are adhered to and implemented by all within the Finance and Supply Chain Management teams. Shawn was previously employed at Transnet. Currently he is also acting in the position of Deputy Managing Director of Operations and Business Processes.
- Ms Keitumetse Molamu - Head: Engineering & Technology DevelopmentMs Keitumetse Molamu joined SARAO in September 2022. Ms Molamu holds a BEng, BSc IT and an MBA in Information Technology. She was employed as a Senior Manager at the Royal Bank of Canada. She has held different engineering positions in different technology and research industries such as the Airports Company SA, Ericsson and Clydebergemann Africa. She brings experience in her technical expertise base of electrical engineering, electronics and computer science to the position.