Vacant Post – Servo Engineer

Website ska_africa NRF/SARAO

Contract type: Permanent
Job Level: Management
Work Location: Cape Town, Western Cape
Closing Date: 15 February 2024

The National Research Foundation (NRF) supports and promotes research and human capital development through funding, the provision of National Research Facilities and science outreach platforms and programs to the broader community in all fields of science and technology, including natural sciences, engineering, social sciences and humanities.

The South African Radio Astronomy Observatory (SARAO) spearheads South Africa’s activities in the Square Kilometre Array Radio Telescope, commonly known as the SKA, in engineering, science and construction. SARAO is a National Facility managed by the National Research Foundation and incorporates radio astronomy instruments and programs such as the MeerKAT telescope in the Karoo, the Hartebeesthoek Radio Astronomy Observatory (HartRAO) in Gauteng, the African Very Long Baseline Interferometry (AVN) programme in nine African countries as well as the associated human capital development and commercialisation endeavors.

* Purpose:
The Servo Engineer’s main purpose will be to support the MeerKAT Telescope Operations in terms of motion control related fault finding / root cause analysis / performance improvements / test -development, -execution, -post processing and addressing obsolescence.

* In addition to MeerKAT, the Servo Engineer will be required to apply his expertise on new developments applying the basics of System Engineering process.

Key Responsibilities:

* Develop and design electronic product and test equipment for Motion Control Systems
* Execute and/or support root cause investigations on Antenna Motion Control Systems errors
* Execute/Perform and/or Witness tests on Antenna Motion Control Systems
* Perform Data Analysis on Test Results and Compile Test Reports
* Collaborate with cross-functional teams to incorporate motion control into overall system architecture
* Create comprehensive documentation for motion control systems, including specifications, manuals, and technical reports
* Configuration and Change Control, i.e. maintain accurate and up-to-date documentation throughout the project lifecycle

Key Requirements:

* B.Tech (Eng) (NQF 7) in Electrical, Electronics, Mechanical or Mechatronics Engineering with +6 years relevant experience, OR
* B.Eng/B.Sc (Eng) (NQF 8) in Electrical, Electronics, Mechanical or Mechatronics Engineering with +4 years relevant experience; OR
* MSc / M.Eng (NQF 9) in Electrical, Electronics, Mechanical or Mechatronics Engineering with +3 years relevant experience; OR
* PhD (NQF 10) in Electrical, Electronics, Mechanical or Mechatronics Engineering with +1 years relevant experience


* Strong background in electrical and mechanical engineering, along with expertise in motion control technologies with proven
experience in designing and implementing motion control systems.
* Proficiency in programming languages such as Matlab, Python and E-plan software.
* Experience with motion control components such as motors, drives, encoders, and sensors.
* Excellent problem-solving and analytical skills.
* Working knowledge in the application of the system engineering process.
* Effective communication and collaboration skills.


* Systems Engineering methods, procedures, tools and techniques
* Configuration Management and configuration management systems
* electronic product development and applicable standards
* electronic equipment fabrication and acceptance
* EMC/RFI principles
* Quality
* Production Environment

Additional Notes:

* Willingness to travel local and abroad
* Working at remote sites for 1 to 2-week periods
* Valid driver’s license


The website provides more details on the NRF initiatives and activities.


Applicants should submit a comprehensive CV by logging to and apply online. Applications should be accompanied by a letter of motivation indicating the applicant􀂷s suitability for the position. The names and contact details of at least three referees should be provided.

Closing Date: 15 February 2024

The NRF offers a challenging career and competitive remuneration package which is commensurate with qualifications and experience.

The NRF is committed to employment equity and redress and the appointment to the position will be made in line with the NRF Employment Equity Plan.

The NRF reserves the right not to make an appointment.

Correspondence will be sent to short-listed candidates only

To apply for this job please visit