RFI & EMC Domain Specialist

The Square Kilometre Array (SKA) is a global project to build a multi-purpose radio telescope that will play a major role in answering key questions in modern astrophysics and cosmology. It will be one of a small number of cornerstone observatories around the world that will provide astrophysicists and cosmologists with a transformational view of the Universe. The SKA will be constructed in two distinct phases. The major science goals for the first phase, SKA1, will be to study the history and role of neutral Hydrogen in the Universe from the dark ages to the present-day, and to employ pulsars as probes of fundamental physics.

Since 2008, the global radio astronomy community has been engaged in the development of the SKA as a major part of the ‘Preparatory’ phase of the project. The Preparatory phase ended in December 2011 and, following a number of major changes, the international SKA project has now progressed to the ‘Pre-Construction’ phase (2012-15) with the establishment of a new legal entity, the SKA Organisation, on 14 December 2011. Eleven governments are now participating in the project, with others engaged in discussions concerning possible membership. The SKA Organisation is now headquartered in a purpose-built building at Jodrell Bank Observatory in Cheshire, UK.

Reporting to the SKAO Head of Project, the RFI & EMC domain specialist acts as an internal expert advisor within this discipline and as a technical resource for both SKAO and the project’s various multi-national Consortia currently in the process of designing and developing the telescope. He/she will play a key role, contributing to the co-ordination and management of RFI & EMC matters within the overall project and the development of project management, system engineering and wider communication processes within SKAO. He/she will further develop SKAO’s existing RFI & EMC management activities, seeking to promote team work in resolving issues and to motivate, coach and develop people in the team to build functional skills in dealing with RFI & EMC related requirements. He/she will also help to shape SKAO’s strategic RFI & EMC control and management policies. In the wider community, SKAO’s RFI/EMC domain specialist will be required to represent the Organisation at national and international meetings and conferences, detailing RFI & EMC related project activities and articulating policy positions. He/she will also work in parallel with SKAO’s framework of international spectrum management activities.

Key Responsibilities, Accountabilities and Duties


  1. Contribute to the management & control of RFI & EMC issues within the SKA Project.
  • Work collaboratively with colleagues both in SKAO and the wider SKA development Consortia to achieve compliance with project RFI & EMC control requirements.
    • Contribute to the co-ordination, optimization, validation, and approval of RFI & EMC control & monitoring solutions within the project.
    • Undertake peer reviews and verification tasks as needed to obtain confirmation that assumptions underpinning engineering designs, data, analysis methodologies, and interpretation of results have been validated
    • Analyse equipment and systems contributions to the electromagnetic environment.
    • Identify and propose solutions to issues associated with RFI & EMC
    • Interface with Project Consortia engineers to understand design, testing, verification and deployment issues.
  • Assess and ‘own’ project risk issues linked to RFI & EMC.
  • Articulate and explain RFI & EMC constraints to various stakeholders at all levels.
  • Provide specialist advice on specific RFI & EMC issues as needed.
  • Develop appropriate guidelines and advise on potential EMC solutions.
  • Contribute to the development of methodologies and protocols for project management and systems engineering processes within the project.
  • Promote team work, motivate, coach and develop people in the team to build functional skills in dealing with RFI & EMC related requirements.
  • Develop supporting documentation and materials including demonstrations, presentations, training, etc.

  1. Interaction with signal-chain designs
  • In collaboration with other domain specialists, develop a method and guidelines for the characterisation of RFI as inputs for signal chain designers.

  1. Contribute to shaping RFI & EMC control and management policies.
  • Prepare and present briefings to senior management, reporting progress and issues at an appropriate level of detail.
  • Review, and where necessary, interface directly with other elements of SKAO (e.g., Legal, Engineering, Communications, etc.) to analyse information and data to develop recommendations for policies, procedures, etc. and formulate any required actions.
  • Liaise as necessary with the person responsible for SKA’s participation in international Spectrum Management activities (the ITU, et.).
  • Develop, lead and manage projects and initiatives related to RFI & EMC areas of the project as directed.
  • Keep up-to-date with developments in the wider RFI & EMC arena and integrate new information into the project as appropriate.

  1. Participate in and initiate meetings with various stakeholders as required.
  • Propose/initiate & manage discussion groups and resolution team activities as dictated by project development events.
  • Act as SKAO representative on RFI & EMC topics on international site hosting or Consortia committees.
  • Represent the SKAO at external domestic and international technical meetings detailing RFI & EMC related project activities and articulating policy positions.

  1. Medium-to-Long Term Activities
  • Lead/participate in the design and implementation of spectrum monitoring facilities on the two SKA sites.
  • Develop a framework or system for RFI data analysis, presentation, tracking and archiving sources of EMI and RFI emissions that affect the two SKA sites.
  • Degree in an engineering or scientific discipline (Additional Post-graduate qualifications in a directly related discipline would be an advantage).
  • Wide-ranging knowledge of RFI & EMC issues associated with the diverse equipment and systems operating in the frequency range 50 MHz to 24 GHz.
  • Conversant with electromagnetic propagation as applicable to EMC and RFI.
  • Deep understanding and experience with EMC/EMI shielding techniques.
  • Experience with design techniques for EMC.
  • Understanding of commissioning, testing, compliance and verification processes used within the RFI/EMC arena.
  • Familiarity with RFI monitoring, survey, measurement and data analysis activities.
  • Exposure to EMC testing, qualification, standardization procedures, etc.
  • Hands-on experience with RFI/EMI test & measurement equipment.
  • Able to use computers as planning & analysis tools, preferably with experience in the use of currently available RFI/EMC related software.
  • Knowledge of relevant EMC standards (e.g. EN55022, EN55014, Generics – EN 61000, MIL-STD-461, etc.).
  • Computer literate – Routine use of MS-Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc. combined with excellent writing skills for emails, reports, documentation.
  • Excellent one-to-one interpersonal skills for dealing with a wide range of people, including the ability to transfer knowledge to the other members of the engineering team in the SKA organisation.
  • Willingness to undertake foreign travel as required and work with multinational and multicultural teams.
  • Able to work alone or as part of a team as required.
  • Develop an appreciation of the role of a domain specialist in large scale scientific projects.
  • Resilient under pressure and self-motivated.
  • Minimum of 7 years in a similar or related role within the public, military, scientific or commercial sectors.
  • Participation in compatibility studies & potential interference analysis for telecommunication systems.


The following competencies are desirable: 

  • An appreciation of the challenges for RFI & EMC control & management posed by the ‘Radio Quiet Zone’ environment.
  • Knowledge of relevant RFI related recommendations and associated working practices within the Radio Astronomy community.
  • Broad-based general technical knowledge and analytical skills to support problem solving.
  • Having attended recognised CPD courses in fields relevant to RFI and/or EMC control & management would be an advantage.

For more information on the SKA project visit http://www.skatelescope.org. SKA Organisation offers a competitive salary, a generous company pension scheme, a relocation allowance (subject to qualifying criteria) and a flexible benefits package. The successful applicant’s workplace will be SKA Organisation’s headquarters at Jodrell Bank Observatory, UK

How to apply:

Please send a CV and covering letter to [email protected], quoting reference RFI/EMC and stating where you saw the job advertised.  

Applications should include a summary of your experience, including evidence of your suitability for the role, details of your current remuneration and the names of at least three professional references.  

Please note: your covering letter must contain, as a minimum, details of how you meet the mandatory criteria.  Cover letters that do not address this will not be considered.  

Closing date for receipt of applications is 30th June 2017.

Equal Opportunities Statement: 

SKA Organisation is committed to being an equal opportunities employer. Our aim to is recruit and retain the most talented individuals, regardless of gender, race, disability, age, sexual orientation, religion or nationality. 

At all stages of the recruitment process and beyond, we strive to treat applicants and employees with a high standard of care, honesty and politeness. 

Women have traditionally been under-represented in the fields of science and engineering; SKA Organisation 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. If you need equipment or adjustments to enable you to complete your application and/or attend an interview, then please let us know.

Apply Here: https://spiecareercenter.org/jobs/5371010