skip to content

Cavendish Astrophysics



First Call: 20 November 2018

The SARChI Research Chair in Antenna Systems for SKA is hosted at Stellenbosch University,
and administered and funded by the National Research Foundation (NRF), the Department of
Science and Technology (DST), and the South African Radio Astronomy Observatory (SARAO).

A post-doctoral fellowship is available in the design and implementation of a radio telescope
system, including antenna, RF front-end, and parts of the digital back-end. The system operates
in the 50 – 200 MHz band, and is required to be deployed in the radio quiet Karoo region close to
the SKA core site. The successful candidate will be responsible for most of the hardware design,
implementation, testing, and deployment, while working in close collaboration with astronomers
and students from Cambridge University in the UK and INAF in Italy, who will be responsible for
high level system specifications, calibration and data analysis.

Applications are herewith invited, with the starting date 2 January 2019 or as soon as possible


  • A PhD in electronic engineering focusing on antennas, RF/microwave engineering, or radio astronomy instrumentation (awarded in the last 5 years)
  • Excellent communication skills in English (both written and verbal)

Additional Skills:

  • Experience in the use of CEM tools such as FEKO and CST
  • Experience in hardware design of antennas and RF/microwave components

The fellowship is tenable for one year, renewable for a 2 nd and 3rd year subject to satisfactory
performance. Deliverables will include:

  • Development of a prototype system
  • Reporting of the results in international conferences and journals
  • Ad-hoc assistance in supervision of PhD and Masters students in the group

The fellowship is open to all nationalities, but preference will be given to South Africans or citizens
from SKA African partner countries. The candidate will be based in Stellenbosch full-time, and
probably be required to travel to the SKA site in the Karoo as well as to the UK for consortium
meetings. This is in addition to travel to international conferences to present the research work
that will form part of the project goals.

A non-taxable bursary is payable to the successful candidate, with the final amount to be finalised
by January 2019. The 2018 grant was R370 000 per annum, with additional funds available for
travel and equipment.

o apply, a short (2 page) CV detailing education and work experience, a list of publications, a
link to the PhD thesis, as well as the names and contact details of at least two references should
be submitted.


Prof. Dirk de Villiers
SARChI Research Chair in Antenna Systems for SKA
Room E407, Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering
Stellenbosch University
Bosman Street
Stellenbosch, 7600
South Africa

Closing date: The position will remain open until filled, and all applications will be
evaluated with immediate effect.