(Payclass 08; 25-month contract)
Department of Astronomy
Faculty of Science

The Department of Astronomy seeks to appoint a suitably qualified person to fill the position of Technical Officer as soon as possible for appointment on a 25-month T2 contract.

The main purpose of this position is to: 1) service, maintain and upgrade the department’s optical telescopes and their related instruments and the department’s radio telescope(s), in order to keep them in good working order for use in undergraduate teaching, public outreach, and remote use by other universities; 2) provide training and support to academic staff, postgraduate students and undergraduate students and members of partner institutions on using the telescopes and instrumentation (both
hardware and software); 3) collaborate with academic staff in developing undergraduate practical activities using the telescopes, and in developing supporting documentation (e.g. manuals, videos, code, etc.), and outreach materials.


  • BSc in Astrophysics or Physics or BEng in electrical/mechanical engineering
  • One year’s relevant experience in using and maintaining optical and radio telescopes and teaching/tutoring experience.
  • Demonstrated experience with small power tools and test equipment.
  • Demonstrated experience with astronomy data analysis software packages, including Jupyter notebooks, for image and
    spectroscopic data processing and radio data processing and analysis.
  • Programming skills to enable the set-up and/or supervision of remote telescope access and web repository.
  • Working understanding of CCDs and spectrometers for small optical telescopes
  • Working understanding of radio telescopes, receivers, and backends.
  • Writing skills to enable development of practical manuals and assignments using optical and radio telescopes.
  • Be prepared for outside work, sometimes at large heights on telescope domes.
  • Be self-motivated and able to work with own initiative.
  • Ability to work flexible hours since much observing will take place at night.
  • Excellent inter-personal skills, a good level of self-management and a team player

Responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

  • Maintenance, repair, and upgrades of the department’s optical and radio telescopes.
  • Setting up the hardware and software to enable remote operation of the department’s optical and radio telescopes.
  • Observing training and support of undergraduate Astronomy students, members of the department and institute
    partners where needed.
  • Developing and updating telescope user manuals, observational practical manuals, and training materials.
  • Setting up and maintaining a website and online database to host documentation, manuals, and archived data.
  • Maintaining telescope observing schedules for the department telescopes.
  • Allocation of tutors for all Astronomy undergraduate courses
  • Coordinate production of outreach materials and participate in departmental outreach initiatives.
  • To help with ad hoc duties which arise from time to time.

The annual remuneration package, including benefits is negotiable between R393399 and R462822 per annum depending on skills and experience.

To apply, please e-mail the documents below in a single pdf file to Carol Marsh at

Please ensure the title and reference number are indicated in the subject line.
An application which does not comply with the above requirements will be regarded as incomplete.
Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted and will be required to undergo a competency test.

Telephone: 021 6503604

Reference number: E231031 Closing date: 19 November 2023

“UCT is a designated employer and is committed to the pursuit of excellence, diversity, and redress in achieving its equity targets in accordance with the Employment Equity Plan of the University and its Employment Equity goals and targets. Preference will be given to candidates from the under-represented designated groups. Our Employment Equity Policy is available at”

UCT reserves the right not to appoint.

All the best with your applications

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