The SKA Regional Centres (SRCs) will be organisations in SKA member countries which together will provide a collection of both services and infrastructure that will comprise a global capability to distribute, process and curate the data from the SKA telescopes.
The SKA Computing and Software team is looking for a talented System Architect to work with the SRC stakeholders to develop the federated architecture that will support the essential requirements and quality attributes needed to deliver this capability. This is a senior role that poses an exciting challenge for the right appointee, offering a high degree of visibility and an opportunity to shape the architecture of the diverse applications being developed by the SKA technical community and serving a wide range of SKA scientific users. The high profile of the SKA could also result in significant influence on the wider High Performance Computing community.
The SRC Architect will report to the SKA Head of Computing and Software, with dotted-line reporting to the Director of Operations, and will work closely with:
- The SRC Project Scientist, who is responsible for defining the requirements and quality attributes of the SRCs and their federated behaviour;
- The SRC technical development teams that are being formed to support the individual SRCs in each member country;
- The SKA Software Development teams, which will be developing the software for the SKA telescopes, in particular the teams involved in Science Data Handling and Processing.
- The SRC Steering Committee, and its successor, that will coordinate the design, development and operation of the SRCs in the future.
- The SKA Operations Group, which will be responsible for operating the telescopes and, in conjunction with the SRC governance bodies, for the operational relationship between the Observatory and the SRCs.
The priority for the SRC Architect over the first 12-18 months will be to work with stakeholders to define the technical architecture of the SRC Network with the goal of bringing the design through a successful external Critical Design Review.
It is intended that the future development of SRC Network capabilities will be managed within the overall SKA Scaled Agile Framework, and this role will operate at the program level of an SRC Agile Release Train. However, elements of this role will evolve as the governance structure of the SRCs, currently under discussion, is defined.
The main functions of this role will be to:
- Work as a System architect at the program level of the Scaled Agile Framework to deliver the SRC technical capabilities;
- Work with other SKA architects, and development teams in the SRCs (and their precursors), to develop a coherent system architecture for the SRCs that meets the requirements of the stakeholders, whilst still preserving sufficient diversity for the individual SRCs to take advantage of their local conditions;
- Work with the stakeholders to continually re-examine the requirements for the SRCs;
- Define, along with the SRC governance bodies and the SRC technical teams, a coherent set of measurable technical criteria and service levels that define the accreditation requirements for SRCs;
- Act as the SKA technical contact for the SRCs.
Mandatory Knowledge, Skills and Experience
The successful applicant for this role shall:
- Recognised university degree-level education/training in computer science, engineering, science or related relevant discipline;
- Have an excellent understanding of the fundamentals of system architecture;
- Have significant experience in the design and architecture of large federated information management and data science systems;
- Previous experience of working effectively within a political environment where direct control of resources is not possible;
- Have a good understanding of new and emerging technologies and roadmaps in federated information systems;
- Be able to demonstrate understanding and enthusiasm for working based on lean/agile principles, continually iterating plans and solving problems to adjust to changing circumstances.
- Have excellent communication and influencing skills with distributed, highly specialised project teams and stakeholders, across international boundaries and time zones, involving a wide range of cultures and backgrounds;
- Be a flexible team player who is adaptable to change;
- Have the ability to travel world-wide as necessary and when possible in the context of any international travel restrictions (travel for this sort of role has typically been for up to one week 4-6 times per year).
Desirable Knowledge, Skills and Experience
The ideal candidate would also:
- Have experience working within a large agile development, particularly ones based on the Scaled Agile Framework;
- Have experience in managing a small team;
- Demonstrable interest in astronomy, with an understanding of the challenges of supporting world leading telescopes or other large science facilities.