The Product Assurance (PA) team is made up of a small team of engineers in the Assurance Department of the SKAO. The team is responsible for the definition and implementation of the quality assurance and control activities for the MeerKAT Extension and SKA Projects. The MeerKAT Extension Project will construct and incorporate 20 radio dishes into the now operational MeerKAT telescope (currently consists of 64 radio dishes and it is a precursor to the SKA telescope). The Extended MeerKAT will be used to perform science program during the time leading up to the MeerKAT integration into the SKA telescope.
The PA team is led by the Product Assurance Manager. The Product Assurance Engineer will be responsible for the practical implementation of the quality assurance requirements of the SKA project, providing regular updates to the Product Assurance Manager and the project team. This requires regular contact with the contractors to review and evaluate their work outputs at the different stages of the contract to ensure that their solutions comply with requirements, applicable standards and regulations; enlisting the support of Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) as needed when carrying out these activities. Thus, the Product Assurance Engineer plays a major role in assuring the quality of the delivered products and their subsequent integration into the SKA telescope system.
The PA required for the SKA will involve several challenges which are unique to research infrastructures; the successful candidate will be one who can rise to these challenges and overcome them to help deliver a world leading facility creating new insights into the workings of the Universe.
The successful candidate will be close to the works, which are mostly at contractors sites, the SKA test facilities and the telescope construction sites. Thus, there will be some travels to these facilities and sites located in different countries, including South Africa, Australia, China, Canada and European countries. Some duties may require extended stays of up to 3 months in site countries on occasion if this is possible within future visa parameters.
For the SKA contracts, the NEC4 contracting framework will be used. In all forms of NEC contract, the successful candidate will work with the SKA Project Managers and the different Contractors, and act as stated in the applicable NEC4 contracts.
The main functions of this role include:
Quality Management System
- Contribute to the development of each Statement of Work to ensure quality requirements are clearly specified in contracts
- Review contractors’ quality policy statements and plans to enable the Project Managers to accept them
- Monitor the implementation of the contractors’ quality plans
- Work with Subject Matter Experts, Project Managers, and contractors to identify critical items and raise early warnings, and follow up with their resolution
- Liaise with the Project Managers to ensure relevant disciplines – especially in specific risk areas – are available on the client side to support the quality assurance activities
- Regularly report to the Project Managers and project team on the overall implementation of the contractors’ quality plans
- Support the Product Assurance Manager in the arrangement and conduct of Quality Audits
- Convene, attend and minute meetings including Early Warning meetings where related to product quality
- Log Learning from Experience (LfE) for all activities and ensure they are embodied in entry criteria into all reviews
- Maintain quality records that include contractor’s progress records including where applicable imagery
Tests and Inspections
- Review contractor’s test and inspection plans
- Clarify with the contractor those products which the scope states are to be tested or inspected before receiving and delivery to working areas
- Ensure that off-site tests or inspections are passed before items are delivered
- Identify and clarify with the contractors the standards to be applied in the manufacture, assembly, integration, inspection and test activities of the project
- Carry out planned mandatory inspections to assess the manufacturing, assembly, integration, inspections and test operations that are performed by the contractors to ensure they comply with the quality requirements, applicable standards and regulations
- Incorporate the considerations of SKA Safety Management in the scrutiny of test and inspection results
- Monitor, witness and report on tests and inspections activities
- Advise the Project Manager on the outputs of test and inspection activities that might affect payments and completion