Meet the team

Meet the SKA South Africa management team

  • Dr Rob Adam - SKA SA Project Director
    Dr Rob Adam was appointed the SKA SA Project Director from 1 January 2016. Before joining SKA SA, he was the Group Executive: Nuclear at the Aveng Group. Before that, he served as the CEO of the South African Nuclear Energy Corporation (Necsa) from 2006 to 2012, and as Director-General of Science and Technology from 1999 to 2006.
    Email: rob@ska.ac.za | Tel: (+27) 21 506-7300
  • Nondumiso Yende - Personal Assistant to the Managing Director
    Nondumiso Yende has more than ten years’ experience in a variety of industries providing support to senior executives and computer programming. She is an aspiring social entrepreneur who believes that no matter how big or small the contribution, through any time that we contribute for the best interest of others (and the world), we are able to elevate not only the cause, but the value of a business or organisation as a whole.
    Email: nyende@ska.ac.za | Tel: (+27) 21 506 7329
  • Dr Bernie Fanaroff - Special Advisor to the Director
    Dr Bernie Fanaroff is the former Director of SKA SA. He holds a BSc Hons in Physics from the University of the Witwatersrand and a PhD in Radio Astronomy from Cambridge University and honorary doctoral degrees from six South African universities. At Cambridge he was awarded an Isaac Newton Studentship by Trinity College. He is the first author of the Fanaroff-Riley (FR) classification of radio galaxies and quasars.
    Email: bfanaroff@ska.ac.za | Tel: (+27) 21 506-7300
  • Professor Justin Jonas - Chief Technologist
    Professor Justin Jonas provides technical direction and oversight for all activities undertaken by SKA South Africa through constant interaction with scientists, engineers, technicians and programme managers within the SKA SA project office and at partner organizations. His broad areas of influence are radio telescopes and associated instruments built and/or supported by SKA SA, sites and infrastructure to support these telescopes and instruments, and the training of engineers and technicians to build and operate the telescopes and instruments. His current key direction and oversight responsibilities include the construction, testing, commissioning and operation of the MeerKAT radio telescope, the development of the Karoo radio observatory site to meet the requirements of the MeerKAT, SKA1-mid and various Guest Instruments, and the technical aspects of the African VLBI Network (AVN) programme. Professor Jonas will play a key role in the successful integration of the MeerKAT Precursor into SKA1-mid, and he is a member of the Science and Engineering Advisory Committee (SEAC) of the SKAO. He determines the priorities for technician training programmes and academic engineering research projects that are supported by the Human Capital Development Programme (HCDP), and evaluates the quality and impact of these programmes and projects. He also participates in initiatives to identify innovative technologies that enable new opportunities in radio astronomy and the commercial market.
    Email: justin@ska.ac.za | Tel: (+27) 46 603 7361
  • Shawn Basson - Senior Manager Finance
    Shawn Basson joined SKA SA in August 2012. He holds a B.com and Honours degree as well as an MBA and Masters degree in Capital Development Finance. Shawn’s role is to ensure that all policies of the National Research Foundation (NRF) as well as that of the Department of Treasury are adhered to and implemented by all within the Finance and Supply Chain Management teams. Shawn was previously employed at Transnet.
    Email: shawn@ska.ac.za | Tel: (+27) 21 506-7357
  • Dr Fernando Camilo - Chief Scientist
    As Chief Scientist, Dr Fernando Camilo directs the SKA SA science program and the scientific program of MeerKAT as a world-leading facility in the pre-SKA era, and work with the user community to ensure the maximum scientific productivity of the MeerKAT large survey projects and open time.
    Email: fernando@ska.ac.za | Tel: (+27) 21 506-7429
  • Tracy Cheetham – SKA SA General Manager: Infrastructure and Site Operations and INFRA SA Consortium Leader
    Tracy Cheetham is the SKA SA General Manager, responsible for infrastructure and site operations. She was responsible for the design and construction of the infrastructure and power for MeerKAT and guest instruments on site. Cheetham now manages the operations and maintenance of the infrastructure and power in the Karoo Radio Astronomy Observatory and its expansion plan. She also forms part of the INFRA SA Consortium which is responsible for the design of the SKA1_MID Infrastructure and power.
    Email: tcheetham@ska.ac.za | Tel: (+27) 11 442-2434
  • Kim de Boer – General Manager: Human Capital Development
    Kim de Boer manages the Human Capital Development Programme, which was established in 2005 to ensure sustained capacity in radio astronomy, and in the engineering and technical fields relevant to radio astronomy. To achieve this objective, more than 10 sub-programmes have been established under the HCD portfolio, including the Young Professionals Development Programme.
    Email: kdeboer@ska.ac.za | Tel: (+27) 11 442-2434
  • Willem Esterhuyse - MeerKAT Project Manager
    As project manager of the MeerKAT Project, Willem Esterhuyse is responsible for the successful deployment of the various phases of the MeerKAT project in terms of schedule, cost, quality and performance. As such, Esterhuyse has to provide leadership to the development teams for the development, design, construction, integration, testing and qualification the MeerKAT Telescope. He is also responsible for establishing the required processes to ensure successful delivery of the MeerKAT project, such as schedule and financial planning and monitoring, configuration management, scope, risk and logistics management. A significant part of his job is to establish, develop and manage the project team and from an operational side, establishing and developing a team that can support MeerKAT once the project is handed over to the operations team.
    Email: willem@ska.ac.za | Tel: (+27) 21 506-7308
  • Dr Jasper Horrell - Science Computing Manager
    Dr Jasper Horrell works closely with the team producing the Science Data Processor system for MeerKAT and also with research groups and activities which feed into this and the broader science and technology of the telescope. The work straddles research and production and his particular focus is on the development of machine learning techniques and systems applied to ease/enable astronomy data processing as well as an aid to serendipitous discovery.
    Email: jasper@ska.ac.za | Tel: (+27) 21 506-7340
  • Anita Loots - SKA Africa Associate Director: Africa and Special Projects
    Anita Loots is responsible for the overall running of projects and programmes related to the SKA African partner countries namely Botswana, Ghana, Kenya, Madagascar, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Zambia. In particular, her responsibilities stretch over the African VLBI Network of telescopes. She is also responsible for ensuring an enabling environment for the smooth deployment of the Hydrogen Epoch of Reionisation Array (HERA) project, based in Carnarvon in the Northern Cape.
    Email: aloots@ska.ac.za
  • Pontsho Maruping – Commercialisation Manager
    Pontsho Maruping is responsible for creating an eco-system that supports the commercialisation and wider application of SKA technologies and capabilities. She strives to create an enabling mechanism for local industry participation in SKA SA.
    Email: pmaruping@ska.ac.za | Tel: (+27) 21 506-7431
  • Barney Msiza – Human Resources Manager
    Barney Msiza manages the SKA SA HR function through strategic support, advice and value-added HR business partnering. Furthermore he develops the HR plan and contributes according to strategies aligned to the SKA SA strategic direction. He further supports and ensures the implementation of strategies that relate to human resources and people management and development; and manages the acquisition and development of staff as well as assisting management with the proactive planning and identifying of future HR requirements for the organisation.
    Email: barney@ska.ac.za | Tel: (+27) 21 506-7312
  • Lorenzo Raynard - Communication Manager
    The SKA SA Communication Unit consists of strategic communication, stakeholder engagement (internal and external) and science engagement. This is supported by three programmes namely resources development, development interventions; and events and logistics. The objectives of the Communication Unit are to: effectively communicating and increasing public access to SKA related scientific information that is accurate, responsible and end-user focused; increase engagement on SKA related science, technology, engineering, mathematics and innovation (STEMI) issues among communities / audience categories throughout South Africa; advancing the discipline of science communication; and maintaining SKA’s reputation and stakeholder relations while supporting the realisation of the SKA vision.
    Email: lorenzo@ska.ac.za | Tel: (+27) 21 506-7319
  • Carla Sharpe – Business Manager
    Carla Sharpe is the Business Manager and advises on, plans and implements strategic information and knowledge management solutions across SKA SA to facilitate business and operational efficiency, as well as compliance with internal and external policies and regulations. Information solutions ensure that the relevant and appropriate information is available to key internal and external stakeholders. The Business Manager is also responsible for ensuring the appropriate implementation of risk management and business continuity across the organisation, dealing with intellectual property as well as legal matters.
    Email: carla@ska.ac.za | Tel: (+27) 21 506-7309
  • Dr Adrian Tiplady - Head: Strategy and Business Processes
    Dr Adrian Tiplady heads the team responsible for working with relevant government entities to ensure South Africa’s readiness to host the SKA, and participate in the development of international SKA policies and agreements towards the establishment of the intergovernmental SKA Observatory. The team is responsible for ensuring organisational efficiency within SKA SA business processes and information management, as well as responsibility for ensuring radio frequency protection of the SKA site, working together with the relevant external stakeholders.
    Email: atiplady@ska.ac.za | Tel: (+27) 11 442-2434