Young Professionals Development Programme

To give academically excellent science and engineering graduates and postgraduates the opportunity to work for the the South African SKA Project (SKA SA), the project established the Young Professionals Development Programme (YPDP), in 2014.

Young Professionals (YPs) employed by the SKA SA to date are involved in exciting research work, including:

  • Conducting early science observations with MeerKAT and SKA
  • Operating KAT-7 and MeerKAT
  • Trouble-shooting astronomy systems
  • Processing large volumes of data and developing data analysis tools
  • Assisting with physical configuration audits, creating equipment structures and analysing reliability and failure of systems
  • Port signal processing algorithms to accelerators such as GPUs
  • Using LLVM and Python for high performance computing and language virtualisation
  • Developing efficient GPU processing using Python
  • Developing power efficient computing using alternate compute architectures such as ARM and Power
  • Designing high sensitivity cryogenically cooled radio receivers
  • Developing solutions for high-speed digitization of radio frequency signals, reconfigurable computing, supercomputing and machine learning, data transport and storage, calibration and imaging of radio sources, systems control and monitoring and digital signal processing for radio astronomy

YPs with a Bachelors Degree, or a National Diploma, will be expected to complete an Honours or B.Tech degree, respectively, during the first year of joining the YPD programme. Only once this degree is completed will the candidate qualify for full-time employment within the project.

YPs with the relevant postgraduate qualification are recruited for a period of up to three years, and are required to pursue a part-time Masters or Doctoral degree during their placement within the programme. In addition to work-based experience, the YPs are mentored to develop the necessary skills required by young professionals in any workplace environment.

Applications for the 2018 academic year

Applications for the 2018 academic year will open in 2017. For further enquiries, you may contact us at ypdp@ska.ac.za.