NRF: Instrumentation Engineer

Job Description:

The National Research Foundation (NRF) supports and promotes research and human capital development through funding, the provision of National Research Facilities and science outreach platforms and programmes to the broader community in all fields of science and technology, including natural sciences, engineering, social sciences and humanities.
iThemba LABS is Africa·s leading research facility for accelerator-based science that is committed to advance knowledge, transforming lives and, inspiring the nation through probing fundamental structure and the origins of matter; Advancing the understanding of condensed matter; Impacting the societal need through provision of radioisotopes for the health sector and isotope analysis for the
environmental sector.
iThemba LABS seeks to appoint an Instrumentation Engineer who will be responsible for the maintenance and installation of radiation detectors in coordination with internal and external users. The instrumentation Engineer in the Research development and technical support department will be responsible for the instrumentation maintenance training.

Location: Cape Town, Western Cape

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Employer: The National Research Foundation (NRF)

Key Responsibilities:

  • Apply expertise in radiation detectors
  • Guide and support the users and undertake installation of existing radiation detector systems on the beamlines
  • Provide professional support to the construction, assembly, testing, installation, commissioning, and operation of radiation detector systems
  • Perform appropriate maintenance of detectors/electronics
  • Provide training to students in the use of different types of detectors used at iThemba LABS
  • Work closely with internal scientific staff & external scientific users for the support of the detector systems
  • Maintain a testing and maintenance program on detectors
  • Fault finding of defective detector systems
  • Use of software packages, such as MIDAS, Radware, and ROOT, for data analysis to measure the performance of detectors
  • Maintain and update documents and records for the maintenance of detectors
  • Design/produce small scale items (electronic /mechanical /software) related to detector or electronics support
  • Operate high vacuum pumping systems
  • Operate cryogenic systems
  • Play a pivotal role in motivation for, design and commissioning of new experimental facilities (coordinating a team and a budget)
  • Be the link between the Instrumentation and IT department and the research departments to keep detection equipment and data
    acquisition systems in working order
  • Consult with users on requirements for approved projects and possible future experiments
  • Provide regular updated reports on status of detector and associated electronics

Key Requirements:

  • MSc. in experimental nuclear physics or related
  • Minimum of at least two years working experience in either:
  • ‡Analogue electronics
  • ‡Semiconductor technology
  • ‡Low-electronic noise signal processing
  • ‡Radiation detectors or radiation physics
  • Good interpersonal and communication skills
  • Good teaching and training skills

Excellent analytical thinking skills

  • Excellent problem-solving abilities
  • Good hardware design skills
  • Good communication and team working skills
  • Ability to work under pressure with minimum supervision
  • Ability to work as an individual and as a member of a team


  • Good software programming skills
  • In-depth knowledge of analogue electronics
  • Strong mechanical aptitude
  • Excellent safety conscience
  • Ability to work safely in a laboratory environment
  • Availability to work outside regular working hours
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How To Apply:

Applicants should submit a comprehensive CV by logging to and apply online. Applications should be accompanied by a letter of motivation indicating the applicants suitability for the position. The names and contact details of at least three referees should be provided.

Closing Date: 29 May 2022

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The NRF offers a challenging career and competitive remuneration package which is commensurate with qualifications and experience.
The NRF is committed to employment equity and redress and the appointment to the position will be made in line with the NRF
Employment Equity Plan.
The NRF reserves the right not to make an appointment.
Correspondence will be sent to short-listed candidates only


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