Research Group Leader: Rapid Operational Solutions - CSIR Vacancies - Vacancies 24

Research Group Leader: Rapid Operational Solutions – CSIR Vacancies

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Research Group Leader: Rapid Operational Solutions

About the job:

The CSIR has a vacancy for a Research Group Leader: Rapid Operational Solutions in the Landward Sciences Impact Area, within the Defence and Security cluster. The incumbent will be responsible for the provision of strategic and technical leadership to a research group, including people management, business development, financial sustainability and operations management. This position is based in Pretoria.

For more info about the impact area or cluster, please visit respectively.

Key responsibilities:

  • Contribute to strategic investment goal setting and development of research, development and innovation (RD&I) strategy;
  • Implement the RD&I strategy for the impact area;
  • Lead researchers and engineers in design, analysis, development, rapid prototyping and evaluation of mechanical and electronic engineered systems;
  • Promote a culture of science, engineering and technology (SET) excellence and provide RDI leadership of multiple disciplines such as mechanical and electronic Computer Aided Engineering (CAE), modeling, simulation, analysis, testing and evaluation;
  • Ensure that the Rapid Operational Solutions area remains industry and/or service delivery relevant with national and international standing that is directed at cutting edge;
  • Propose and/or contribute to the strategic investment plan and implement Parliamentary Grant, Contract Research and Development and other grant-funded projects;
  • Develop and implement a business plan for operation, sustainable growth, impact and robustness of area (including strategy, goals, mission, HR, finances, technology transfer, IP and commercialization);
  • Assume leadership in the provision of technical solutions to client programmes;
  • Deeply understand the needs of the industry by integrating sector knowledge in multi-dimensional research and development programs in order to deliver industry aligned RD&I;
  • Ensure staff development and strategic Human Capital Development;
  • Ensure a well-balanced cutting edge SET capability, in terms of the elements of research, engineering design, or systems/enterprise engineering;
  • Ensure SET outputs are achieved;
  • Deliver on all KPIs of the area and ensure that all outputs are achieved, including transformation, profit and loss, quality, health, safety and environment as per agreed targets;
  • Implement and comply with appropriate financial, business systems requirements, including operational approvals;
  • Network with peers in the fields  expertise (design, analysis, development, rapid prototyping and evaluation of mechanical and electronic engineered systems) within and outside the CSIR;
  • Engage with clients and industry partners to develop long term relationships;
  • Provide technical support on business development and participate in client interactions;
  • Manage projects through planning of appropriate processes and policies to ensure Intellectual Property (IP) protection and technology transfer;
  • In collaboration with the Business Development and Commercialization portfolio: 
    • Drive the transfer of technology and solutions design to industry/user environment;
    • Package technologies for commercialisation or develop an “investment ready business” through financial modelling market assessment and business plan development.
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Qualifications, skills and experience:

  • A Master’s degree in mechanical engineering with at least five years’ experience in technology/product development;
  • A Doctoral degree will be advantageous;
  • At least five years’ experience in mechanical systems structural and dynamic analyses;
  • Experience in system safety assessment and analysis will be an added advantage;
  • Experience in systems engineering and product lifecycle management (PLM) will be an added advantage;
  • Proven track record of translating user requirements into engineering specifications;
  • Proven track record of delivering engineering outputs on schedule and within budget;
  • Proven track record in project management and research project leadership;
  • Professional Registration with Engineering Council of South Africa (ECSA) would be an added advantage;
  • Knowledge of South African National Defence Force (SANDF) processes, approaches and philosophies;
  • Sound experience in managing a team of multi-disciplinary professions;
  • Ability to provide thought leadership and high level conceptualisation;
  • Ability to work independently as well as in teams;
  • Business Development and financial acumen;
  • Excellent communication and presentation skills;
  • Conflict management skills;
  • Decisiveness and action orientation;
  • Appropriate national and international RD&I networks;
  • An understanding of the research to market ‘innovation’ value chain;
  • Knowledge of ISO standards, initiatives and accreditation;

South African citizenship is necessary, as a security clearance is required for the position.

Closing date: 07 August 2020


For more info, please contact the CSIR Recruitment Centre on 012 841 4774 or email us at