Research Group Leader: Rapid Operational Solutions – CSIR Vacancies

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 https://www.csir.co.za/defence-and-security 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:

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  • 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

PLEASE NOTE THAT FEEDBACK WILL BE GIVEN TO SHORTLISTED CANDIDATES ONLY.

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For more info, please contact the CSIR Recruitment Centre on 012 841 4774 or email us at Recruitmentinfo@csir.co.za