Manager Smart Frontend Group
  • Expertise
    Antennas , radio frequencies and microwaves
  • Section
    Innovation & Systems
  • Hours
  • Closing date

Are you an experienced RF researcher or Antenna engineer with a strategic vision, a broad network and leadership skills? Are you result driven, a group leader and coach? Would you like to contribute to innovative research and development for radio astronomy instrumentation? Then you are our new


Manager Smart Frontend Group

-antennas and receiver systems for radio astronomy-


All the expertise needed to realize the frontend of a radio telescope is gathered in the Smart Frontend Group. Experts on antenna design, photonics, mechanical and thermal design, RFI expertise and smart filtering collaborate in challenging projects with fellow engineers on the development and design of state of the art antennas and receiver systems for the next generation world-class radio telescopes, like LOFAR and SKA. Since celestial radio waves are mostly very weak signals, large antennas and extremely sensitive and stable receiver systems are required. At the same time, these systems should be robust against the increasing man-made interference, caused by the boost in mobile broadband connectivity and navigation systems. The group defines and realizes the Smart Frontend technology roadmap in close collaboration with the astronomers and through this defines a large part of the innovation within ASTRON. The work encompasses all stages from experimental research and prototypes, to the design and build of an operational telescope system.

Job description:

Your job is to manage the Smart Frontend Group and to collaborate as a senior engineer in ASTRON projects. You work with your team of fifteen engineers and researchers to define its strategy, expertise and methodology. You support the project acquisition required to realize the ambitions set. You are responsible for the operations of the group including resource planning, financial aspects and human resource management. At the moment there is a ‘second man’ in the team, who can support you. You have a deep understanding of the technology and trends in the radio domain, and you are able to translate this into a technology roadmap. You have a leading role in the Innovation and Systems (I&S) department and in ASTRON on the further development of the antenna and receiver expertise. You have a strong (international) network among scientists and engineers. You are a proactive team player with leadership skills. You have a strong focus on the customer, connecting technological possibilities with the requirements of the astronomy science cases. You will actively participate in the I&S management team and assist in the formulation of the department strategy.

Job requirements:

  • PhD in RF or Antenna Engineering or comparable experience,
  • Experience in working in international (science) projects,
  • Good communication and interpersonal skills and ability to build and maintain working relationships with internal and external stakeholders,
  • Proficient oral and written communications skills in English and Dutch,
  • Pro-active and taking ownership,
  • Team player and builder,
  • Experience in the management of a research group would be considered a recommendation.

The terms of employment are in accordance with the Dutch Collective Labour Agreement Research Institutions.


  • A full-time 38 hours/ week temporary appointment in the service of the Netherlands Foundation of Scientific Research Institutes (NWO-I) for the duration of in total 2 years which will become indefinite based on good performance.
  • A gross monthly salary on a full-time basis, in the range of € 5.259 to € 6.405 depending on relevant experience.
  • A holiday allowance of 8% and a year-end bonus of 8.33% of the gross annual salary.
  • A solid pension scheme (ABP).
  • 42 vacation days per year on a full time basis.
  • We offer the facilities to grow and develop yourself in this position.

The organization:

ASTRON is the Netherlands Institute for Radio Astronomy. Its main mission is to make discoveries in radio astronomy happen, via the development of new and innovative technologies, the operation of world-class radio astronomy facilities, and the pursuit of fundamental astronomical research. Engineers and astronomers at ASTRON have an outstanding international reputation for novel technology development, and fundamental research in galactic and extra-galactic astronomy. ASTRON is committed to increasing its staff diversity, and we are especially interested in applications from women and other traditionally under-represented groups.


For more information about ASTRON you can go to our website For more information about this vacancy, please contact Diana Verweij, Head HR, e-mail: The first round of interviews will take place on February 23 and/or February 25.


You can apply for this job by sending your letter and curriculum vitae to ASTRON via the ‘Apply now’ button below. The first closing date is Friday February 12, 2021. Candidates will be considered until the position has been filled.

Word of a staff member
Andre Gunst
Group leader

My work at ASTRON is very interesting! Mainly because I can solve many challenging and complex problems. To solve these problems, I use the latest technologies. I think it’s important that I help astronomers to unravel the puzzle of the universe. The most inspiring of my work is that I work together with colleagues from […]

Read more

RT @SKA_telescope Following the first #SKAO Council meeting earlier this month, we've now published the construction proposal and delivery plan for the SKA telescopes! If you have time there are 480 pages to delve into... if not there's a handy 28-page summary. Take a look:…

More tweets