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The SKA Organisation

The Office for the SKA Organisation (SKAO) is responsible for coordinating the global activities of the SKA project. This includes engineering, science, site evaluation, operations and public outreach.  

The SKA Organisation Headquarters, at Jodrell Bank Observatory near Manchester, UK, and the Lovell Telescope in the background. Credit: SKA, R. Millenaar (ASTRON/SKA)

The SKA Organisation Headquarters, at Jodrell Bank Observatory near Manchester, UK, and the Lovell Telescope in the background. Credit: SKA, R. Millenaar (ASTRON/SKA)

In 2012, one of the most momentous decisions in recent scientific times was taken with the decision to co-site the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) in the deserts of South Africa and Australia. This unique project is set to test the limits of human engineering and scientific endeavour over the next decade. In 2013, the SKA Organisation located to an equally unique new facility. One which has become home to the team who managing the construction, design and scientific output of these ground breaking telescopes. In front of a throng of local and global dignitaries, scientists and engineers, the SKA’s international headquarters was opened by the UK Minister for Universities and Science – David Willets MP.

The SKA Organisation headquarters, located near to, and with views of the iconic Lovell Telescope at Jodrell Bank Observatory, near Manchester, UK, is the central control hub for a global team who over the next decade is building the SKA – The largest radio telescope ever seen on Earth. The elegant and modern building, funded by the University of Manchester, is a state of the art facility home to some 50 members of staff, including visiting scientists and engineers. Designed by architects Fielden Clegg Bradley and built by John Turner Construction Group, the building uses numerous environmentally friendly engineering solutions by Capita Symonds to ensure a minimal environmental impact. Natural lighting is provided by the huge glass facade, and the architectural teams have made important efforts to ensure that the ventilation, lighting and heating systems are as energy efficient as possible. Built in just over 6 months, the SKA Organisation office has been in use since November 2012, when the team moved from the Alan Turing Building at the University of Manchester. For a full press release on the opening of the SKAO click here

The Opening Ceremony of the SKA Organisation HQ

David Willets, Minister for Universities and Science opening the SKA HQ in 2013