Senior Materials Engineer - Composites

Devens, MA
R&D – Materials /
Full-time /
Commonwealth Fusion Systems (CFS) has the fastest, lowest cost path to commercial fusion energy.

CFS collaborates with MIT to leverage decades of research combined with groundbreaking new high-temperature superconducting (HTS) magnet technology. HTS magnets will enable compact fusion power plants that can be constructed faster and at lower cost. Our mission is to deploy these power plants to meet global decarbonization goals as fast as possible. To that end, CFS has assembled a team of leaders in tough tech, fusion science, and manufacturing with a track record of rapid execution. Supported by the world’s leading investors, CFS is uniquely positioned to deliver limitless, clean, fusion power to combat climate change. To implement this plan, we are looking to add dedicated people to the team who treat people well, improve our work by adding multifaceted perspectives and new ways of solving problems, have achieved outstanding results through a range of pursuits, and have skills and experience related to this role.

The Materials Department at CFS supports design engineers, supply chain, and manufacturing by guiding the selection of materials that meet design intent, executing testing, validation, and creation of design curves for materials, and conducting R&D to develop new materials and processes to enable fusion power deployment. The work is undertaken in support of delivering SPARC, the net energy tokamak under construction in Devens, MA, and ultimately in designing the ARC fusion power plant. These devices pose unique materials challenges including neutron fluxes produced by deuterium-tritium fusion, high heat and mechanical loads driven by high magnetic fields and cryogenic environment, molten salt coolant systems, and manufacturing challenges driven by components’ sizing and processes such as welding and other joining methods. To support this mission, the CFS Materials Department is seeking a Senior Materials Engineer with expertise in continuous fiber reinforced polymer composites.
The ideal candidate has a background in process engineering or mechanical engineering and materials science and/or physics. They will be instrumental in selecting manufacturing processes and materials in critical parts of SPARC which can be safely cured, processed, and machined. The tasks will include, but are not limited to: defining minimum composite materials characterization required for each application, defining the approach to composite mechanical design allowables and testing for composite electrical insulation. With time, this engineer will work cross-functionally to lead the expansion of internal composite testing capabilities and define quality control processes (internal and external).

This team member will:

    • Translate performance requirements and failure modes into material property requirements and defining appropriate test methods
    • Collaborate with design and manufacturing engineers to approve or select materials and processing methods
    • Select and interpret applicable international materials standard specifications
    • Author materials standard specifications for fusion specific applications
    • Review, interpret, and report materials property data into version controlled database for engineering use
    • Design experiments to quickly learn critical materials properties in manufacturing relevant conditions
    • Coordinate with external experts to generate new property data on existing materials
    • Qualify supplier materials including reviewing test data and judging equivalence or adherence to various standard specifications

The ideal candidate will have most, if not all, of these requirements:

    • Bachelor's degree + 8 years experience or equivalent in Materials science engineering, mechanical engineering, applied physics or related field
    • 1 year of experience with engineering composites in a manufacturing environment
    • Experience with continuous fiber reinforced composites
    • Experience in failure analysis of composites, ideally glass-fiber reinforced composites
    • Experimental design and analysis for mechanical testing of composite materials
    • Understanding process-structure-properties-performance principles for composites
    • Able to think creatively and possess strong troubleshooting and problem solving skills
    • Demonstrated ability to work effectively cross-functionally
    • Excellent organizational skills including prioritization of multiple concurrent projects
    • Ability to work effectively in a multidisciplinary team of engineers, scientists, technical staff, and others
    • Familiarity with nuclear and plasma effects on material properties and performance an asset

Additional preferred experience and/or qualifications:

    • Experience making and justifying decisions in fast paced engineering settings
    • Structural analysis calculations and modeling mechanical behavior of composite materials
    • Authoring of materials standard specifications
    • Communicating with technical teams at vendors and suppliers
    • Failure modes in electrical breakdown of insulation material
    • Materials selection for cryogenic environment applications
    • Experience selecting materials and processes to optimize design for manufacturing
    • Perform activities such as typing, standing, or sitting for extended periods of time
    • Dedication to safety to mitigate industrial hazards that may include heat, cold, noise, fumes, strong magnets, lead (Pb), high voltage, and cryogenics
    • Willingness to travel or work required nights/weekends/on-call occasionally
    • #LI-Hybrid
CFS team members thrive in a fast-paced, dynamic environment and have demonstrated exceptional results through a range of different pursuits. We all tightly align with our company values of integrity, execution, impact and self-critique. As we grow, we are looking to add talented people who are mission driven and bring diverse perspectives and new ways of solving problems.

At CFS, we deeply value diversity and are an equal opportunity employer by choice. We consider all qualified applicants equally for employment. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, ancestry, citizenship status, protected veteran status, religion, physical or mental disability, marital status, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, or any other basis protected by law, ordinance, or regulation.