Optical Imaging Lead

Devens, MA
SPARC Team – Tokamak Systems /
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.

CFS is looking to grow the SPARC Long Wavelength Diagnostics team with a specialization on design and implementation of optical imaging systems to view the plasma.  Early in SPARC’s operational life, imaging and spectroscopy tools can survive near the tokamak, but during high power D-T plasmas, these instruments must be in a remote diagnostic laboratory space.  Optical imaging applications will include real-time plasma control, use for improving scientific understanding of burning plasma physics and in-vessel illumination and inspection. Final designs for two of eighteen of the in-vessel optical systems have been completed and CFS is looking for candidates to lead the remaining system design and shepherd the imaging systems through fabrication, assembly, calibration, commissioning and utilization. The Optical Imaging Lead will be responsible for the port-based light extraction optics and the optics used to relay UV, visible and infrared light to back-end diagnostic equipment. Candidates will work closely with the Plasma Spectroscopy Lead whose role will focus on design and deployment of light analysis tools.  The Optical Imaging Lead will be responsible for maintaining the evolution of the system during SPARC’s operation life, and enhancements are also envisioned that leverage techniques demonstrated on existing tokamaks as well as a focus on imaging diagnostics transferable to ARC.  Candidates will work as part of an integrated diagnostic and operations team that includes MIT-PSFC partners and fusion community collaborators from around the world.  Prior experience working on tokamak or fusion plasma diagnostics is not required, and CFS encourages applications from people looking for a career transition who work in related technology areas with relevant optical instrumentation experience (defense, aerospace, astrophysics, etc.).

This team member will:

    • Complete the design of the SPARC optical imaging system, working with a team of scientists, designers, analysts and engineers, both internal and external
    • Integrate technical input from experts in the wider SPARC team to ensure optical tools can support SPARC operational and scientific mission goals
    • Work with the SPARC procurement team and external suppliers to source optical components and sub-assemblies in a way that constrains cost while maintaining optical performance
    • Plan and oversee the assembly, installation, calibration and commissioning for optical systems to ensure first plasma is achieved on-schedule while also not limiting when D-T operation can occur
    • Work with the SPARC Software team to integrate the actively controlled components into the plant-level and real-time plasma control systems
    • Participate in the calibration and alignment of the optics that balances learning how to operate SPARC with obtaining physics results as quickly as possible
    • Provide optical expertise that helps CFS build a core competency in plasma diagnostics for burning plasmas that can help deliver future fusion devices optimized for power production

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

    • At least a bachelor’s degree in a relevant engineering field (electrical engineering, optics, robotics, etc.)
    • Led the design of laser, imaging or spectroscopic instrument for research or commercial applications.
    • Managed external engineering resources as part of the overall design team
    • Familiarity with CAD tools for laying out detailed design of optical components
    • Familiarity with tools and hazards relevant to alignment and calibration of imaging systems
    • Attention to detail with an ability to pivot between topics multiple times per day
    • Ability to understand and manage interface issues that bridge complex engineering and physics topics
    • An ability to clearly express and critique ideas
    • An emphasis on elegance and simplicity over complexity

Additional preferred experience and/or qualifications:

    • Familiarity with commercial optical design software (Zemax, Oslo, etc.)
    • Managing multiple systems or product lines concurrently
    • Python/Matlab/C++ (or equivalent) for simulating performance and/or control
    • Experience collaborating with commercial vendors of optical equipment
    • Ability to lift up to 50 lbs occasionally
    • Perform activities such as climbing, typing, standing, and sitting, for extended periods of time
    • Dedication to safety to mitigate hazards that may include heat, cold, and strong magnets
    • Willingness to occasionally travel or work required nights/weekends/on-call
    • #LI-Onsite
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.