Fiber Optic Applications Engineer
Somerville, MA /
R&D – SPARC R&D /
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 SPARC Tokamak will be the first of its kind in many ways, including the use of fiber optic sensing arrays inside its magnets to monitor temperature and strain. These sensors will be vital to the longevity of the magnets and therefore to SPARC and future ARC power plants. We are looking for a Fiber Optic Applications Engineer who can vet potential technical and manufacturing solutions in order to guide the overall tokamak subsystem design—as well as planning for the technology needs of future fusion power plants and spin-off projects.
By 2025, SPARC will require an entire network of over one thousand fibers, uniquely identified and connectorized, in order to monitor and protect various magnet systems in the tokamak. These fibers will require robust installation and protection methods which may undergo high stress, high voltage, high vacuum, and cryogenic environments.
The Fiber Optic Applications Engineer will also be responsible for performing crucial optical fiber work such as fiber splicing, testing, and incorporation of fibers into complex design features while minimizing damage and attenuation to the fiber throughout its lifetime. The engineer will facilitate the research and development of these processes for the fiber type used in SPARC and establish the manufacturing guidelines needed for their incorporation.
This work is conducted within a multi-disciplinary team of physicists and engineers. Participation and clear, concise communication in design and test activities is necessary to both inform design decisions, prepare prototypes, and execute production.
This team member will:
- Have ownership over the entire fiber network in SPARC and provide designers with the data required for detection.
- Establish proper procedures for proof-testing and attenuation measurements of fibers with distributed sensing arrays.
- Understand and improve high-voltage and cryogenic feedthroughs for fibers used inside SPARC tokamak.
- Develop and qualify manufacturing techniques, processes, flow maps, and work instructions for specialty fiber installation, splicing, and routing in the SPARC tokamak
- Develop splicing/routing techniques of >1000 fibers to minimize complexity, time, and cost.
- Develop & execute splice plan for >1000 fiber splices inside SPARC system
- Establish and execute plans for future factory expansion, including capital equipment and floor layouts
- Train manufacturing technicians in the proper installation, splicing, routing, and measurement procedures
- Improve safety protocols for laser and fiber optic handling
- Influence make vs. buy decisions and work with external vendors to augment internal capabilities
- Responsible for maintaining the optical equipment and lab/manufacturing space
- Technician training and supervision for proper fiber optic procedures
- Building fiber force team
- Fulfill manufacturing and R&D fiber needs
The ideal candidate will have most, if not all, of these requirements:
- Bachelor of science in one of the following or related fields: Physics, Engineering, Materials, or Optics-related, OR Technical school or certifications on fiber optics
- At least two years experience in fiber optics field applications. Five years experience is preferred.
- Experience in utilizing distributed sensing arrays (FBG preferred)
- Experience with taking attenuation, insertion loss, and spectral analysis measurements using various measurement equipment (such as OTDR, OSA, OBR, power meter, etc.)
- Must have experience splicing fibers in difficult conditions
Additional preferred experience and/or qualifications:
- 5 years experience in fiber optic field applications preferred
- Experienced in facilitating development of R&D to manufacturing processes
- 3M certified
- Experience with polyimide coated fibers
- At least 1 year experience in teaching and/or training fiber splicing techniques and cable assemblies
- Experienced with designing, building, and testing fiber cable assemblies, particularly in cryogen and vacuum conditions
- Fiber coating removal
- Fiber re-coating
- Specialty fiber splicing
- Fiber proof-testing
- Measurement techniques using optical tools and equipment such as interrogators, optical multiplexers, optical switches, fault locators, OTDR, etc.
- Knowledgeable about various optics sensing techniques and optical attenuation/insertion loss mechanisms
- Basic Materials Science knowledge
- Good communication skills
- Good attention to detail
- Ability to lift up to 50 lbs occasionally
- May need to operate in small confined places in odd locations
- Dedication to safety to mitigate hazards that may include lasers and sharp materials
- Willingness to occasionally travel
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.