Scientist – Burning Plasma Physics

Devens, MA
SPARC Team – Tokamak Operations /
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 SPARC tokamak aims to be the first magnetic confinement device to achieve net energy, and the primary reference discharge is predicted to have up to Q=11 in DT.  In doing so, SPARC will robustly access burning plasma conditions and will likely see the effects of large alpha particle populations and dominant alpha heating.  The Scientist – Burning Plasma Physics position will be responsible for determining the most important aspects of burning plasma physics to SPARC operation and ARC design and developing a research program to address these questions.  This will involve simulation of fast particles (in codes such as ASCOT, ORBIT, or SPIRAL) and their interaction with MHD, development of operational plans for SPARC to answer high priority questions, coordination of a multi-institutional team of collaborators, long-term programmatic planning, and other tasks.
Senior Scientist, Principal Scientist, and Technical Fellow level roles are available depending on the candidate’s experience.

This team member will:

    • Develop a research program to answer the highest priority burning plasma questions relevant to SPARC operation and ARC design
    • Simulate the effects of fast particles on the plasma and their interaction with plasma facing components using codes such as ASCOT, ORBIT, or SPIRAL
    • Investigate (through simulation and experiment) the interaction between fast particles and MHD modes
    • Develop operational plans to answer burning plasma questions on SPARC
    • Provide input to the final design of SPARC diagnostics
    • Provide input to ARC design and scenario development
    • Coordinate a multi-institutional team of collaborators from universities and national labs

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

    • PhD in plasma physics or a closely related field
    • 3+ years experience (post degree) working on burning plasma and/or fast particle physics
    • Experience running experiments on tokamaks or stellarators
    • A drive toward practical solutions to integrated physics and engineering challenges
    • Experience with Python
    • A desire for active participation in tokamak design and operations

Additional experience and/or qualifications:

    • Experience working with the ASCOT, SPIRAL, or ORBIT fast particle codes
    • Experience with the MEGA, Far3D, or other similar MHD codes
    • Experience developing hardware for plasma physics experiments
    • Perform activities such as typing or sitting for extended periods of time
    • Work in a facility that contains industrial hazards including heat, cold, noise, fumes, strong magnets, lead (Pb), high voltage, high current, pressure systems, 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.