Breakthrough Energy Ventures Portfolio Company Career Opportunities

Principal, Electrical Safety

Commonwealth Fusion Systems

Commonwealth Fusion Systems

Other Engineering
Devens, MA, USA
Posted on Thursday, February 1, 2024
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.
Our goal is to deploy thousands of fusion power plants around the world. We need a highly motivated and experienced electrical engineer to help deliver our first fusion device, SPARC.
We are seeking a Principal, Electrical Safety to join our Environmental, Health, Safety, and Security (EHSS) team. Reporting directly to the Vice President of EHSS, this role will be the organization’s electrical safety expert and will serve as a key advisor to ensure the electrically safe design of novel electrical systems. These systems are found in research and development, production, and operations applications across CFS as we lead ambitious endeavors aimed at developing cutting-edge fusion power technology.
Examples of the unique and novel power systems we are currently engineering include:
Motor-Generator (MG) System, an energy storage and grid-decoupling system used to drive the 800 MVA-peak SPARC pulsed power system from an approximately 15 MVA 13.8 kV utility source.
A pulsed power system responsible for driving the SPARC tokamak magnet system loads and providing dynamic control of plasma. It consists of a 700 MVA, 22 kV synchronous machine source, kinetic energy storage and approximately 1000 MVA of installed power conversion equipment serving 20+ individually controlled loads.
A steady state power distribution system…feeding balance of plant loads consisting of both medium and low voltage equipment.
R&D and Production high-energy test stands to validate system components.
o This could include equipment that is newly developed or otherwise niche, e.g. apparatus constructed for generating exotic DC voltages, transient studies and bespoke measurement systems. Such equipment is either by definition or highly unlikely to be listed by an NRTL or familiar to an inspector who is tasked with reviewing fixed premises low voltage AC building distribution and fixed premises wiring.
o This could include apparatus that is intentionally tested to failure.
The ideal candidate for this role will have 15+ years’ experience with electrical power system development and project management for industrial plants, power generation facilities, utilities, or large scientific facilities such as particle accelerators or fusion devices. Successful candidates will demonstrate sufficient technical knowledge to understand detailed designs.
The individual will be capable of documenting designs in drawings and specifications. Broad experience is desired; aptitude in a combination of the following fields of electrical engineering is needed:
Electric drives and power conversion equipment, line-commutated and switch-mode converters.
Electric machines, rotating equipment and auxiliary systems including excitation, cooling and sealing/lubrication.
Medium Voltage AC distribution and DC distribution. Protective relaying and asset protection.
Energy storage components including batteries and supercapacitors
The selected candidate will demonstrate substantial experience delivering and integrating industrial power conversion and distribution equipment across many projects. The candidate will be intimately familiar with the construction process. They will be highly organized and an excellent communicator; they will be responsible for prioritizing activities with vendors and trades on a challenging and active construction project.

This team member will:

  • Serve as a technical subject matter expert for electrical safety on high voltage distribution and end user equipment
  • Apply extensive knowledge of electrical theories, industry best practices, code requirements and state of the art design concepts
  • Leads the application of existing electrical safety principles and champions emerging ideas related to the electrically safe design of equipment
  • Facilitate a robust electrical safety culture rooted in a balanced approach between safety and meeting aggressive completion schedules
  • Evaluate electrical safety issues and concerns and provide recommendations to resolve or address electrical safety issues, working with an external AHJ where one exists, or serving as the AHJ where delegated
  • Interpret published guidelines, local, state and federal requirements and best practices to to propose safety related solutions with limited direct industry examples to use as precedence
  • Implement solutions that are scalable and aligned with CFS’ strategic goals and objectives
  • Develop and maintain CFS’ Electrical Safety Program and Electrical Safety Procedure, which outlines safe work requirements
  • Work closely with our team of skilled Electrical Engineers to review and validate proposed designs
  • Provide final review and approval to operate novel equipment, much of which falls outside of the scope or aim of the NEC for fixed premises wiring
  • Mentor other EHSS and engineering personnel on electrical safety
  • Manage interfaces with EHSS SMEs and other stakeholders, serving as the primary point of contact for project personnel on most EHSS issues
  • Develop electrical safety guidelines, work processes, and practices that will allow CFS to achieve our desired EHSS outcomes
  • Participate in design reviews, model reviews, constructability reviews, FMECA’s, HAZOPs, PHA’s, and other hazard recognition and assurance activities as requested
  • Facilitate investigation of electrical-related incidents, including near misses
  • Be an industry leader in electrical safety and represent CFS externally on matters of electrical safety and the electrically safe design of fusion power plants
  • Create and implement an electrical safety record keeping program in accordance with regulatory requirements and maintain electrical safety related records
  • Serve as auditor for periodic internal self-assessments and engage with outside authorities should an external audit become necessary
  • Implement and maintain a robust electrical safety training and worker qualification program, consistent with NFPA 70E, OSHA and the State of Massachusetts minimum required training for HV and MV electrical workers

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

  • Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering or a related technical field
  • Direct hands-on experience either as an Electrical Safety Officer or field experience as an electrical foreman in either MV or HV applications. The ideal candidate will have experience working either in a power generation plant or similar capacity related to a grid-connected power utility
  • 15 years of related experience with a Bachelor’s degree; or about 12 years and a Master’s degree; or a PhD with 10+ years of progressive experience in an electrical engineering role in a high-risk industry, preferably power or process plant development, refining or petrochemical plant projects, or a similar industry
  • In-depth knowledge of electrical safety codes and regulations with awareness of emerging industry standards. Including, but not limited to, NFPA 70 (NEC) and 70E, NESC, ANSI C2, IEC and federal OSHA requirements
  • Proven experience in defining and implementing safety strategies for complex engineering projects
  • Strong analytical skills to conduct detailed gap analyses of industry standards and internal safety practices
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills required
  • Strong facilitation skills and ability to work from a position of credible influence based on technical knowledge versus a position of authority

Additional preferred experience and/or qualifications:

  • An advanced degree in Electrical Engineering or a related technical field
  • Advanced skills in electrical safety
  • Experience developing a Process Safety Management (PSM) program
  • Application of Process Hazard Analysis tools in a non-PSM regulated facility
  • Working knowledge of energy-based hazard recognition principles and Human and Organizational Performance (HOP)
  • Prioritizing EHSS deliverables in a complex, schedule-driven environment
  • Relevant certification (e.g., CSP, CIH, or equivalent)
  • Ability to occasionally lift up to 50 lbs
  • Perform activities such as typing, standing, or sitting for extended periods of time
  • Willingness to travel and work extended/irregular hours to support mission critical activities
  • Dedication to safety to mitigate industrial hazards that may include heat, cold, noise, fumes, strong magnets, lead (Pb), high voltage, and cryogenics
  • #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.