Breakthrough Energy Ventures Portfolio Company Career Opportunities

Senior Scientific Software Engineer

Commonwealth Fusion Systems

Commonwealth Fusion Systems

Software Engineering
Devens, MA, USA
Posted on Tuesday, June 25, 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.
The Scientific Software team at CFS develops software that helps us understand and build superconducting magnets and tokamaks. The primary project for this role will be an open-source pulse planning, simulation, and physics collaboration framework for tokamaks. We seek an experienced software engineer (Senior to Principal level) to help establish the architecture of this simulation framework. Researchers will use this framework to develop new physics models or control/estimation algorithms and virtually test them on the SPARC or ARC tokamaks. We hope to foster collaboration between CFS and physics/controls/machine learning researchers at partner universities and corporate research groups by making the sim framework open-source.
Thus, the simulation framework must be easy to use and add modules to while also being interoperable with CFS’s internal tokamak control software and test infrastructure. An ideal candidate would have made software that many other developers built upon and show an aptitude for learning about the project's physics aspects.

This team member will:

  • Help create an open-source pulse planning, simulation, and physics collaboration framework for tokamaks
  • Make software interfaces that meet the needs of multiple internal teams and outside collaborators (discover needs, build consensus, then implement)
  • Help scientists incorporate their models/algorithms into high-quality software
  • Implement CI/CD processes to reduce maintenance overhead and error rates

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

  • Bachelor’s degree in a technical field preferred
  • Worked on software built upon by many other developers (e.g., an open-source physics library or an internal service used by other teams)
  • Programming language: Python, including type hinting
  • Completed a large project either in a strongly typed language or rigorously using the type hinting features of Python
  • Able to independently set up a new software project, including CI/CD processes, linting, unit testing, and software documentation
  • Basic understanding of numerical methods, linear algebra, and differential equations
  • Able to understand the basics of the project’s physics aspects (e.g., undergrad-level electromagnetics and fluid dynamics))

Additional preferred experience and/or qualifications:

  • Programming languages: C++, Rust, or experience with low-level performance and memory management
  • Concurrency and parallelization
  • Simulation and systems architecture
  • Packaging and distribution of software to third parties, dependency management, and plugin systems
  • Developer and contributor engagement
  • Perform activities such as typing 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.