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Breakthrough Energy Ventures Portfolio Company Career Opportunities

Head of R&D Programs

Commonwealth Fusion Systems

Commonwealth Fusion Systems

Devens, MA, USA
Posted on Tuesday, July 2, 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.
CFS intends to fully displace fossil fuel production of electricity through a global deployment of thousands of ARC fusion power plants. As we continue to evolve and improve the design of our fusion power plants, we are looking for a Head of R&D Programs to oversee the development of key future technologies.
This role will work closely with the Chief Science Officer (CSO) and will be responsible for ensuring that the teams are developing and executing on needed technology roadmaps.

This team member will:

  • Oversee and mentor a group of Program Leads who manage specific technical domains and manage small teams of domain experts
  • Oversee long term technology development that will shape the design of future ARC Blocks - includes leading a team of experts to develop and execute on a technology road map
  • Work with Program Leads to prioritize lines of scientific and engineering inquiry according to the most pressing business needs of CFS
  • Work collaboratively (in a matrix organization structure) with the Head of R&D Technology and Head of R&D Projects to prioritize the R&D projects that advance Program goals
  • Ensure that important learnings from programs are properly documented and disseminated to the rest of the organization
  • Work with Program Leads to develop a strategy for hiring the top domain experts in the world
  • Develop a strategy to interface with the broader external communities in each technical domain area (i.e. strategy for publishing, presenting work at conferences)
  • Work closely with Open Innovation and Program Leads to prioritize the highest-leverage collaborations with external centers of domain excellence (e.g. universities and national labs) and capabilities
  • Own and develop the process to stand up new Programs and evaluate the effectiveness of existing Programs
  • Monitor technology developments to anticipate future scientific and technology disruptions

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

  • 15+ years of experience running a large portfolio of high tech R&D programs in a commercial setting
  • Advanced technical degree in an engineering or related field
  • Previous experience conducting R&D work before moving into leadership
  • A strong proven ability to understand deeply technical, complex, and integrated products, including tokamaks, power plant systems, and superconducting magnets
  • Proven ability to lead individuals with significant research credentials and experience
  • Proven ability to hire exceptional technical talent
  • Exceptional problem-solving skills
  • Results oriented, get-stuff-done leadership
  • Proven ability to work in a matrix structure
  • Experience working in an R&D setting where large hardware and testing is involved

Additional preferred experience and/or qualifications:

  • Perform activities such as typing, standing, or sitting for extended periods of time
  • Willingness to travel or work required nights/weekends/on-call occasionally
  • 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.