Breakthrough Energy Ventures Portfolio Company Career Opportunities

Materials Team Lead

Commonwealth Fusion

Commonwealth Fusion

Somerville, MA, USA
Posted on Wednesday, June 28, 2023
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 Materials Team at CFS assists design engineers in selecting materials for their applications, ensures that materials exist in the proper form and function for those applications, assists CFS supply chain in procuring the necessary materials in that form and function, and conducts R&D to develop new materials and processes to enable fusion power deployment. The work is undertaken in support of deploying SPARC, the net energy tokamak under construction in Devens, MA, and ultimately in designing the ARC fusion power plant. These devices pose unique materials challenges including neutron fluxes produced by deuterium-tritium fusion, high heat loads, molten salt coolant systems, complex component topologies, high magnetic fields, and high cryogenic mechanical loads. To support this mission, the CFS Materials Team is seeking sub-team leads for the growing group. Team Leads will mentor, coordinate, and grow teams of 2-5 engineers in addition to serving as subject matter experts in materials science and engineering.

This team member will:

  • Manage a team of 2-5 materials and test engineers
  • Lead materials test technicians to support test setup, test execution, and interpret test results
  • Mentor, coordinate, and line manage a small team of materials and test engineers in domain specific groups
  • Maintain and grow CFS cultural values of integrity, self-critique, impact, and execution while supporting and growing team members
  • Serve as a subject matter expert and individual contributor in one or more of the following areas
  • o Processing and mechanical properties of metals and alloys
  • o Metallic and ceramic coatings
  • o Welding and joining (particularly of dissimilar materials)
  • o Cryogenic properties of materials (structural, transport)
  • o Materials specification and procurement support
  • o Radiation and plasma effects on materials and components
  • Creating educational resources, guidance documentation, and materials libraries for a broad engineering population
  • Translating performance requirements into material property specifications and defining appropriate test methods
  • Represent CFS Materials Engineering in design and manufacturing reviews
  • Report on team activities and successes
  • Ensure efficient and timely transfer of property data and new insight to engineering design teams
  • Promote a safety-oriented work culture and comply with all CFS guidelines and policies
  • Work closely with other CFS teams including:
  • o Safety team to manage chemical/mechanical/environmental hazards in existing and New experimental facilities
  • o Adjacent R&D teams to optimally share pooled resources including equipment and personnel
  • o Supply chain team to procure new equipment and materials
  • o Manufacturing team to ensure fabrication methods are scalable

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

  • BS in Materials Science and Engineering or related field + 5 years experience with some managerial responsibility
  • Experience with materials laboratory failure analysis
  • Experience conducting and understanding standard mechanical property testing
  • Experience with robust manufacturing quality systems and qualification processes (PFMEA)
  • Understanding of how materials properties impact performance
  • Demonstrated ability to apply first principles thinking to solving materials problems
  • Knowledge of process-structure-property relationships in materials and relevant manufacturing processes
  • Efficient and effective technical communication skills targeted at a variety of audiences
  • A strong drive for quality and attention to detail
  • Ability to work effectively in a multidisciplinary team of engineers, scientists, technical staff and others
  • Ability to clearly express and critique ideas
  • Ability to rapidly execute short turnaround engineering/R&D tasks
  • Strong problem solving skills, ability to approach new problems with creativity
  • Resource estimation and projection

Additional preferred experience and/or qualifications:

  • MS or PhD in Materials Science and Engineering or related field with managerial experience
  • Familiarity with radiation and plasma effects on material properties and performance
  • Understanding and experience testing materials in various environments including extreme temperature and high vacuum applications
  • Experience developing novel testing methods
  • Experience documenting processes
  • Experience with project management
  • 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.