Breakthrough Energy Ventures Portfolio Company Career Opportunities

Director of Power Systems

Commonwealth Fusion Systems

Commonwealth Fusion Systems

Devens, MA, USA
Posted on Wednesday, September 6, 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.
Our goal is to deploy thousands of fusion power plants around the world. We need an expert power system leader for our first fusion device, SPARC.
In this role you will be responsible for the design, construction, and commissioning of the electrical system for the SPARC facility. You will oversee the specification, procurement, and installation of vendor-furnished equipment, the modification of existing or repurposed equipment, and the construction and qualification of novel power conversion solutions. You will deliver a complete, integrated power system with subsystems spanning a breadth of specialties within electrical engineering. You will ensure appropriate protection, control, and monitoring interfaces are implemented. You will serve as a subject matter expert in coordination with other engineering disciplines in the overall design and operation of the SPARC tokamak.
The SPARC power system is divided into two subsystems; the pulsed system and steady state system. Both subsystems are under the purview of the selected candidate. The pulsed power system is 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, energy storage and approximately 1000 MVA of installed power conversion equipment serving 20+ individually controlled loads. The approximately 40 MVA steady state distribution includes cryogenic systems, vacuum systems, gas handling systems and assorted standard balance of plant loads. Your team will include 6-10 electrical engineers plus consultants and contractors.
The ideal candidate for this role will have 15+ years’ experience with electrical power system development for industrial plants, power generation facilities, or large scientific facilities such as particle accelerators or fusion devices. Broad experience is desired; expertise in a combination of the following fields of electrical engineering is needed:
* Electric drives and power conversion equipment, both line-commutated and switch-mode converters.
* Energy storage solutions via mechanical means (flywheel) or static electrical means (supercapacitors).
* 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.
* Control of dynamical systems with demonstrated experience in electric power conversion.
The selected candidate will demonstrate substantial experience delivering and integrating industrial power conversion equipment. Experience qualifying novel equipment for use in niche industrial and/or military applications is also desired.
While the role requires heavy technical knowledge and ability, the principal function is managerial. The individual will have demonstrated success in building and managing a team of mid-level and senior engineers throughout the life of a complex project. The individual will prioritize work, allocate resources to generate deliverables, and review engineering products. The individual will manage the budget, vendors, consultants, equipment procurement, installation, and commissioning of installed systems. The individual will be capable of communicating technical content to a wide audience, coordinating design decisions with counterparts across the wider SPARC project, and directing a team of competent and motivated individuals.

This team member will:

  • Direct and oversee design, construction, and integrated commissioning activities of electrical power systems on SPARC
  • Review, comment, and approve engineering documentation
  • Cross-disciplinary coordinate with other SPARC engineering teams such as SPARC physics, plasma control, diagnostics, cryogenics, and gas handling
  • Select, implement, and potentially develop appropriate industry standards (IEEE, ANSI, IEC, etc.) for use on this project and the future fusion power plant ecosystem
  • Manage critical procurement contracts and coordinate with vendors for electrical system design, procurement, and commissioning
  • Coordinate with local authorities having jurisdiction; facilitate industry best-practices, namely with respect to electrical safety
  • Develop engineering and operational procedures
  • Oversee of internal development efforts in power conversion and magnet protection, providing supplemental support through industry contacts as needed
  • Communicate electrical engineering concepts and results to both expert and non-expert audiences. Derivate design requirements in coordination with physicists and engineers
  • Supervise 6-10 electrical engineers plus consultants and contractors

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

  • BS Electrical Engineering
  • 15+ years’ experience with electrical power system development for power plants, industrial plants, or large scientific facilities
  • Experience in large construction projects, including design documentation and construction administration
  • Strong experience building and managing a team of technical experts in related applications
  • Demonstrated ability to determine required analyses for specialty systems, generate necessary documentation and verify completeness
  • Technical mastery in multiple areas of electrical engineering including a subset of the following: power conversion, electric machinery and drives, control of dynamical systems, medium voltage distribution, protective relaying, low voltage process-industrial facility design, instrumentation and control
  • Familiarity with the design and operation of electric machines and turbogenerators, transient analysis of the same
  • Familiarity with the design and operation of phase-controlled rectifiers, switch-mode power converters and drives
  • Demonstrated ability to manage system installation within a complex, multidisciplinary construction project. Ability to interface with contractors, construction administrators, vendors and designers; knowledge of the construction process.
  • Familiarity with the following software, knowledge of the relevance of each to solving engineering problems and ability to direct engineers in the use of each depending on the application: *Standard electrical engineering software packages related to power distribution and converter design such as PLECS, MATLAB/Simulink, PSCAD/EMTDC, ETAP, etc, *Electromagnetic/Multiphysics finite element simulation packages such as ANSYS, COMSOL, SparseLizard, Mathcad, etc, *PCB design software (Altium or equivalent) *Basic use of standard programming languages, Python, C/C++, MATLAB
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills, ability to conduct design reviews and organize/present material to both expert and non-technical audiences

Additional experience and/or qualifications:

  • Pulsed power systems; electrical and mechanical transient analysis in complex power systems
  • Balance of Plant; utility interconnection and coordination, low voltage distribution, management of AE and/or EPC consultants
  • Design, qualification, manufacturing, and delivery of power conversion equipment to industrial market
  • Electromagnetic modeling; transient thermal analysis, magnetic fields, forces, and structural support in complex geometries
  • Instrumentation and control systems
  • Circuit design, modeling, and construction; implementation of specialty equipment for use in harsh (electromagnetically noisy, cryogenic, high-temperature, high-vibration) environments
  • Experience with high-current, pulsed power installations and apparatus on the order of tens of kA, 5%-10% duty cycle
  • Ability to occasionally lift up to 50 lbs
  • Perform activities such as typing and sitting for extended periods of time
  • Willingness to travel or work required nights/weekends/on-call occasionally
  • 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
  • #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.