Breakthrough Energy Ventures Portfolio Company Career Opportunities

Senior Electrical Engineer - Pulsed Power Conversion

Commonwealth Fusion Systems

Commonwealth Fusion Systems

Other Engineering
Devens, MA, USA
Posted on Wednesday, November 15, 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 a highly motivated and experienced electrical engineer to help deliver our first fusion device, SPARC.
In this role, you will work with a team of engineers to deliver the SPARC Pulsed Power Conversion (PPC) System, a network of 25 power converters used to transfer stored energy in a 685 MVA machine to controlled DC power suitable for driving dynamic tokamak magnet loads. You will offer your expertise in power electronics, electric machines, medium voltage distribution, and magnet protection to assist in design documentation and construction. You will reflect emergent needs and proposed vendor deviations from design bases in the SPARC program; you will provide analysis of simulation of selected equipment to confirm adequacy in the SPARC application. You will work with protection engineers to select effective protective relaying strategies, noting that temporary overloads and harsh transient performance is expected in pulsed (~5%) duty. You will oversee the design, construction, installation and commissioning of balance of plant systems and will work with internal and external engineers on delivering the same.
You will develop and deliver work packages to the field and will coordinate their execution. You will manage relationships and information flow with selected vendors, and will provide detailed review and comment of proposed equipment during the submittal period. You will provide direction to vendors and relay pertinent design information to other engineering teams. You will offer input on applicable standards relevant to the design of power systems in an emergent industry.
The SPARC power system is divided into two subsystems; the pulsed system and steady state system. The selected candidate will focus on the pulsed system responsible for driving the SPARC tokamak magnet system loads and providing dynamic control of plasma. It consists of a 685 MVA, 22 kV synchronous machine source, energy storage and approximately 1000 MVA of installed power conversion equipment serving 20+ individually controlled loads. You will work with a team of 4-6 mid-senior level engineers, subconsultants and subcontractors to finalize design documentation, review submittals and provide adequate information to coordinate work performed by the constructor and electrical subcontractors in a timely manner.
The ideal candidate for this role will have 10+ years’ experience with electrical power conversion and power electronics for industrial plants, power generation facilities, utilities, or large scientific facilities such as particle accelerators or fusion devices. Successful candidates will demonstrate expert technical capability and will have intimate familiarity with standard systems employed in industry. They will have a strong background in control of dynamical systems with specific application in power electronics. They will generate detailed designs utilizing an ecosystem of subcontractors and internal engineers. They will assess the adequacy of vendor-furnished materials for purposes of construction.
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. Simulation and analysis of the same.
· Electric machines, rotating equipment and auxiliary systems including excitation system and detailed machine modeling.
· Dynamic control, implementation of Real-Time systems and integration with vendor-furnished equipment.
· Medium Voltage AC distribution and DC distribution. Protective relaying and asset protection, insulation systems.
· Mechanical design of power conversion systems; fault studies, cooling, conductor support, transformer design and testing, operation in pulsed duty.
The selected candidate will demonstrate substantial experience delivering and integrating industrial power generation 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:

  • Assist in delivery of all SPARC Pulsed Power Conversion equipment
  • Detail simulation and analysis of the SPARC pulsed power system, in particular the SPARC PPC system. Confirm adequate transient performance at the interface between the 20+ coupled SPARC pulsed power converters and the 685 MVA pulsed source
  • Coordinate with vendors and confirm specified performance based on submitted materials. Review, comment, and approve vendor engineering documentation (submittals)
  • Travel to vendor sites, witness testing and oversee works performed
  • Direct work of internal or subcontracted mechanical engineers
  • Implement reactive/active power and harmonic filtering equipment as necessary, whose necessity will be determined based on selected candidates detailed transient analysis conducted with Motor-Generator team lead
  • Direct and/or carry out detailed analysis of converter performance in pulsed duty, e.g. through FEM/FEA and time-dependent simulation
  • Produce and/or revise work packages and engineering specifications
  • Direct and oversee third-party integrators and subcontractors to complete installation and commissioning of the PPC system
  • Select, implement, and potentially develop appropriate industry standards (IEEE, ANSI, IEC, etc.) for use on this project and the future fusion power plant ecosystem
  • Coordinate with local Authorities Having Jurisdiction; facilitation of industry best-practices, namely with respect to electrical safety

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

  • BS Electrical Engineering
  • 10+ years’ experience with electrical power generation, upgrades and development in power plants, utilities, industrial plants, or large scientific facilities
  • Technical expertise with large power converters, both line commutated and switch-mode experience is required
  • Substantial experience with simulation, design and installation of standard power conversion topologies
  • Experience in large construction projects, including design documentation and construction administration
  • Project Management and Construction Administration
  • Integration of vendor-furnished equipment and qualification of the same for dynamic control of complex processes
  • Proficiency in standard electrical power system transient analysis software (EMTP, PLECS, MATLAB/Simulink, etc)
  • Design and operation of phase-controlled rectifiers, switch-mode power converters and drives
  • Simulation, modeling and control of tightly coupled MIMO electrical systems
  • 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
  • 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 and design; implications in complex power systems
  • Design, analysis and simulation of electric machines
  • Expertise in short-duty overload conditions with substantial harmonic content
  • Expertise in power system construction, mechanical bracing and cooling mechanisms, ability to direct/oversee detailed modeling and novel modifications of standard equipment for pulsed duty
  • Balance of Plant; mechanical system coordination, low voltage distribution, management of AE and/or EPC consultants
  • Instrumentation and control systems
  • 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.