Chemical Engineer (Tritium Extraction)

at 
Commonwealth Fusion Systems
Posted on 
19 Jan

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.

Tritium is generated (bred) in the molten salt used to cool ARC, which must be extracted from the salt and recycled as fusion fuel. However, such separation processes (e.g. gas-liquid absorbers, vacuum sieve trays) are at a low technical readiness level and present novel challenges because of the high operating temperature and low partial pressure of the dissolved gas. The tritium extraction (TEX) Engineer in this position will execute strategic and rigorous experiments to de-risk this system, starting at the level of sub-component development and eventually moving to larger-scale demonstration. Ideally, this engineer will also perform modeling to complement experimental work.

This team member will:
- Assist in the creation of new in-house experimental facilities for tritium extraction, from determination of requirements to detailed designs and overseeing construction
- Build, test, and iterate on sub-scale components of a gas/liquid separation system, including fabrication of novel sub-component test articles and the design and operation of new test platforms
- Develop practical models of hydrogen separation systems for molten salts, including transport of dissolved gasses across gas-liquid interfaces, and validate them with experiments.
- Work closely with other CFS teams including the safety team to manage chemical hazards (including beryllium) in existing and new experimental facilities, the supply chain team, and adjacent R&D teams to optimally share pooled resources including equipment and personnel
- Work closely with external vendors to procure new equipment and materials
- Work closely with external collaborators on both experimental and computational research projects
- Potential to manage junior engineers and technicians across multiple salt system projects

The ideal candidate will have most, if not all, of these requirements:
- BS in Chemical, Mechanical, or Nuclear Engineering or a related field
- Expertise in fluid systems
- Experience designing chemical processing systems
- Experience testing new chemical processes in sub-scale experiments.
- Experience designing experiments for scale-up of unit-operations 
- Experience designing chemical reactors
- Experience designing mass-transfer separation equipment such as adsorbers

Additional preferred experience and/or qualifications:
- Experience with high temperature systems
- Experience with gaseous extraction systems
- Experience with vacuum systems
- Experience with safety systems for hazardous chemicals
- Experience with Aspen or similar modeling tools
- Ability to occasionally lift up to 50 lbs
- Perform activities such as typing, standing, or sitting for extended periods of time
- Dedication to safety to mitigate hazards that may include fumes, chemicals, molten salt, tritium
- 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.

Job Description

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.

Tritium is generated (bred) in the molten salt used to cool ARC, which must be extracted from the salt and recycled as fusion fuel. However, such separation processes (e.g. gas-liquid absorbers, vacuum sieve trays) are at a low technical readiness level and present novel challenges because of the high operating temperature and low partial pressure of the dissolved gas. The tritium extraction (TEX) Engineer in this position will execute strategic and rigorous experiments to de-risk this system, starting at the level of sub-component development and eventually moving to larger-scale demonstration. Ideally, this engineer will also perform modeling to complement experimental work.

This team member will:
- Assist in the creation of new in-house experimental facilities for tritium extraction, from determination of requirements to detailed designs and overseeing construction
- Build, test, and iterate on sub-scale components of a gas/liquid separation system, including fabrication of novel sub-component test articles and the design and operation of new test platforms
- Develop practical models of hydrogen separation systems for molten salts, including transport of dissolved gasses across gas-liquid interfaces, and validate them with experiments.
- Work closely with other CFS teams including the safety team to manage chemical hazards (including beryllium) in existing and new experimental facilities, the supply chain team, and adjacent R&D teams to optimally share pooled resources including equipment and personnel
- Work closely with external vendors to procure new equipment and materials
- Work closely with external collaborators on both experimental and computational research projects
- Potential to manage junior engineers and technicians across multiple salt system projects

The ideal candidate will have most, if not all, of these requirements:
- BS in Chemical, Mechanical, or Nuclear Engineering or a related field
- Expertise in fluid systems
- Experience designing chemical processing systems
- Experience testing new chemical processes in sub-scale experiments.
- Experience designing experiments for scale-up of unit-operations 
- Experience designing chemical reactors
- Experience designing mass-transfer separation equipment such as adsorbers

Additional preferred experience and/or qualifications:
- Experience with high temperature systems
- Experience with gaseous extraction systems
- Experience with vacuum systems
- Experience with safety systems for hazardous chemicals
- Experience with Aspen or similar modeling tools
- Ability to occasionally lift up to 50 lbs
- Perform activities such as typing, standing, or sitting for extended periods of time
- Dedication to safety to mitigate hazards that may include fumes, chemicals, molten salt, tritium
- 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.

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