Fast Software and Control Systems Team Leader

  • Commonwealth Fusion Systems (CFS)
  • Devens, MA
  • Jun 23, 2022
Full time role Engineering: Software

Job Description

Commonwealth Fusion Systems (CFS) has the fastest, lowest cost path to commercial fusion energy.
CFS is collaborating with MIT to leverage decades of research combined with new groundbreaking high-temperature superconducting (HTS) magnet technology. HTS magnets will enable compact fusion power plants that can be constructed faster and at lower cost. The mission is to deploy fusion power plants to meet global decarbonization goals as fast as possible. 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 execute this plan, we are looking to add talented people to the team who are mission-driven and treat people well, improve our team by adding diverse perspectives and new ways of solving problems, have demonstrated exceptional results through a range of different pursuits, and have skill sets and experience that relate to this role.
SPARC has a wide variety of instrumentation and control (I&C) systems across the tokamak and supporting plant systems necessary for operation. The SPARC I&C team seeks an exceptional leader to manage development of fast real-time control and data systems for the SPARC tokamak. SPARC senses thousands of physical measurements while controlling MA of current to superconducting magnets and MW of RF power to the plasma. These closed-loop systems must control at rates substantially greater than 1 kHz and must sample some parameters in the MHz range. These systems must interface with the SPARC plasma control system, data system and other plant I&C systems running on industrial control platforms.
As leader of the fast software and control systems team you will first build a team of outstanding engineers. Your direct reports will include software, data acquisition and control system engineers. As your team grows, you will need to create standard platforms for fast control and data acquisition. You will collect functional requirements from plant and tokamak engineers, operations engineers, and plasma physicists and produce measurement and control solutions to meet these requirements.
You will work with simulation and test engineers to integrate your software into software testbeds, hardware testbeds, and the SPARC tokamak. The culmination of your team’s work will control SPARC through first plasma, fusion operations, and the first time a controlled fusion reaction produces more energy than it consumes.

This team member will:

  • Grow, lead, and manage the fast control and data systems team
  • Develop the fast control and data acquisition hardware and software platforms and associated toolchains
  • Contribute to and apply the software development lifecycle for control and data acquisition software across SPARC to achieve the mission goals on an accelerated schedule
  • Coordinate the documentation of SPARC software functional requirements from design engineers, operations engineers, and plasma physicists
  • Support SPARC system integration, commissioning, and plasma fusion operations
  • Produce or supervise production of fast control and data acquisition systems for plant systems across SPARC
  • Production of the required design deliverables that demonstrate on-going progress of fast control and data acquisition system development
  • Produce verification and validation, testing, installation, commissioning, operations and maintenance procedures for fast control and measurement systems
  • Work with SPARC procurement to manage suppliers of components and integrated subsystems for fast control and measurement systems
  • Report on and be accountable for progress to the head of I&C
  • Hire, develop, and manage a team of software, data acquisition and control system engineers

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

  • 5+ years experience in real-time control and measurement systems, embedded software development or similar
  • Required experiences may include Developed hard real-time control software from concept to completion; Closed-loop hardware/software interactions such as in robotics and autonomous vehicles; Demonstrated expertise in software architecture, software development process definition, hardware/software integration, and delivery of a mission-critical software product such as flight control software; Software development and test lifecycles including agile, waterfall, V-model, dev-ops; Techniques and measures for producing high reliability software; Strong embedded software or real-time Linux experience
  • UML or other functional modeling language
  • C++, Python (compiled systems programming and interpreted scripting languages), Linux

Additional experience and/or qualifications:

  • Growing and leading a team
  • Broad embedded system software development experience including bare-metal code, driver development, OS platform development, and real-time application development
  • Low-latency, deterministic network communication
  • FPGAs
  • Simulink
  • PTP
  • GPU computing
  • Ability to occasionally lift up to 50 lbs
  • Perform activities such as stooping, climbing, typing, standing, sitting, etc. for extended periods of time
  • Dedication to safety to mitigate hazards that may include noise and electricity
  • Willingness to occasionally travel or work required nights/weekends/on-call

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.

Organization Type


Organization Size




Drawdown solutions

Nuclear Power