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Head of Fusion Science

We are forming a team of the brightest, most driven scientists and engineers to realize and commercialize non-fusion HTS magnets and Liquid Metal (LM) solutions within 2 years, and fusion magnets and integrated fusion solutions within 10 years.

To learn more, watch https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ogqUkUBgmFY&themeRefresh=1

Five technical leaders will be at the forefront of this exhilarating development and prototyping. With the present we seek an energetic and energizing (pun intended 😉), goal-driven theoretical fusion plasma physicist with at least 10 years of post-doctoral experience to lead our Fusion Science department. We have a vision for the high-field stellarator power-plant of the future: simple, compact, efficient. This leader and the science department will proactively and responsively provide the engineering departments with the physical input and specifications to design and build the best, physically sound, robust stellarator possible. The ideal candidate has over 30 journal publications but is allergic to incremental results; hungers for disruptive results (but not plasma disruptions) and, indeed, broke new ground in quite a few of them -things that people remember and still use, not 4th order corrections. The ideal candidate is versed in numerical methods and is not OK with the solutions just “existing and being unique”; he/she finds them, quantitatively -and has the physical insight to vet them. He/she specialized in 2-3 sub-fields but is curious and knowledgeable in fusion theory in general, and already led with ability and success a group or department. The ideal candidate has exceptional physical intuition, 3D visualization and problem-solving skills. He/she develops theories that translate in buildable stuff; is abreast with experiments and inspired, provoked by them. The ideal candidate is focused, drives teams to success and is 200% committed to our mission of “bringing fusion energy out of the lab and onto the grid” in the 2030’s. Elegance and simplicity are a plus.

The Head of Fusion Science will work closely with the CTO, the Head of HTS Film Deposition, the Head of Magnets, Vessel & Cryostat (MVC) Engineering, the Head of Liquid Metal R&D and Head of Heat, Diagnostics and Shielding.

Our team is young, agile, international, and based in the exciting city of Grenoble, by the French Alps.

Responsibilities

Responsibilities as a leader:

  •  Lead the Fusion Science department

  • Talent Acquisition, Growth & Retention

    • Grow department to 7 members in first 4 months. Play a major role in writing job descriptions and conducting job interviews. Proactively scout and attract talents.

    • Attract top 5% of MS students, PhD students and post-docs from national and international universities for 6 month – 3 year projects.

    • Oversee the formation of two groups in charge respectively of Burning Plasma Physics [alpha particle losses, Alfvén eigenmodes, control of He ashes and impurities, ignition etc.] and Optimization [of the plasma equilibrium, the Coil Winding Surface (CWS) and its “grooves”].

    • Appoint, empower, inspire and coordinate the group-leaders. Train the group-leaders of tomorrow.

  • Scientific leadership and service

    • Timely provide input, answers, and recommendations to engineering -based on the information available- to build the best stellarator possible.

    • Proactively and responsively enact calculations relevant to Renaissance Fusion (RF) mission.

    • Propose and help realizing and analyzing experiments on existing fusion devices and future RF devices to test predictions relevant to RF mission.

    • Doer/manager. At your level of responsibility, you will mostly be a leader and a manager, but we expect you to lead by example and not lose contact with your older self, when you were a great doer. That is, we expect you to walk around the desks and occasionally contribute -in person- to tough theory and modeling questions that colleagues might struggle with.

  • Scientific input to company strategy

    • Identify scientific needs, directions, priorities and goals in the short, medium and long term, to realize the company’s mission and vision of building and commercializing a stellarator power-plant.

    • Identify “gaps” in company’s know-how and skills and fill them as appropriate. Remedies include: reallocation of resources, new hires or outsourcing to external collaborators or providers.

    • Identifies scientific risks and opportunities and spearheads the team efforts to address them.

  • Culture

    • Promote a culture of collaboration, innovation and creativity.

    • Inspire, motivate and guide team to deliver outstanding results that serve and accelerate the company mission.

    • Spark and coordinate mission-driven brainstorm discussions, as needed. Contribute to them and to their rapid convergence to actionable decisions and simulations.

  • Scientific communication

    • Organize the department’s attendance of scientific conferences and workshops with the objective of presenting the department’s results, receiving feedback, learning about external developments and opportunities, and fostering new collaborations.

    • Ensure the publication and dissemination of scientific results.

    • Answer scientific questions and concerns posed by the investors, the media and other stakeholders, in collaboration with communication specialist.

    • Supervise the preparation of internal documentation of computer codes.

    • Lead the department to papers and patents aligned with the RF mission and schedule.

  • Management

    • Set quarterly and yearly scientific objectives, discuss them with the rest of the leading team (CEO, CTO, other Heads etc.) and coordinate them with other company’s objectives.

    • In collaboration with project managers, develop and execute a plan for the achievement of objectives.

    • Agree with team-members their quarterly and yearly objectives, and personal development plans (courses, summer schools etc.). Follow up on them. Resolve conflicts. Identify and address individual and team needs.


Responsibilities w.r.t. to other stakeholders

  • Receive/give feedback from/to team members.

  • Work closely with:

    • The CTO

    • The Head of HTS film deposition, for example on optimal CWS “grooves” that account for the physics of super-currents (following the path of minimum energy, not of minimum resistance, as resistance is zero).

    • The Head of liquid metal R&D, for example on the magnetohydrodynamic interaction of LMs with the plasma, the coils and vessel.

    • The Head of Magnets, Vessel & Cryostat, for example on the optimal laser-patterning for HTS magnets to generate accurate stellarator fields.

    • The Head of Heat, Diagnostics and Shielding, for example in modeling plasma heating and diagnostics specifications (energy, power, frequency, locations, directions etc.).

    • All Technical Leaders listed above about:

      • Writing quarterly newsletters and the Annual Technical Report & Plan to inform stakeholders of results and next steps.

      • Organizing yearly reviews by a team of independent, external reviewers and implementing their feedback.

      • Inviting external speakers to RF, organizing Summer Schools and similar events to keep the team informed of the latest developments, train new team-members and attract new ones.

      • Remotely organizing Research Opportunity Forums to solicit and discuss numerical and, when ready, experimental proposals from existing and new, potential collaborators.

    • The Chief Project Officer (CPO), on Fusion Science project planning and its relation to other projects.

    • Business developers, to identify innovative fusion and non-fusion products, services, and markets based on Fusion Science findings and developments.

  • Initiate and maintain scientific collaborations with the academia, national and international labs.

  • Identify partners (super-computing facilities, external services etc.) by leveraging on your own network as well as the company network and expanding them. Set up and cultivate partnerships and collaborations. Maximize co-creation of value.

  • Apply for research grants, typically in Public-Private Partnerships/consortia.

  • Arrange the co-sponsorship of PhD theses on topics of common interest for RF and top national and international universities.

Qualifications -essential:

  • Professional experience

    • 10+ years of post-doctoral research experience (at least 3 as a researcher and 7 as a group/department leader or faculty) in the physics of stellarators, tokamaks or other magnetic fusion configurations.

  • Education

    • PhD degree in physics, engineering or closely related field.

    • Management certification or equivalent experience.

  • Language requirements

    • Fluent in English (C2)

  • Technical competences and demonstrated experience and ability in

    • Attracting and retaining world-class technical talents and making them grow professionally every day.

    • Securing multi-million research grants.

    • 30+ highly cited publications in first-tier journals and 10+ invited or plenary talks at international conferences. Exceptional written and oral communication skills. Leadership of your past teams to exceptional publications and presentations.

    • Meeting tight deadlines.

    • Simplicity, elegance and a drive towards cost-minimization and commercialization.

    • Understanding fusion engineering and plasma physics experiments. Efficiently, constructively communicating with engineers and experimentalists.

    • Anticipating, identifying, and solving technical challenges and risks in complex projects, and taking corrective action within scope of responsibility.

    • Problem-solving. Attention to details and to the big picture. Ability to think outside of the box, inspire others to do likewise, instill a result-oriented mentality, fast pace, and enjoyable atmosphere.

    • Basic project management: scheduling, measuring progress, managing risks, reporting.

  • Personal qualities:

    • Talent and passion for win-win collaborations.

    • Effective, efficient communication, negotiation, and persuasion. Ability to adjust content and style to different parties/audiences and situations. Interest in and ability to listen.

    • Result-driven mentality and focus. Willingness and ability to meet deadlines with high standards.

    • Ability to break down complex problems in small, manageable tasks. Ability to prioritize them based on relevance to the company mission and other metrics.

    • Comfortable with a low Technical Readiness Level (TRL), with uncertainty and moving targets. In fact, you are thrilled by the challenge and committed to raise the TRL a.s.a.p.

    • Commitment to excellence, pragmatism, mutual trust, integrity, and to instill such values and a team mindset in your department.

    • Resilience to stress and a contagiously positive, pragmatic attitude in face of adversities.

    • “Start-up” approach to moonshots: frugal, fast-paced, iterative, risk-taking, “fail fast, learn fast”.

    • Openness to challenge traditional MVC design and manufacturing and to being challenged. Craving for cross-fertilization from outsiders and non-experts.

    • Willingness to travel to conferences, meet collaborators etc.

Qualifications -desirable:

  • French (B2).

Head of Fusion Science

Position Type
Position Type
Job position
Host institute type
Host institute type
Industry
Host institute
Host institute
Renaissance Fusion, France
Location
Location
Grenoble
Format
Format
Requires physical presence
Starting Date
Starting Date
As soon as possible
Candidate level
Candidate level
Doctoral or post-doctoral (completed)
Compensation
Compensation
Yes
Contact person
Contact person
Dan Parker
Contact person email
Contact person email
External Link
Location