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General Atomics and Affiliated Companies Physics Operations & Control Scientist in San Diego, California

Job ID#: 30011BR

Company: General Atomics

Title: Physics Operations & Control Scientist

Job Category: Scientists

City: San Diego

State: California

Travel Percentage Required: 0% - 25%

Clearance Required?: No

Job Summary:

General Atomics (GA), and its affiliated companies, is one of the world’s leading resources for high-technology systems development ranging from the nuclear fuel cycle to remotely piloted aircraft, airborne sensors, and advanced electric, electronic, wireless and laser technologies.

We recognize and appreciate the value and contributions of individuals with diverse backgrounds and experiences and welcome all qualified individuals to apply.

The DIII-D National Fusion Facility is the U.S.’s principal magnetically confined fusion research facility, focusing on the exciting science of the burning plasma state and its control in preparation for ITER, and developing the path to self-driven fully non-inductive operation for future fusion reactors. It has a strong focus on underlying science, and the application of this to improve fusion performance.

We currently have an exciting opportunity for a Scientist to join the Plasma Control Group in the Experimental Sciences Division of the DIII-D National Fusion Facility. The group conducts leading edge research for a range of facilities around the world, including the DIII-D facility in San Diego, and the ITER device in France. We encourage outstanding candidates at various levels and experience to apply.


  • Operation of the DIII-D tokamak plasma control system in support of physics experiments.

  • Design and analysis of control scenarios for physics experiments; plasma modeling and simulation for control development.

  • Perform design and analysis of control algorithms; testing and validation of real-time code for plasma control.

  • Leadership and execution of plasma startup operations, new system commissioning, and system debugging operations for DIII-D.

  • Design and execution of tokamak experiments for study and development of optimized plasma scenarios, plasma response models, and control approaches.

  • Performance of studies to analyze aspects of plasma control and operations, machine protection statistics, data-driven algorithms, and extrapolations to ITER and other burning plasma devices.

  • Signal processing and interpretation including machine learning model generation and analysis.

  • Publication in recognized scientific journals, presentation of work at national and international level, pursuit of research projects, and collaborative work with and support to the wider DIII-D team in the above topic areas.

  • Perform other duties as assigned or required.

Full-Time/Part-Time: Full-Time Salary

Job Qualifications:

  • Typically requires a Bachelors degree, Masters degree or PhD in scientific or related technical field and progressively complex scientific experience as follows; four or more years experience with a Bachelors degree and two or more years experience with a Masters degree.

  • Must have; (1) a thorough understanding of relevant scientific concepts, principles, and theory, particularly with regard to general tokamak plasma behavior; (2) experience demonstrating a broad application of those concepts; and, (3) experience working with tokamaks including control approaches to achieve physics goals; (4) rigorous understanding and demonstrated experience in tokamak MHD equilibrium and stability physics.

  • Must possess the ability to; (1) understand new concepts quickly; (2) apply them accurately throughout an evolving environment; (3) organize, schedule, and coordinate work phases; and, (4) determine the appropriate approach at the task level or, with assistance, at the project level to provide solutions to a range of complex problems.

  • Must have strong communication, computer, documentation, presentation, and interpersonal skills, ability to work independently and as part of a team; able to perform complex tasks in one scientific area; and, lead a team of less experienced professional employees on semi-routine tasks.

  • Must have facility in moving rapidly from one task area to another, and ability to work extended hours and travel as required.

  • Numerical methods and scientific programming knowledge, including experience with one or more signal processing and system analysis environments such as Matlab, MathCAD, IDL, mathematical, Matrix-X, etc.

  • Experience and facility with C programming and the UNIX operating system environment.

  • Ability to communicate effectively with the scientific and engineering communities of DIII-D and collaborators, including written and oral technical presentations.


  • Experience with operations and execution of experiments on multiple magnetic confinement devices.

  • Experience in plasma physics, tokamak operations and experiments, electromagnetics, control theory, digital communications, signal processing, machine learning, or similar related research.

US Citizenship Required?: No

Experience Level: Mid-Level (3-7 years)

General Atomics and affiliated companies is committed to hiring and retaining a diverse workforce. We are an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer and will consider all qualified applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, pregnancy, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, national origin, age, genetic information, protected veteran status, disability, or any other basis protected by local, state, or federal law.