Job Opening: Head of Liquid Metal R&D

Head of Liquid Metal R&D

Start on/after: March 1, 2023
For full consideration, apply by: February 1, 2023
If a potentially good or excellent match, we will contact you within 1 week from applying.

Imagine gravity-defying free-surface liquid metal layers, 0.5 m thick. Imagine them to coat the inside (“ceiling”, walls and “floor”) of the fusion device, and flow at several m/s. Can you picture that? Good. Now imagine being the leader of the Department that will make this a reality. Such heat-removing, neutron-shielding layers will be key to the commercial success of fusion with our approach and, we believe, with any other sensible approach. Excited? Keep reading. 

We are looking for an experienced, world-class engineer, physicist or material-scientist to inspire and lead the Liquid Metal R&D Department. The department will initially consist of 7 scientists, engineers and technicians, and is expected to double in size within 3 years.


Responsibilities as a leader:

  •  Form and lead the liquid metal department. Present status: 1 position filled and 6 positions advertised, of which 2 in advanced interview stage.

  • Doer/manager. Occasionally contribute to experiments and calculations. Regularly spark fruitful, objective-driven scientific discussions and contribute to them.

  • Write overview research papers and deliver keynote talks at research conferences.

  • Identify potential partners (suppliers, customers, academic collaborators etc.). Set up and cultivate collaborations. Maximize co-creation of value.

  • Monitor, foster and inspire advancements by the liquid metal team. Coordinate and enable the on-time, on-budget, on-specs accomplishment of technical milestones, including but not limited to:

    • Liquid Metal (LM) pumps.

    • Closed loops, ducted.

    • Full coverage of cylinder interiors with free-surface, flowing, gravity-defying thick LM. Extension to more complicated, larger surfaces.

    • Feedback stabilization of LM instabilities.

    • Control of multi-phase LM flows containing solid pebbles. 

    • Minimization of corrosion and removal of corrosion by-products.

    • Tritium extraction.

    • Lithium enrichment.

    • Integration of LMs with High Temperature Superconducting (HTS) coils and within the whole fusion device.

Responsibilities as a team member

  • Receive/give feedback from/to team members. 

  • Work closely with the CTO, the Head of HTS manufacturing and Heads of Engineering. Set directions for the LM department in collaboration with them, as well as other technical leaders (internal and external) and internal team-members. Similarly, help setting non-LM goals, especially if affecting or affected by LMs. 

  • Work closely with internal and external colleagues on the neutronic characterization of LMs, their substrates and related materials.

  • Quickly adapt to new internal information (delays, new results etc.). Work with an analyst to follow technical and commercial progress by LM competitors, suppliers, customers and other stakeholders, and (re)act accordingly.

Qualifications -essential:

  • PhD degree in physics or in electrical, mechanical or nuclear engineering, or in materials science .

  • 10+ years of experimental research experience in liquid metal magnetohydrodynamics (LMMHD) in the academia, or in (inter)national labs, or in the industry.

  • 2+ years of experience and proven ability to manage and lead “big science” or “deep tech” projects and teams.

  • World-class publication record, exceptional written and oral communication skills, and commitment to driving the LM department to exceptional publications and presentations. 

  • Organizational and problem-solving skills. 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. 

  • Ability to identify non-traditional applications of LMs (materials, subsystems such as pumps, sensors etc., and full systems) and to align innovation with commercial attractiveness. 

  • Good understanding of and connections with the LM ecosystem (suppliers, customers, collaborators etc.). 

  • Experience working safely with liquid Li, Na or other hot, flammable, corrosive fluids.  

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

  • Ability to inspire, stimulate and align scientific discussions within the LM department. Ability to translate them into actionable plans and lead the team to successful, timely execution.

Qualifications -desirable:

  • 2+ years of research experience in LMs applied to nuclear fusion, fission, metallurgy or for the automotive or medical industry.   

  • 2+ years of experience in high temperature operation, heat extraction and heat transfer. 

Qualified and interested?

Send your cv and motivational e-mail to

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