General Atomics and Affiliated Companies Sr. Scientist, Helicon in San Diego, California

Job ID#: 21168BR

Company: General Atomics

Title: Sr. Scientist, Helicon

Job Category: Scientists

City: San Diego

State: California

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

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 in Torrey Pines, CA 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 an experienced Scientist to join the DIII-D heating and current drive program to conduct research into radiofrequency heating and its relationship to sustainment of tokamak plasmas for the purposes of nuclear fusion energy. The particular technique envisaged for initial work is ‘helicon’ ultrahigh harmonic fast wave, with a new system being installed on the DIII-D tokamak shortly to study this at the MW level. The work would involve conducting experiments, analysis, and simulation, with opportunities to engage in hardware and antenna design, as well as diagnostic development.


  • Conduct Helicon current drive research and associated physics analysis to address the needs of future reactors through well thought out and rigorously justified experiments, analysis and simulation to deliver significant insights, talks and journal papers.

  • Partner with Heating & Current Drive Group in the execution of design, testing and calibration of antennae, transmission lines, couplers and data acquisition.

  • Address complex and difficult Helicon scientific efforts requiring novel and highly creative approaches drawing on advanced scientific concepts. May use and/or take responsibility for specialist codes (e.g. GENRAY and ICHRES).

  • Work in partnership and collaboration with domestic and international partners to develop and expand Helicon Project work.

  • Participate in research to develop advanced operating scenarios for sustainment of fusion steady state regimes that may benefit from RF current drive.

  • Provide current drive expertise to both the inductive scenario and steady-state scenario groups to optimize the safety factor profile against stability and transport, validate current drive models and understand current profile evolution and its control.

  • Publish in recognized scientific journals, present work at national level, pursue research projects, and work with and provide support to the wider DIII-D team in the above topic areas.

  • Performs other duties as assigned or required.

The level of the post and scope of responsibilities are negotiable based on expertise on applicant.

Job Qualifications:

  • Typically requires a Bachelors degree, Masters degree or PhD in a scientific or related technical field and progressively complex scientific experience as follows; six or more years experience with a Bachelors degree, four or more years experience with a Masters degree, and two or more with a PhD. Equivalent scientific experience may be substituted in lieu of education.

  • Must demonstrate; (1) a detailed and extensive technical expertise and application of scientific principles, concepts, theory, and practice; (2) the ability to organize, plan, schedule, conduct, and coordinate workloads to meet established deadlines or milestones with some experience in project leadership; (3) have original work(s) published in professional scientific journals; and, (4) have been invited to present one or more original works in scientific symposia.

  • Must possess the ability to; (1) understand new concepts quickly and apply them accurately throughout an evolving environment; (2) excellent communication, computer, presentation, and interpersonal skills to effectively interface with other departments, customers, government representatives, and/or professionals; (3) the capability of representing the organization as a prime technical contact; (4) and, the ability to provide leadership and guidance to less experienced professionals.

  • Ability to work effectively with a team of plasma theorists and experimentalists.

  • Ability to work independently, and develop new research directions.

  • Strong analytic and computational skills.

  • Able to work extended hours and travel as required.

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.