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Scientist, Operator

Date posted 10/22/2016

Job ID#: 10201BR
Company: General Atomics
Job Title: Scientist, Operator
Job Category: Scientists
City: San Diego
State: California
Regular/Temp: Regular Employee
Full-Time/Part-Time: Full-Time Salary

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.

We currently have an exciting opportunity for a Scientist, Operator, to join our DIII-D (National Fusion Facility) program in San Diego, CA. Under general supervision and with limited review, this position is responsible for overseeing the operation of a state of the art experimental fusion device, the DIII-D Tokamak, which is the largest operating fusion device in the U.S. 


  • Monitors and supervises the operation of the Tokamak, which consists of a complex set of systems involving high power, high vacuum, intense lasers, high power RF, high energy beams, cryogenic systems, plasma, and radiation producing equipment. 

  • Assists with development, design, and operation of monitoring and control systems, diagnostic systems, or other electrical and mechanical systems, including design and implementation of software and/or hardware to improve or assist in the operation of the Tokamak. 

  • Troubleshoots, analyzes, and repairs systems in assigned area by utilizing standard scientific principles.

  • Obtains and analyzes test data.

  • Develops appropriate documentation of findings and implemented solutions, and makes technical presentations as required.

  • Responsible for overall machine and personnel safety. 

  • Utilizes a set of interdisciplinary skills to operate the Tokamak, leads projects, and provides overall guidance to the development of new systems.

  • Directs the activities of designers, technicians and may direct the activities of less experienced professional staff.

  • Works in a radiation environment.

  • Maintains the strict confidentiality of sensitive information.

  • Performs other duties as assigned.

  • Responsible for observing all laws, regulations and other applicable obligations wherever and whenever business is conducted on behalf of the Company. Expected to work in a safe manner in accordance with established operating procedures and practices.

  • 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. Equivalent scientific experience may be substituted in lieu of education.

  • Must have experience in least one of the following areas: electronics, control systems, high voltage or high power systems, mechanical systems, vacuum systems, diagnostic development, experimental test equipment.

  • Must have capability to understand basic electrical high power circuits. 

  •  Must have; (1) a complete understanding of scientific concepts, principles, codes, and theory; (2) experience demonstrating a broad application of those concepts; and, (3) an expanding knowledge of principles, concepts, theory, and practices in related technical specialties.

  • Experience in plasma physics is preferred. 

  • Experience operating large complex facilities is preferred. 

  • Familiarity designing and building diagnostic equipment is preferred.

  • Candidate must ensure safety, and be attentive to and follow procedures, be able to develop safety procedures, and be capable of analyzing and responding to potential incidents and events.

  • Knowledge of the UNIX operating system, and IDL, Fortran, or C programming languages is preferred. 

  • SQL computer database experience is preferred. 

  • Familiarity with VME, PLC programming, and computer hardware and networking is preferred.

  • Ability to become a member of the DIII-D Emergency Response Team with training in basic first aid, fire extinguisher use, CPR, SCBA, and emergency procedures is preferred.

  • 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.

  • Good communication, presentation, and interpersonal skills are required, as well as the ability to work both independently and as part of a team.

  • Experience with computer programs, such as Excel, Word and PowerPoint applications is preferred.

  • Must be able to work a flexible schedule and extended hours as required.

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