Senior Nuclear Engineer

First Light Fusion Ltd
Oxfordshire, UK
Closing date
8 Mar 2024

Job Details

First Light Fusion is an agile company researching into Inertial Confinement Fusion for power production. Having demonstrated fusion last year, First Light Fusion’s next goal is to achieve fuel ignition through DT fusion by building the world’s largest pulsed power machine to drive projectiles into our targets. In parallel, First Light Fusion is also developing the conceptual design of its Power Plant.

The Power Plant Team at First Light Fusion focuses on the design of a system capable of extracting heat and tritium from the fusion driver, i.e., the projectile fusion concept. In addition, it is developing and using in-house codes for the design and optimisation of a pilot and a commercial plant. Commercial and Open-Source codes (CFD, thermal-hydraulics, system and neutronics) are used as well.

We are looking to hire a skilled and experienced Nuclear Engineer to lead the thermal-hydraulic and chemical design of the Power Plant for our growing team. In this role, you will work organising and managing the design of the Components and systems in First Light Fusion’s Power Plant concept. You will lead a small team of chemical and nuclear engineer analysts to work on the design of a variety of components, ranging from macroscopic thermal-hydraulic analyses of the primary loop to purification traps for liquid metals’ impurities separation, and CFD simulations. During this process, you will interface with other groups working on the Power Plant to ensure consistency and robustness of the Process Flow Diagram design. Some of the work for the chemical and nuclear analysis of components will be carried out through engineering subcontractors, so experience managing these types of relationships will be useful to the role.

While helpful, experience working on nuclear fusion is not essential for this role. What is necessary is experience finding creative solutions to complex, technical problems and in leading a team to deliver this goal.

Responsibilities will include:

  • Leading a small team of chemical and nuclear engineer analysts to design First Light Fusion Power Plant process and all its components;
  • Design components from a nuclear standpoint, ensuring these comply with nuclear and environmental regulations as well as applicable standards;
  • Interface with other analysts working on the Power Plant design, focusing on mechanical and safety aspects amongst other disciplines;
  • Manage subcontractors for the design of components to ensure work is completed to First Light Fusion’s high standards and within the allocated timeframe;
  • Provide expert engineering/scientific input to multidisciplinary teams;
  • Develop in-house models/codes for thermal-hydraulic analyses.


  • Ph.D. in an engineering related discipline;
  • Experience working in the Nuclear or Chemical industry;
  • A creative, problem-solving mindset;
  • Good programming skills;
  • Knowledge of thermal hydraulics analysis codes (using Relap, Trace, Aspen or similar);
  • Excellent understanding of Process Flow Diagrams and P&IDs;
  • Experience with regulations for chemical and/or nuclear processes;
  • Knowledge of health and safety matters relating to engineering;
  • Effective communication and interpersonal skills;
  • Ability to work effectively as part of a multidisciplinary team.


  • Ph.D. in Chemical or Nuclear engineering;
  • Experience with programming in Python, Julia or similar;
  • Knowledge of CFD codes (Siemens StarCCM+, ANSYS Fluent, OpenFOAM);
  • Good background knowledge of thermodynamics and Power Cycles;
  • Understanding of good codes of practice for Systems engineering;
  • Have a background in nuclear technologies, preferably in nuclear fusion;
  • Experience leading a team of analysts.


First Light

First Light Fusion is a company established in 2011 focused on researching energy generation by inertial confinement fusion. Building on the success of the National Ignition Facility, we are designing and building the largest pulsed power machine in the world to demonstrate an ignition experiment that will lead to a power plant.

Why work for us
We are a small company with a huge mission. The only important aspect for the team, and for everyone, is the contribution they can make. 

Bringing together a team of highly skilled people dedicated to one mission forms a fantastic environment and culture where every person contributes and learns from each other.

We are fast paced and the work is incredibly varied – no week is the same.

Training and development
We are keen on collaboration and publishing. Typically people attend several conferences a year and will attend technical skill courses and summers school as needed.

The team has expertise and mentoring in many disciplines ranging from data science, software engineering, theoretical physics, ultra-high-speed diagnostics to warehouse management.

We also have an extensive management training course.

Graduate schemes
Typically graduates join as a graduate scientist and will either rotate around the department or sit within a dedicated group. Training happens through a mentorship scheme, line management and on-the-job training. Within the first year you would be trained up to be able to lead and deliver projects in line with the core science plan.

What we are looking for

  •  Smart, independent thinkers with a great attitude and a genuine interest and drive to solve the fusion energy challenge.
  • Supportive team members who push us forward and make us better.

Oxford, UK

Number of employees

Main areas of research
Inertial fusion physics, pulsed power, high-energy density physics, diagnostics, data science, simulations

Positions recently recruited for
Experimental physics scientist, target design scientist

Desired degree disciplines/class
Physics, engineering or relevant degrees

Eligible to work in the UK

How to apply
Apply online at

Closing date
All year round 

Tel +44 (0)1865 807670

Company info
01865 807 670
Unit 10, Oxford Pioneer Park
Mead Rd, Yarnton

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