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Senior Mechanical Engineer

First Light Fusion Ltd
Oxfordshire, UK
Posting live until
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 projective fusion concept. In addition, its is developing and using in-house codes for the design and optimization of a pilot and a commercial plant. Commercial and Open Source codes (CFD, thermal-hydraulics and system and neutronic) are used as well.

We are looking to hire a skilled and experienced Mechanical Engineer to lead the structural and mechanical design of the Power Plant components for our growing team. In this role, you will work with the organizing and managing all mechanical design and analysis work. You will lead a small team of mechanical engineer analysts to work on the design of a variety of components in the design, ranging from structural containment vessels to purification traps for liquid metals and heat exchangers. During this process, you will interface with other groups working on the Power Plant to ensure consistency and robustness of the mechanical design of components. Some of the work for the mechanical design 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 mechanical designs 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 mechanical engineer analysts to design the mechanical components for First Light Fusion’s Power Plant designs;
  • Ensure components comply with nuclear and environmental regulations as well as applicable standards;
  • Interface with other analysts working on the Power Plant design, focusing on nuclear, chemical and safety aspects amongst other disciplines;
  • Manage subcontractors for the design of mechanical 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 codes for structural analyses.


  • Ph.D. in an Engineering related discipline;
  • Mechanical design experience in the Nuclear, Aerospace or Chemical industry;
  • A creative, problem-solving mindset;
  • Good programming skills;
  • Knowledge of FEA and thermo-mechanical analysis (using ANSYS or Abaqus);
  • Understand nuclear and environmental regulations as well as ASME standards;
  • Knowledge of health and safety matters relating to engineering;
  •  Effective communication and interpersonal skills;
  •  Ability to work effectively as part of a multidisciplinary team.


  • PhD in mechanical engineering;
  • Experience with programming in Python;
  • Knowledge of structural analysis codes like Aster or Fenicx;
  • Experience working with ASME or RCC-MRx standard codes;
  • 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
United Kingdom

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