2022-05-24T13:40:07-04:00 X, The Moonshot Factory
Plasma Experiment Controls & Automation Hardware Engineer
Hardware Engineering
Mountain View, CA

X is Alphabet’s moonshot factory. We are a diverse group of inventors and entrepreneurs who build and launch technologies that aim to improve the lives of millions, even billions, of people. Our goal: 10x impact on the world’s most intractable problems, not just 10% improvement. We approach projects that have the aspiration and riskiness of research with the speed and ambition of a startup.


About the team:

We are an early X project working to accelerate the path to affordable fusion power, leveraging Alphabet software tools and an iteration-driven experimental design philosophy. Your hardware engineering skills will play a crucial role in our experiments and will complement the physics, pulsed power, mechanical engineering, and software engineering expertise of our team.


About the role:

You will be responsible for several engineering tasks required to design, build, commission, and operate a plasma physics experiment at our facility. This will include working with industrial and academic partners, coordinating with suppliers, vendors, external contractors, regulatory bodies, and internal team members to keep the project on schedule.


How you will make 10x impact:

  • Own the controls engineering and PLC system design, execution, and ongoing iteration.
  • Mechanical and electrical systems design, drawing, fabrication, assembly, and testing.
  • Contribute to engineering documentation from early design concepts through commissioning including PFD, P&ID, Controls Narrative, HAZOP safety review, SOP, maintenance plans, etc.
  • Manage site preparation at project site. 
  • Source and vet external contractors/suppliers/vendors to complete project deliverables.
  • Proactively identify opportunities to accelerate deployment, and identify potential threats to the technical success of the project.
  • Be able to troubleshoot technical issues, identify the root cause failure modes, and work proactively to prevent them.
  • Assist in the design and scoping of subsequent R&D phases including proof of concept and demonstration experiments.
  • Work closely with cross-functional teams and strive to create optimal and creative solutions. 
  • Contribute to presentations and conversations with management, and provide input on partnerships, strategy, budgeting, and business models.


What you should have: 

  • Education: minimum bachelor’s degree in the field of mechatronics, mechanical, chemical, electrical or industrial engineering. (10+ years experience may substitute for degree)
  • 5 years minimum, 10 years preferred, in the development of new technologies and processes; design, installation, and commissioning of large-scale equipment; set-up of new manufacturing facilities or plants.
  • Proficiency using 3D and 2D CAD software tools such as SolidWorks, AutoCAD.
  • Proficiency with the fabrication and assembly of mechanical and electrical systems.
  • Proficiency using project management software tools (MS Project, Monday.com, GANTT, etc) and Google Docs, Microsoft Office, or equivalent.
  • Basic familiarity with the areas of heat transfer, material science, power electronics, and mechanical structures.
  • Demonstrated excellence in communications.
  • Proven track record working in a team of scientists and/or engineers in dynamic startup-like environments.
  • Willing to work in-person at our test facility and X’s headquarters in the SF Bay Area.
  • A passion for tackling the massive global need for zero emissions clean energy.


It’d be great if you also had these: 

  • Experience with PLC hardware and programming, process control, and Data Acquisition. HMI and SCADA experience is also preferred.
  • Experience owning standard technical documentation and processes including PFDs, P&IDs, wiring diagrams, HAZID/HAZOP process, writing SOPs, etc.
  • Experience working with high voltages, high current, pulsed power, high vacuum, and/or plasmas.
  • Familiarity with optics, lasers, specialty imaging diagnostics.
  • Familiarity with designing systems to be shielded from EMI, such as shielded cables and boxes, screen rooms, electric to fiber optic signal conversion, etc.
  • 3+ years of experience in people management.


At X, we don't just accept difference - we celebrate it, we support it, and we thrive on it for the benefit of our employees, our products and our community. We are proud to be an equal opportunity workplace and is an affirmative action employer. We are committed to equal employment opportunity regardless of race, color, ancestry, religion, sex, national origin, sexual orientation, age, citizenship, marital status, disability, gender identity or Veteran status. We also consider qualified applicants regardless of criminal histories, consistent with legal requirements.

If you have a disability or special need that requires accommodation, please contact us at: x-accommodation-request@x.team.

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