Get a front-row seat to the future.
Leverage our network to build your career.
Tell us about your professional DNA to get discovered by any company in our network with opportunities relevant to your career goals.

Computational Physicist

Avalanche Energy

Avalanche Energy

Other Engineering
Seattle, WA, USA
Posted on Tuesday, March 12, 2024
Avalanche is a Seattle-based start-up developing fusion microreactors for clean, energy-dense power generation at a scale you can hold in your hands. Our unique approach allows us to build, test, break, learn and iterate on reactors in days to weeks. The modular design is designed to provide power to applications from austere environments to deep sea vehicles and maritime transport to lunar power.

We know we have an incredibly ambitious mission, and that it requires a wide combination of skills, attitude, and grit to make it happen. If you have a passion for abundant energy, and how we can improve life with it, we want to have a chat with you.

Avalanche might be fit for you if: You are self-motivated, energized by problem solving and working closely with hardware. You enjoy hands-on, creative collaboration with a small, tight-knit team you can work with, laugh with, and learn with on a wide variety of topics. You can learn and pivot between priorities when necessary and you can slide the headphones on, focus, and auger deep into a single topic as needed. You thrive in an atmosphere of development, and you are an ardent learner who's always looking for ways to grow and improve.

About the role:

We currently have a full-time position open at our Seattle, WA facility for a Computational Physicist focused on kinetic modeling of fusion plasma, including Particle-in-Cell simulations. Develop, implement, and own multi-physics computational models of the plasma processes within Avalanche's fusion device to inform reactor design decisions. This includes reactions in the bulk volume of the device as well as physics occurring at or near the reactor walls.

In this role, you will:

  • Lead development of WarpX PIC code through collaboration efforts with Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory to be used for modeling Avalanche's fusion reactor physics.
  • Derive and develop reduced plasma models, including bounce-averaged Fokker-Planck, dispersion relations, etc.
  • Predict plasma behavior through simulations or theory in order to inform device and experiment design decisions that will enable better scientific understanding of the device.
  • Work closely with the experimental team on iterative test campaigns to verify and validate computational results.
  • Publish results in peer-reviewed journals, and present at relevant conferences and seminars.
  • Collaborate in simulation planning to determine the strategy and execution of the campaigns with the ultimate goal of maximizing fusion reaction rates.
  • Contribute to code planning, development, performance, benchmark and reliability efforts.
  • Travel for conferences, meetings or company offsite events as required

About you:

  • PhD in an Engineering or Physics related field with thesis focusing on both computational and theoretical elements related to PIC modeling of plasma processes.
  • At least 2 years of work experience focusing on development or utilization of PIC code.
  • Fundamental understanding of basic plasma physics, molecular gas dynamics, transport phenomena, and electromagnetic principles.
  • Experience with VSIM, WarpX or other PIC software.
  • Proficiency with MatLab or Python for modeling and data analysis efforts.
  • Proven capability to think critically and learn quickly about unfamiliar concepts.

Bonus skills or experience:

  • Experience with COMSOL or similar multi-physics modeling software.
  • Experimental experience with UHV plasma systems.
  • Experience with CAD software.
  • Familiarity with fusion experiments.
  • Familiarity with ion traps.
  • Proven success with projects requiring the "design, build, test" mentality, creative problem solving, and quick iterations.
  • Understanding of and comfort modeling wall interactions.


  • Excellent medical, dental and vision benefits: We pay 100% of your premiums
  • 10 paid holidays and company-wide December holiday break
  • Generous paid vacation and sick time
  • Small, tight-knit team with low barriers to action
  • Exposure to a wide variety of problems for unparalleled, hands-on professional growth
  • Weekly employer provided team meals, a well-stocked kitchen, and employee events on and off-site
  • Meaningful equity in the form of stock options

Avalanche values people of all races, ethnicities, genders, ages, religions, and sexual orientations. We also acknowledge the value that different life experiences bring to our organization. Avalanche is an equal opportunity employer, and you do not need to match every listed expectation to apply for this position. We encourage all individuals who are excited about delivering fusion energy to the world to apply.