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Lead Electrical & Instrumentation Engineer

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 are seeking a Lead Electrical and Instrumentation Engineer to lead a team of stellar Engineers and roll up your sleeves to help design, build, test and maintain fusion physics experiments and components. We are operating three reactors and continuing to build and operate new experiments from ion sources to high voltage labs. An excellent candidate will be well-versed in electrical engineering fundamentals and theory and enjoy everything from ideation to circuit design, hardware assembling, testing and troubleshooting. This isn't a desk job- this is brainstorming, whiteboard designing, ECADing, elbows-deep in hardware, get-it-done fusion reactor building. You will leverage your expertise to run experiments, identify insights and bring the team along for the journey. This leadership role offers the opportunity to act as player-coach, lead and get your hands dirty with a passionate team on an ambitious mission to help push humanity forward.

In this role, you will:

  • Mentor less experienced team members as they contribute to the fusion experiment systems.
  • Coordinate Electrical and Instrumentation department activities and collaboration,
  • Manage department standard operating procedures, guidelines and go-bys
  • Lead department gap identification, training, and hiring
  • Help projects determine electrical engineering requirement skills and experience, as well as leading resource allocation to projects
  • Collaborate with physicists and engineers to conceive, develop, operate, and improve electronic hardware and software systems for fusion experiment control and data acquisition.
  • In an environment of continuous iteration and development: specify, procure, design, and build hardware and software components for fusion experiment control and data acquisition such as electrical input/output hardware, graphical user interfaces, data plumbing, data storage, on-prem and cloud-based computer networking solutions.
  • Design and build fusion experiment data processing pipelines including collation, synchronization, analysis, archiving, query, and visualization.
  • Travel for conferences, meetings or company offsite events as required

About you:

  • B.S. degree or higher in electrical engineering, physics, mathematics, computer engineering, or related field.
  • 5+ years post-degree experience
  • Sound knowledge of electrical fundamentals.
  • Experience as Lead to or Manager of a strong team of Electrical Engineers.
  • Experience with analog-to-digital and/or digital-to-analog conversion systems.
  • Experience with one or more sensor electronics (i.e. transducer) applications.
  • Experience with the Python programming language (or similar language), or with SQL and/or time series data systems.
  • Experience troubleshooting and debugging integrated software/hardware electronic systems.
  • Experience with a digital communication interface such as I2C, SPI, RS-232, GPIB, Modbus, etc.
  • Experience finding and minimizing sources of measurement noise.
  • Experience designing or implementing grounding systems.

Bonus skills or experience:

  • Experience implementing, troubleshooting, and operating laboratory experiments.
  • Experience with voltages larger than 5kV.
  • Experience with bulk data storage and archival systems supporting day-to-day operations.
  • Familiarity with sensors and instrumentation including e.g. faraday cups, temperature probes, Langmuir probes, digital video.
  • Experience implementing low latency network communication systems.
  • Experience implementing sub-microsecond time synchronization for control or data acquisition.
  • Experience implementing systems to store and/or analyze high speed video.


  • 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.