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Vacuum Systems Engineer

Everett, Washington · Science/Research

Zap Energy is currently looking for an experienced Research Engineer to assist in the design, build, testing, and troubleshooting of research and development vacuum systems. This individual will be involved in a hands-on way in future development of high temperature / high heat load vacuum systems for fusion z-pinch devices, liquid metal wall systems, durable plasma-facing components, and repetitive pulsed power systems. As needed, this position will also work with Zap Energy scientific, engineering, and technical staff on the design, assembly, fielding, and operations of ongoing Zap Energy SFS Z-pinch experiments and their associated vacuum systems. The ideal candidate is an organized, inventive problem solver, capable of working through technical challenges and employing sound, pragmatic solutions through team efforts.

Applicants must be currently authorized to work in the United States for any employer.

Responsibilities and Duties:

  • Develop engineering solutions to support vacuum research and development efforts
  • Support the design, build, testing, troubleshooting, and operation of multiple test stands involving high current plasma arcs, liquid metals, and high average power cathodes under vacuum
  • Vacuum design and calculations for future prototype systems
  • Create vacuum test plans, procedures, and safety guidelines based on company objectives and regulatory requirements

Qualifications and Skills:


  • BS in Physics, Chemistry, Material Science, Mechanical Engineering, or a related science/engineering field
  • 2 to 5 years of hands-on vacuum experience working in an advanced R&D or laboratory environment
  • Experience with UHV vacuum and pumping systems and associated measurement equipment such as Residual Gas Analyzers (RGAs)
  • Proficiency in vacuum system design including calculating outgassing rates, partial pressures, conductance, pumping rates, etc.
  • Knowledge of material properties, manufacturing/machine shop processes, welding, hardware & component choice, manufacturing, installation, and dimensioning and tolerances
  • Minimum 3 years of experience with SolidWorks
  • Conducting analysis for fluid, thermal, and stress modeling (COMSOL and SolidWorks preferred)
  • Experience designing and specifying custom vacuum seals
  • Demonstrated ability to complete assigned projects independently and in collaboration with other technical staff
  • Excellent written and communication skills


  • MS Physics, Chemistry, Material Science, Mechanical Engineering, or a related science/engineering field
  • Lithium gettering
  • Liquid metal interfaces in vacuum
  • Temperature Programmed Desorption
  • Experience with transient 3D molecular flow calculations (COMSOL, MolFlow+)
  • UHV conditioning techniques (bakeout, glow discharge, hydrogen firing)
  • Absolute calibration of mass spectrometers
  • Experience with vacuum based thermometry (Thermocouples, RTD, pyrometry)

Benefits of joining Zap Energy - While doing meaningful work is rewarding in itself, we also offer the following programs and benefits for all employees:

  • Competitive salary and benefits
  • Premium medical / dental / vision insurance
  • Flexible vacation and paid company holidays
Zap Energy is building a low-cost, compact and scalable fusion energy platform that confines and compresses plasma without the need for expensive and complex magnetic coils. Zap’s sheared-flow-stabilized Z-pinch technology offers the shortest potential path to commercially viable fusion and requires orders of magnitude less capital than traditional approaches. Zap Energy has over 60 employees in two facilities near Seattle and is backed by leading financial and strategic investors.   Zap Energy is an equal opportunity employer.  All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to age, ancestry, color, family or medical care leave, gender identity or expression, genetic information, marital status, medical condition, national origin, physical or mental disability, political affiliation, protected veteran status, race, religion, sex (including pregnancy), sexual orientation, or any other characteristic protected by applicable laws and regulations.  

Please contact careers@zapenergyinc.com

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