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Real Time Systems Computer Programmer - San Diego, CA

Princeton University
Princeton, NJ
Closing date
Jan 15, 2022

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This Real-Time Computer Programmer will be located at the DIII-D National Fusion Facility at General Atomics in San Diego, CA. Fusion is the perfect energy source to produce high power electricity with no environmental impacts and uses deuterium, a 200-million-year supply, from seawater to produce energy. The highly technical team at DIII-D leads the world in its fusion control development focused on taming this 150-million-degree C plasma. The Plasma Control System (PCS) controls fusion device plasmas around the world. The original version, created at the DIII-D fusion device, is exported to many of the other worldwide fusion devices for the control of plasma. Real time computing along with artificial intelligence and machine learning codes are used to grow the PCS control capabilities.

Programming of flight guidance systems or self-driving cars, other real time computer-controlled systems will be helpful here.

The Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory is a world-class fusion energy research laboratory managed by Princeton University for the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Science. PPPL is dedicated to developing the scientific and technological knowledge base for fusion energy. The Laboratory advances the fields of fusion energy and plasma physics research to develop the scientific understanding and key innovations needed to realize fusion as an energy source for the world.

  • Work with the DIII-D (Fusion reactor at General Atomics San Diego) Real Time Systems
  • Code and test programming for in-house software programs
  • Debug code for existing programs based on immediate needs
  • Document program codes for users and staff
  • Conduct end-user training upon completion of software when needed
  • Balance workday between multiple projects and respond immediately to tech support requests from staff during machine operations (typically 12-18 weeks per year)
  • Collaborate with the team in development, deployment, integration, testing, and maintenance of the scientific algorithms and surrounding infrastructure making up the Plasma Control System (PCS)
  • Troubleshoot system bugs and issues

Education and Experience:

BS in Computer Engineering or other related degree, with minimum 3 years' experience
  • 1-2 years' experience python scripts
  • 1-3 years' experience interfacing MATLAB with C
  • Fluency in C, C++, and Fortran. Helpful to have experience with latest language standards
  • Knowledge of the CentOS and GNU/Linux
  • Fundamental understanding of build systems using plain GNU Make (not auto tools or CMake), including compilers (both GCC and Intel)
  • A detailed demonstration of software development quality (provide either public FOSS contributions or a private portfolio) project quality standards
  • Ability to work with others and contribute to a larger team effort across several time zones as needed.
  • Experience in working with legacy codes in debugging and modifying large and complex applications.

Preferred Skills:
  • Experience with IDL and the ability to create graphical widgets
  • FPGA and/or GPU programming
  • Familiarity with Google G Suite environment
  • Experience with NoMachine as a daily use platform
  • Knowledge and use of RedHawk and NightStar

Physical Requirements:
  • Will frequently sit at a computer for extended periods of time

Working Conditions:
  • Expected travel for conferences: 1-2 weeks per year
  • Normal working hours, but flexibility to accommodate lab test times or off-site collaboration (expected during the 2nd and 3rd years)
  • Some nights, weekends may be required when needed.
  • Work on site at General Atomics in San Diego

Princeton University is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to age, race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law. EEO IS THE LAW

Please be aware that the Department of Energy (DOE) prohibits DOE employees and contractors from participation in certain foreign government talent recruitment programs. All PPPL employees are required to disclose any participation in a foreign government talent recruitment program and may be required to withdraw from such programs to remain employed under the DOE Contract.

180 days


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