Materials Engineer - Structural

El Segundo, CA

Company:  Radiant Industries is a Los Angeles-based company building a portable high-temperature helium-cooled nuclear microreactor that fits in a shipping container for military and commercial remote power applications. Founded in 2019 by former SpaceX engineers with additional staff experience from Naval Reactors and the Idaho National Laboratory, Radiant focuses on practical nuclear development that includes using modern software engineering and existing materials to minimize qualification efforts, producing feasible and manufacturable designs, utilizing efficient construction practices, and emphasizing cost control and project management at all stages of development. Radiant partners with multiple national laboratories and universities to perform research and design work, and is currently funded by numerous venture capital firms, the Department of Energy, and the Department of Defense. 

Position Description:  Radiant desires a motivated engineer who enjoys the fast-paced, creative environment of a startup coupled with a passion for developing advanced nuclear power systems.  The applicant would be the overall lead materials engineer for reactor structural metals, and would work closely with Radiant’s mechanical engineering team to evaluate long-term acceptability of structural metals in a high temperature helium environment with neutron irradiation.  

Key Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Pressure Boundary and Structural Metals
    • Serve as lead materials engineer responsible for major pressure boundary and structural alloys, including 316/304 stainless steels and Alloy 800.
    • Evaluate neutron damage levels in structural metals, and develop Radiant’s design basis for irradiation damage.
  • ASME Boiler and Pressure Vessel Code (BPVC) Analysis Support
    • Work with Radiant’s mechanical design team to develop a BPVC analysis plan, including establishing class designations for Radiant’s reactor plant, reviewing detailed BPVC analysis and testing requirements, and prioritizing near and long-term mechanical and materials efforts.
    • Establish and manage materials testing programs as needed for supporting Radiant’s BPVC analyses.
    • Perform early scoping calculations for long-term materials degradation phenomena (e.g., creep, fatigue) to help guide mechanical design iterations.  
  • System Component Support – Provide materials support to Radiant’s mechanical design team for individual components.
    • Perform materials selection for reactor and non-reactor components, including thin-walled heat exchangers and pumps.
    • Evaluate feasibility of manufacturing processes based on long-term materials performance and inspectability.
    • Evaluate prospective suppliers for nuclear-grade components, establishing procurement specifications, required materials testing, and inspections.

Desired Qualifications:

  • Bachelor’s degree in materials engineering or mechanical engineering.
  • Five or more years of job experience OR graduate/doctoral work in materials or mechanical engineering, preferably related to at least one of the three areas discussed in “Key Duties and Responsibilities” section.
  • Familiarity with mechanical and thermal testing of metallic materials.
  • Familiarity with ASME BPVC.
  • The ability to coordinate work and communicate in a dynamic, multi-disciplinary, multi-organization environment, which includes other engineers within Radiant as well as supporting engineers at universities and national laboratories.
  • The ability to work with a high degree of autonomy to determine materials engineering initiatives that support the overall reactor design. This will involve navigating complex technical and regulatory requirements to establish materials analysis and testing needs, determining needed support from national labs/vendors/testing facilities, and leading large-scale work efforts.
  • Ability to work or gain authorization to work on export controlled technologies based in the United States.