Rotational Associate Engineer

New Jersey, United States
Monday, 30 November 2020
End of advertisement period
Sunday, 31 January 2021
Contract Type
Full Time

Department PPPL Engineering and Infrastrc
Category Engineering
Full-Time / Part-Time Full-Time


The Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) is a collaborative national center operated by Princeton University for the U.S. Department of Energy. We are working to develop the scientific understanding and innovations needed to realize fusion as an energy source for the world. PPPL is one of 10 national laboratories in the DOE Office of Science, the nation’s largest single supporter of basic research in the physical sciences. Staff are Princeton University employees who receive generous benefits, including salaries, healthcare, vacation, and tuition reimbursement. Learn more here:

We aspire to provide a positive work environment that respects all individuals. We are committed to affirmative action, equal employment, diversity and inclusion. At PPPL, everyone’s perspectives are welcomed and valued, resulting in a positive environment. We strive to make the Lab inclusive for all, and to help all staff feel valued and appreciated.

The Engineering Rotational Program at PPPL provides engineering graduates with the experience and relationships to prepare for future technical leadership. The two-year program consists of four six-month rotations through engineering departments to develop your technical expertise through coaching, mentoring and training with leading engineers in the industry. Each rotation covers a wide range of assignments across all phases of the engineering product life cycle, from analysis and design to installation and operation and more.

We are looking for team players with excellent communication, problem-solving and analytical skills, and strong work ethic and leadership potential.


Job Purpose: 

  • The Associate Rotational Mechanical Engineer performs work requiring the application of standard techniques, procedures and criteria. The two year job rotates through four different groups within Engineering, where the Associate is expected to strongly contribute in meeting project deliverables for each six month rotation. 
  • The complete two year program can cover all phases of a project lifecycle, where the individual will apply rigorous mechanical engineering principles, skills and methods to solve complex multi-disciplinary problems.
  • Following the third rotation, the Associate Rotational Mechanical Engineer has established a fundamental understanding of the role of a Mechanical Engineer at PPPL and is encouraged to apply for a permanent position within Engineering depending upon job availability and contingent upon sound work performance.

Core Duties: 

  • Work under the supervision, coaching and mentoring of an engineer in each rotation to perform detailed engineering work requiring the application of standard techniques, procedures, and criteria. Uses sound engineering principles including hand calculations, engineering design and analysis software and industry standards in tackling a wide range of technical challenges within the rotational program.
  • Participates in preparing, contributing to or reviewing engineering documentation such as but not limited to: design requirements, design descriptions, interfaces, calculations, reports, memos and drawings.
  • Oversee the fabrication, assembly and installation of equipment on the assigned projects.
  • May oversee the work of 1-5 technicians in the fabrication and assembly of assigned work.


Education and Experience: 

  • A bachelor degree in mechanical, manufacturing, aerospace or nuclear engineering is required.
  • Previous experience in a technical position, significant co-op experience, and/or practical and hands on experience in school labs and shops related to mechanical engineering discipline is highly desirable.


  • Strong fundamentals in mathematics
  • Strength of materials and solid mechanics
  • Materials engineering
  • Engineering design
  • Manufacturing engineering

Highly desirable:

  • Thermodynamics and heat transfer
  • Mechanism and machine design
  • Geometric dimensioning and tolerance (GD&T)
  • Electronics and circuits
  • Working knowledge of basic physical sciences (physics, especially magnetics is a plus)


  • Classical machining and manufacturing tools and methods (advanced a plus)
  • Drafting and CAD/CAM software
  • Structural/thermal analysis software (FEA (advanced a plus)
  • Strong technical writing


  • Exceptional communication, strong initiative, self-starter, self-advocating, highly proactive, hands-on and driven is a must.


  • FE exam success and EIT status is highly desirable

Physical Requirements: 

  • As explained earlier, the Rotational Engineering Program will have the candidate rotate through four roles in six month increments. This will expose the candidate to a wide variety of working environments at PPPL (Computer time, laboratory and fabrication areas, assembly / installation areas, etc)

Deadline for Applications: January 31, 2020

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.