Are there job opps for programmers in cleantech/fusion research?
May 27, 2013 10:59 PM   Subscribe

I am a software developer with good experience, principally in big data, though I am not married to that field. I think that climate change is a serious threat to human existence, and am probing how I might be able to work successfully in a field that could help us develop a more sustainable future.

I am wondering if there are any job opportunities in the field for devs with experience? I don't have to work with data, but that's what I know best right now.

I am generally interesting in companies developing sustainable forms of energy, but am also curious what work is being done on stabilizing fusion for commercial reactors? Do you have to have a PhD to work in this field?

I am open to getting a masters if it will let me work more closely to the core of these technologies, though I'd want to know that there would be a good chance of finding a job afterwards. Ideally, I'd be able to find meaningful work in the field as a software engineer, see if I like it, then get a masters as necessary, but I'd love to know more about what companies are hiring, what companies are looking for, what sort of interesting roles are in the industry, that sort of thing.

I'm fortunate that I have a job I like that I'd like to ride out for a while, so this is more of a medium-term ambition.
posted by wooh to Work & Money (3 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
You might want to look into research jobs in geography departments, especially those focussing on environmental issues, as big data is so very relevant to that exact field right now.

If you only have a bachelor's degree, there are still some research jobs out there for you, though a master's will strengthen your position. If I were you I'd seek out departments in nearby universities that are investigating environmental issues and ask about both. Check their job listings first. If they say you must have a PhD then obviously, you're out of luck for those posts, but some posts don't even ask for a Master's.

Go for it.
posted by tel3path at 2:41 AM on May 28, 2013

Try DOE national laboratories.
posted by KogeLiz at 4:48 AM on May 28, 2013

Power dispatch forecasting is one of the key computational technologies to support the integration of renewable energy. It allows power grids to support more renewable energy. By managing demand through conservation, it can also reduce emissions by more than any other green energy technology. If I were starting out in this industry, or not so heavily invested in my wind/solar engineering, I'd be right into this.

Company names include 3TIER and AWS Truepower. Munging realtime weather and grid stats, along with forecasts, it's the original Big Data.
posted by scruss at 6:02 AM on May 28, 2013

« Older Prep for Jure Sanguinis -> Help me find a great...   |   Are these two words translated into Hebrew... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.