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Updated: May 1, 2023 / Power 50 for 2023

2023 Power 50: Bob Mumgaard

Photo | Courtesy of Commonwealth Fusion Systems Bob Mumgaard, CEO of Commonwealth Fusion Systems, in Devens
Bob Mumgaard Title Co-Founder & CEO Company Commonwealth Fusion Systems, in Devens Colleges  MIT in Cambridge, University of Nebraska Read all the 2023 Power 50 profiles here
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When President Joe Biden’s secretary of energy travels to Devens for the groundbreaking of your company’s facility, you must be onto something. Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm did just that for Bob Mumgaard and CFS in February, highlighting the list of dignitaries also including two U.S. senators for the ceremonial milestone at the company looking to revolutionize the way electricity is generated.

Mumgaard co-founded CFS in 2018 out of MIT with the goal of commercializing fusion energy, a puzzle whose solution has eluded scientists since the 1940s. Unlike its cousin, fission nuclear energy, fusion can theoretically generate power with almost zero waste products using basically the same process that powers the sun. As the world seeks to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and slow the impact of climate change, fusion energy is the golden goose to presumably solve all these problems, and President Joe Biden has outlined a bold plan to make it part of the global energy supply. The problem is no one has cracked the code on how to sustain a net-positive fusion reaction for more than a few moments, where the reaction generates more power than it consumes.

With his SPARC system, Mumgaard believes he can achieve a net-positive fusion reaction shortly after construction is complete at the 47-acre Devens facility in 2025. CFS has raised more than $2 billion toward the effort from heavy industry hitters like Bill Gates and hired more than 430 employees, nearly all of whom are based in Devens.

While the SPARC remains the focus, the company plans to expand the Devens campus for additional advanced research-and-development facilities and future manufacturing capabilities for fusion power plants, which could potentially make Devens a key center in the next generation of electricity generation.

Read all the 2023 Power 50 profiles here.

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