Skip to content
Careers / Seattle, Washington

VP of Engineering


First Mode develops and manufactures decarbonization solutions for heavy industry partners dedicated to the clean energy future — for people and planet.

Our team is creative and passionate, with a range of experiences and capabilities. If you want to create a cleaner, more sustainable world, we'd love your help.

From our state-of-the-art manufacturing and production facilities in Seattle and Perth, we design and deliver resilient, reliable solutions for the most demanding and constrained frontiers in existence. First Mode builds hybrid electric vehicle (HEV), battery electric vehicle (BEV), hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicle (FCEV) powerplants to retrofit mine haul trucks, rail and industrial applications.


We are seeking an enthusiastic and detail-orientated VP of Engineering to lead the Engineering department. Specifically, this person will receive R&D validated programs and begin detail engineering work in order to progress the program and products through stage gate process inclusive of Alpha design verification vehicles into Beta process verification vehicles into Start of Production steady state vehicles.  The successful candidate will own our innovative hybrid electric, battery electric, and fuel cell electric commercial vehicle power module development though alpha, beta and production design. The successful candidate will own engineering of vehicle integration and all verification and validation campaigns of system, module and integrated vehicle alpha, beta and production units. This role will inspire and lead and team of engineers passionate about detail Engineering design and verification.  Owning all processes, tools and work products required to create best in class CAD models, prints, GD&T, Specs and SOWs for all Engineering Definition Work Products.


This pivotal role involves leading, inspiring and managing functional engineering teams across disciplines such as Mechanical Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Vehicle Integration, Systems Engineering, Software, and Controls Engineering. Managing systems and subsystems such as battery systems, power electronic systems, thermal systems and required structural and interconnect systems. The successful candidate will be responsible for driving excellence in product development via detail design and documentation using and defining best in class engineering practices, tools and processes and ensuring key milestones are achieved on time and in budget. This position reports directly to the CTO and is an in-person role at the company’s Seattle, WA headquarters.

Position Responsibilities

  • Lead, develop and inspire a high-performing engineering organization to create customer delight.
  • Provide strategic direction for planning, developing, and implementing initiatives across Mechanical, Electrical, Vehicle Integration, and Systems Engineering including Software, and Controls Engineering.
  • Drive cross-functional teams, to assure all design, testing and validation requirements are met on time to ensure the highest quality and best product is delivered to our customers.
  • Define requirements and work closely with the IT and QA teams as we develop and improve the functionality of the CAD/PLM/ERP systems for the engineering functions, ensuring seamless integration and hygienic real time data transfer with other departments. Knowledge of Engineering systems such as Teamcenter, NX, Jama, Altium, or similar and equivalent.
  • Ownership of all Engineering Design Documentation deliverables with respect to CAD, drawings, GD&T, Specifications, Statement of Works, eBOM, material specifications, performance testing and plans, required for full engineering definition of all Alpha, Beta and Production engineering work products.
  • Owns test requirements, definition and infrastructure within Design Engineering. Owns Certification planning and execution within Design Engineering. Collaborates with internal stakeholders, including Program Management, Supply Chain, Quality, and Manufacturing, to align engineering goals with organizational objectives.
  • Assure technical approval processes within PLM and stage gate process are followed and documented.
  • Coach, mentor, and develop team members, understanding 3 levels deep to foster a culture of knowledge transfer, open communication, continuous improvement and leading from the front.
  • Manage and allocate resources effectively, ensuring engineering teams achieve milestones and operate within budgetary constraints.
  • Work with the Engineering Directors to root cause analysis review of design or performance issues and proactively implement fixes.
  • Risk management: identify and mitigate performance, safety and program risks associated with engineering projects. Ensure timely and successful project completion.

Basic Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree in Engineering
  • 10+ years’ experience in engineering leadership
  • In-depth knowledge of electric vehicle technologies, battery systems, power electronics, high/low voltage electrics, embedded systems, and related engineering principles
  • Deep understanding of engineering best practices such as DFMEA, DVP&R, PPAP, CAE, GD&T, etc.
  • Knowledge of industrial vehicles

Additional Requirements

  • Ability to travel 30% or more.


  • This position will be located at First Mode’s headquarters in Seattle, WA and will be required to work in office >60% of working hours


Total Rewards

Base Salary Range: $230,000 - $287,000

Benefits & Perks

  • Annual bonus incentive
  • Equity-based awards
  • 100% employer-paid health insurance (medical, dental, vision)
  • 401(k) retirement account with a 3% employer contribution from the start of employment
  • Flexible PTO with 12 weeks of supplementary paid parental leave
  • Commuter benefits (parking & public transportation)
  • A culture that encourages professional growth with learning and development reimbursements
  • Open and collaborative workspace with free office snacks and lunches
  • Hybrid work model



First Mode is an Equal Opportunity Employer; employment with First Mode is governed on the basis of merit, competence, and qualifications and will not be influenced in any manner by race, color, religion, gender, national origin/ethnicity, veteran status, disability status, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, mental or physical disability or any other legally protected status.