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Cryogenic Systems Engineer - Liquid Hydrogen

Hydrogen Systems · Seattle, Washington

First Mode is a creative engineering company solving the toughest problems on and off the planet, with the goal of having an outsized impact on the world around us. We build the barely possible.  

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. In the last year our engineers built a 2MW hydrogen fuel cell and battery powerplant to retrofit a three-story, 300-metric-ton-capacity diesel haul truck; designed the power source and refueling system for the world’s first endurance race vehicle to be powered by liquid hydrogen; and delivered spaceflight hardware headed 370 million kilometers from Earth to asteroid 16 Psyche. 

While each project is unique, we typically meld together robotics, automation, systems engineering, modeling and simulation, and advanced fabrication to create a new future across many industries. If you have exceptional talent and a vision for the future, we want to talk. 

First Mode is seeking to grow its skillset in liquid hydrogen fuel storage and handling for use with our megawatt-class fuel cell powerplants on mobile applications.  As a member of the technical staff with specialized experience in cryogenic systems, you will be an integral member of project teams that are developing, testing, and fielding first-in-kind liquid hydrogen fueled zero-emission technologies for large industrial applications on land, sea, and air. 

Position Responsibilities

  • Architect liquid hydrogen fuel systems for mobile applications, including refueling systems, storage systems, insulation systems, vaporization systems, fuel quantity indication systems, and safety systems
  • Collaborate with multi-disciplinary team to conduct design trade studies, work across interfaces to optimize the system
  • Advise the company on research and development priorities, assess technology readiness of various technologies
  • Create system-level diagrams and component specifications, work closely with vendors
  • Develop test plans and procedures, lead R&D, prototyping, and test efforts
  • Support safety assessments through HAZID/HAZOP, Bow Ties, and similar activities
  • Travel within the United States and internationally to represent First Mode to its customers, vendors, and partners

Basic Qualifications

  • Bachelor's degree in Mechanical, Chemical, or related engineering discipline, or equivalent combination of education and experience
  • 5+ years of experience with cryogenic systems

Preferred Qualifications

  • Experience with liquid hydrogen
  • Experience with cryogenic applications of composite tanks
  • Hands-on experience in a test environment
  • Familiarity with chemical process simulation software
  • Ability to write and speak clearly about technical subject matter
  • Flexibility and responsiveness in a fast-paced, dynamic, small team environment


  • 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


  • To conform to U.S. Government space technology export regulations, including the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) you must be a U.S. citizen, lawful permanent resident of the U.S., protected individual as defined by 8 U.S.C. 1324b(a)(3), or eligible to obtain the required authorizations from the U.S. Department of State. Learn more about the ITAR here. 

Benefits & Perks

  • Competitive compensation and bonus structure
  • 100% employer-paid health insurance (medical, dental, vision)
  • Flexible PTO with 12 week supplementary paid parental leave
  • 401(k) retirement account with a discretionary employer match
  • Commuter benefits (parking and public transportation)
  • A culture that encourages professional growth with learning and development reimbursements
  • Open and collaborative workspaces 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.