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Principal Electrical Engineer

Electrical Engineering · 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 an enthusiastic electrical engineering professional who exhibits a passion and dedication to the art of electrical engineering, has a deep desire to build and mentor a team of engineers, and can apply their skills across EE as well as other engineering disciplines. A self-starting attitude and eagerness to learn everything about the system under design from all disciplines and team members is desired.

Position Responsibilities

  • Support the growth of the technical team through selection, teaching and mentorship
  • Provide technical leadership to the electrical engineering team
  • Define and develop system architectures, then lead teams to build and deliver
  • Represent electrical engineering (as a discipline) as a key stakeholder from product / system formulation through design, build and test
  • Lead and provide guidance in system design reviews, hardware design reviews and code reviews
  • Work effectively in a fast-paced, dynamic team environment 
  • Travel within the U.S. and internationally to represent First Mode to its customers, vendors, and partners (COVID-19 permitting)

Basic Qualifications

  • Experience leading a technical team through all phases of project lifecycle
  • Strong electrical engineering experience in circuit theory and two or more of the EE disciplines (e.g. signal processing, control systems, HV substations, power systems modeling, earthing design, energy storage, microelectronics, RF and communications)
  • Proficiency with common electrical engineering design and simulation software (e.g. LTSpice, PSpice)
  • Proficiency in electrical engineering design tools relevant to skillset (e.g. SPICE, MATLAB, HFSS, ADS)
  • Programming Languages: Familiarity with C is required. Proficiency in a scripting language such as Python or Tcl, and system shell languages such as Bash is also required
  • Proficiency with soldering iron, hot air gun and rework techniques
  • Experience with software configuration management tools/methods (e.g., Git, Subversion)
  • Proficiency in schematic capture and PCB layout software (e.g. Altium Designer)
  • Experience in designing for test and manufacturing (DFT/DFM)

Preferred Qualifications

  • A knack for thinking about how the parts of a system work together
  • 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.