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Manufacturing Engineer

Production and Supply Chain · 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 Manufacturing Engineering team. As a member of this team you will work on design for manufacturability, manufacturing methods, and overall production system. While the work will involve an advocacy for the simplicity in design of production parts to aide in the assembly of large-scale vehicles, the focus will be on the higher level production of assemblies and vehicles.

Position Responsibilities

  • Develop production layouts and processes for managing the flow of parts, people, tools, and information   
  • Conduct trade studies on different production system designs and manufacturing methods, equipment, and tools   
  • Represent manufacturing stakeholders and related disciplines such as quality, safety, ergonomics, operations, and maintenance, during design development, advocating for manufacturing best practices   
  • Support make/buy decisions, evaluating the suitability of production houses, and serve as the primary interface between the design team and the production house 
  • Define and implement work breakdown structures, production process, operating and installation plans, and specifications
  • Estimate process durations and resource requirements
  • Create production tooling requirements and specifications while leading acceptance testing and commissioning
  • Work effectively in a fast-paced, dynamic team environment

Basic Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree in Manufacturing, Mechanical, or related degree program with equivalent experience 
  • 4+ years of experience in manufacturing heavy industrial equipment 
  • 3+ years of experience with CAD software, creating and interpreting design drawings and specifications, and producing installation plans and drawings

Preferred Qualifications

  • Experience in early-stage product and production system development  
  • Familiarity with manufacturing skills such as Six Sigma, Lean, theory of constraints, and Root Cause Analysis   
  • Experience with production methods related to assembly of heavy equipment 
  • Ability to efficiently implement engineering solutions on manufacturing processes based on product design changes
  • Experience with the assembly and integration of large-scale power electronics 
  • Ability to write and speak clearly about technical subject matter
  • Flexibility and responsiveness in a fast-paced, dynamic, small team environment

Additional Requirements

  • Willingness to travel within the United States and internationally to represent First Mode to its customers, vendors, and partners (~10%)


  • 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.