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Systems Engineering Lead

Systems Engineering · Seattle, Washington

First Mode is a carbon reduction company developing creative, clean energy solutions for heavy industry’s toughest problems.

We hope you’ll join us in building a brighter future for people and planet.

First Mode is seeking a Principal Systems Engineer to work with us on in a full-time capacity. You must have strong capabilities for working these types of problems within a constrained, fast-paced environment. Applicants from all industries are welcome, with particular emphasis in complex, multi-disciplinary system developments.  

Position Responsibilities

  • Support the growth of the technical team through selection, teaching, and mentorship
  • Provide technical leadership to the systems engineering team
  • Represent systems 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
  • Support the development of internal technical principles and quality standards, and track compliance with safety regulations, processes, and/or state-of-practice
  • Develop concepts and perform feasibility analysis given an incomplete problem definition
  • Gather and articulate needs & limitations from customers, colleagues, vendors, and physics itself
  • Balance pain among multidisciplinary teams to optimize the whole rather than the part
  • Bring together disparate groups (subsystems, vendors, or clients) to agree on common interfaces
  • Develop and execute integration & test plans focused on requirements verification within programmatic constraints

Basic Qualifications

  • 10+ years of experience in systems engineering
  • 4+ years of experience as an engineering lead
  • Experience architecting complex systems involving hardware

Preferred Qualifications

  • Master’s degree in systems engineering
  • Experience leading a technical team through all phases of life-cycle development of hardware for a safety-critical system or product
  • Passion for teaching and mentoring others
  • Obsessive focus on clear definition of the need before selecting a solution
  • Solid simulation, analysis, and data interpretation skills
  • Experience in revision control in various forms (git, wiki, or others)
  • Experience in Python, MATLAB, LabVIEW, SolidWorks CAD, and wiki documentation
  • Ability to write and speak clearly about a 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

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.