systems engineer [JOB 204]

Seattle, WA, United States

First Mode draws on the exceptional talent and creativity of its multidisciplinary team to solve the toughest problems on and off the planet. We help companies, governments, and individuals from the earliest stages of problem definition to prototype creation and demonstration. A continual desire to discover and invent has led our team to drill into the unknown surface of Mars, electrify large industrial equipment, and apply remote sensing technologies to water conservation.

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 industries. If you have exceptional talent and a vision for the future, we want to talk.

First Mode is seeking to add new members to its systems team that 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

  • Design, develop, build, test, and operate complex systems among a diverse team of experts

  • Special focus on design for safety of human-rated systems

  • Seek out 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


  • Demonstrated experience in life-cycle development of hardware for a safety-critical system or product

  • Solid grasp of fundamental physics

  • 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, Washington


  • Applicants must be eligible for employment within the United States of America

Apply or ask a question: Please e-mail your resume (and cover letter if you’d like) to with “Job 204” in the subject line.

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.