Our team grew 150% in 2020!

Like the rest of the world, the First Mode team has grappled with the challenges wrought by COVID-19. Despite the significant impacts of the pandemic to our daily lives, we are fortunate to remain busy working on compelling and meaningful projects. In fact, we’ve had to hire to keep up with the work this year.

In 2020, we grew our staff by 150%: we entered January with 30 team members are ending December with 75. This growth includes three staff members in our new Perth, Australia office.

Our latest group of new hires have a breadth of experience ranging from public policy to energy systems to software development to space exploration and more. We’re thrilled to welcome them to the team and can’t wait for it to be safe for the whole company to be together in person.

The First Mode team is still growing! Join us in our mission to build the barely possible. Check out our Careers page for more information.

Aidan Morgan

Principal Software Architect (Australia)

Aidan joins our Australia office as an accomplished CTO, Architect, and Engineer. With a successful career spanning more than 17 years, he has demonstrated strong project and product delivery skills.

Brandon Smith

Senior Software Systems Engineer

Brandon is an experienced researcher, mentor, and control systems engineer with over eight years of embedded programming and control system design experience. Brandon’s passion for technology and innovation combined with his team-oriented personality make him a great fit for First Mode.

Briana Ruth

Project Manager

Briana is an engineer by training and a free-spirit by nature. She comes to First Mode from Boeing where she worked for six years in project engineering and technical leadership, focusing on customer experience, business architecture, strategic planning, and product development.

Conor Duggan

Manager, Government Relations

With policy and economic development experience at the local, state, and federal levels, Conor brings a valuable perspective to the First Mode team. He offers expertise in strategic planning, and is an adept communicator and advocate at the intersection of business, government, and technology.

Darcienne LeRoue

Business Operations Administrator

Darcienne is an accomplished business administration and management professional with over 10 years of experience. She has exceptional organization skills and plays a key role in ensuring smooth coordination between operations, accounting, HR/recruiting, business development, and engineering departments.

Gabriella Martini

Technical Project Manager (Australia)

Gabriella is a curious, dynamic, and adaptive mining and engineering operations professional with a proven record of managing a portfolio of engineering projects from concept to implementation. After spending the past 7 years based at mining operations in the Western Australian Pilbara region, she joins the First Mode team to build the barely possible, leveraging her broad knowledge base.

Jason Hawley

Senior Process Engineer

With a self-professed excitement for applying his chemical engineering perspective to solve new problems, Jason comes to First Mode with the right mindset! He is an experienced Chemical Engineer from the oil and energy industry supporting all stages of the process unit lifecycle.

Jessica Gray

Mechanical Engineer

Jessica describes herself as an insatiable problem-solver who is not afraid to ask questions. With structural dynamics experience at the Kennedy Space Center and participation in an international study on energy policy, Jessica brings unique and relevant perspectives to her work for First Mode clients.

Kevin Klinkel

Systems Engineer

Kevin is a mechanical engineer working to improve the world in the sustainable energy sector. His expertise includes innovation, prototyping, computer programming, and team leadership.

Larissa Kunz

Staff Systems Engineer

Larissa has international experience working in the automotive, oil & gas, and pharmaceutical industries. She recently earned her Ph.D. in chemical engineering and sustainability from Stanford University and has a Master’s Degree from MIT.

Leilani Click

Recruiting Coordinator

Leilani has experience working in recruiting/HR for Amazon and Target. Previously, she served mobile devices and software clients at Edelman, coordinating public relations events and recruiting women-in-tech talent. Leilani also has a background in public policy research for business consultants and government relations for international nonprofits.

Liam Burke

Mechanical Engineer

With top-to-bottom design and test experience from prototype to production launch, Liam has a passion for electric propulsion, robotic systems, and innovative manufacturing. He has a self-described “powerful geek love” for making science fiction a reality.

Marla Smithwick

Technical Project Manager

Marla’s experience ranges from managing a multi-million dollar GeneLab project for NASA to designing and implementing drone operations systems. Her expertise in usability combined with her background in strategic and tactical mission planning and implementation support make her an ideal fit for First Mode!

Richard Lam

Facilities Coordinator

From inspecting and testing components to keeping meticulous documentation, Richard’s eye for detail ensures that First Mode’s facilities and operations are running smoothly. When he’s not working, he volunteers for the Leukemia and Lymphoma society.

Russell Higgins

Technical Project Manager

Russell is a multidisciplinary product development engineer and technical project manager. His experience includes product and market strategy, technology development and integration, product development, production system development, and production system management.

Sasha Friedrich

Software Engineer

From distributed file systems and cloud platforms to spacecraft and biological analysis, Sasha has worked on a range of software applications. She enjoys systems programming and — most importantly — solving challenging problems. She thrives in an entrepreneurial environment working with a tight community to make an impact.

Want to work with us? We’re hiring! First Mode draws on the exceptional talent and creativity of its multidisciplinary team to solve the toughest problems on and off the planet. Check out our open positions in Seattle and Perth.