Yet another record hiring quarter is in the books at First Mode, with 30 new hires made in Seattle and 9 more added to the team in Perth in the first quarter of 2022!
As diverse in their past experiences, interests, and perspectives as ever, this year-to-date’s new hires hail from six continents and have done a bit of everything—including chemical engineering, rapid prototyping, hydrodynamics, firmware development, filtration system design, reforestation projects in the Amazon, and launching their own fashion brand, just to name a few.
Read on to get to know a bit more about each of these outstanding new additions to our team.
Related story: Introducing the Newest Additions to the Team: Q4 2021
Ankita Tiwari — Senior Process Engineer
Born in New Delhi and previously based in Paris and Los Angeles, Ankita brings process engineering expertise in petrochemical product lines as part of a global core team responsible for in-house tools and engineering expertise. Outside of work she is proud to be a mom and passionate about painting, yoga, and travel.
Ragnar Ledesma — Senior Mechanical Engineer, Structural Dynamics
Originally from the Philippines, Ragnar is an expert in applied mechanics, structural dynamics, and ground vehicle dynamics, and has been a licensed civil engineer since the age of 21. Outside of work he enjoys soccer and is especially interested in control systems and self-driving vehicles.
Luke Wooldridge — Embedded Software Engineer
Born in the UK and raised in Australia, Luke’s embedded software experience derives from his past work on safety systems, such as a safe, low-power wireless input device. Outside of work he spends his time on traveling, running, and board and video games.
Stuart Benson — Thermal Systems Engineer
Originally from Auburn, Washington, Stuart has a mechanical engineering background with an emphasis on thermodynamics, heat transfer, and fluid mechanics. Outside of work he spends his time hiking, cooking, and going on runs with his dog.
Jamee Cremeans — Executive Assistant
Hailing from Los Angeles, Jamee joins the team with PA, ops, and legal admin support experience. She is proud to be only the second person in her family to graduate from college, and outside of work enjoys creative arts, music, and outdoor adventures.
Jeffrey Peterson — Government Affairs Associate
Originally from Vermont, and most recently based in D.C. after grad school abroad, Jeffrey is passionate about energy and environmental policy. He has worked for his home state Senator’s office on Capitol Hill for the last year, and has also worked for clean energy and conservation advocacy groups. In his free time he enjoys all things outdoors, including biking, hiking, running, and kayaking.
Elyse McMillen — Systems Engineer
Originally from Colorado, Elyse has lived and worked all over the U.S. and in England prior to moving to Seattle. Her background is in chemical engineering with a sustainability focus, primarily within the aerospace and materials sectors; she has also led numerous diversity and inclusion initiatives through work with the Society of Women Engineers. In her free time she is an avid hiker and enjoys rock and ice climbing, reading, and food of all kinds.
Mark Shoaf — Senior Systems Engineer
Originally from around the south end of Seattle with a brief stint spent in Florida, Mark brings a wide range of experience to the team including graphic design; vehicle structures and mechanisms; meshing and FEA; requirements definition; risk analysis; prototyping; and more. In his free time he enjoys audiobooks, guitar, woodcarving, homebrewing, and spending time with his wife and kids.
Björk Del Riego — Executive Assistant
Originally from Mexico City, Björk has been in the Seattle area for many years where she has built an extensive background in operations and administration across many industries. Throughout her career she has become particularly attuned to process optimization and effective communication; she has also started and run her own business. Her passions include travel, art, and live music.
Rochelle Cormier — Accounts Payable Manager
Born in Hawaii and raised in the Philippines, Rochelle is an expert on accounting and finance systems, order integration, project management, and more. Outside of work she currently enjoys crocheting and is passionate about design, fashion, and food.
Ven Bissenova — Accountant
Originally from Kazakhstan, Ven has also lived and worked in London, Russia, and Dubai prior to arriving in Perth. She is an expert in corporate and project accounting and taxation, with previous experience in system implementation to support data migration. Outside of work she most enjoys reading and being a parent.
Eric Mathewson — Senior Systems Engineer
Originally from Wisconsin, Eric also spent time in Russia before moving to Seattle. Among his array of professional skills are water filtration system design, technical drafting, project management, testing, and commissioning. He shares a Guinness world record for the tallest cylindrical aquarium on Earth; he also enjoys music, logic puzzles, and language learning.
Jordan Raymond — Hydrogen Systems Engineer
Originally with First Mode as a mechanical consultant, Jordan has now joined the team full-time as a hydrogen systems engineer. Originally from Issaquah, Washington, she spent her last four years working on cryogenic hydrogen and oxygen systems, with a focus on thermodynamics and thermal modeling, for which she earned a Donna Jung Award. Her outside interests include growing plants and experimenting with fermentation.
Severin Kamguia Simeu — Senior Modeling & Simulation Engineer
Originally from Cameroon, Severin is also a product of France and the U.S.: He holds Master’s degrees in power electronics, mechatronics, and hybrid vehicle propulsion systems. Outside of work, he has founded his own clothing brand and also enjoys martial arts and travel.
Evan DeVore — Facilities Coordinator
Born and raised in Washington, Evan started with the team as a runner and has since joined full-time as First Mode’s facilities coordinator. He brings a wide range of leadership and communication skills to the team, and is adept at managing many projects at once. Outside of work he sings and plays guitar, has started his own band, and enjoys helping friends with their home improvement projects.
Rachid El Mourabit — Corporate Financial Planning Analyst
Originally from Agadir, Morocco, Rachid brings more than a decade of experience in corporate financial analysis to First Mode, including particular expertise in policies and procedures, reporting systems, forecasting models, and budget and variance analysis. He also enjoys baking, hiking with his family, and volunteering to promote diversity and inclusion in the workplace.
Jean Paul Armstrong — Electro-Mechanical Technician
Originally from Miami, Jean Paul is an expert in A/C and D/C power distribution, design, and troubleshooting. Having previously applied this expertise aboard ships with the US Navy, he is also interested in travel, renewable energy, and philosophy.
Marc Stevens — Industrial Electrician
Originally from Perth, Marc joins the team there as an electrician with a background working in rail, heavy industrial, manufacturing, and commercial installation settings. In addition to learning computer programming in his spare time, he intends to study for his electrical engineering diploma in the future and loves barbecuing and spending time at the beach with his family.
Justin Milestone — Master Electrician
Originally from the Seattle area, Justin has worked as a journeyman electrician while building trucks and working on motorcycles in his spare time. He also enjoys spending time with his young daughter, wife, and their dog. Additional hobbies and interests include woodworking, off-road driving, road trips, camping, and dirt biking. He looks forward to learning more about fuel cell technology and how to use CAD.
Liu Liu — Principal Embedded Systems Engineer
Originally from China’s Yunnan province, Liu now considers Perth his second home and will be bringing his extensive knowledge of hardware design and firmware development to the team there. His past experiences have included developing real-time, OS-based low power electronic systems for commercial products; outside of work he captains an amateur soccer team and also enjoys table tennis.
Philipp Nonnast — Global Supply Manager
Philipp is originally from Frankfurt, Germany, and brings a variety of supply chain management skills to First Mode, having launched a hardware prototype company into production in the past. He is looking forward to learning more about hydrogen fuel technology here; outside of work his passions include dogs and athletics, and he is the team captain of the Everett Royals semi-pro football team.
Alan Broderick — Senior Mechanical Engineer
Alan joins the Perth team with a wide variety of engineering interests and a mining and heavy industry background. Outside of work, he is proud to be a parent and his leisure pursuits include cars, cycling, and woodworking.
Kurt Jankowski — Senior Project Manager
Originally from Michigan, Kurt has now been in Seattle working in the maritime industry for nearly a decade. He is an expert in hydrodynamics and computational fluid dynamics, which he has applied to designing ships and other offshore structures, including the newest Staten Island Ferry. In his free time he also enjoys woodworking, sailing, kayaking, camping, and golfing.
William Oakley — Mechatronics Engineer
Originally from Western Australia, William has also spent time living in Queensland, Finland, and Japan prior to settling in Perth. After a summer internship with First Mode, he has now joined the team full time, bringing his degree in mechatronics and his past rocketry experience to the new facility there. Outside of work he is particularly passionate about snowboarding, and often dedicates his spare time to traveling in search of great snow.
Rebecca Muir — Mechanical Engineer
Originally from Melbourne, Rebecca is another recent graduate joining the team in Perth: Her university experience included leading a team of interdisciplinary students to win a robotics competition, and her other interests include hiking, arts, and trying new foods.
John Allhusen — Senior Business Analyst
John is from Wyoming and also lived in Utah prior to settling in the Pacific Northwest. Educated as an analytical chemist with expertise in optics, materials, and data analysis, his list of professional skills also features company and market analysis; reverse engineering management; proposal drafting; and royalty modeling. Outside of work his interests range from home watch repair to exploring nearby beaches and mountains with his family and dog.
Kiana Mittelstaedt — Business Analyst
Originally from the Chicago area, Kiana first moved to Seattle to complete her Master’s in applied mathematics. After working as an ocean pricing analyst, she has joined the First Mode team to apply her wide range of math and data management skills as a business analyst. In her free time she particularly enjoys baking, and is currently working on perfecting her chocolate chip cookie and banana bread recipes.
Loring Sittler — Senior Business Analyst
Originally from Massachusetts and having spent time in Alaska, Hawaii, and California as part of the Coast Guard, Loring’s varied business experiences and consulting projects have taken him to India, Kenya, and all around the Seattle area. His personal time these days is most often spent on reading, hiking, and skiing.
Brenden Hart — Recruiter
Brenden is originally from Virginia, and has also lived in Ohio, California, and D.C.; he brings a wide range of skills and previous experience from working in politics and serving in the military to his role as a recruiter. Currently he spends much of his free time on a number of physical and outdoor activities, among them running, swimming, and hiking.
Karolina Chamorro — Senior Project Coordinator
Karolina is an environmental engineer hailing from Quito, Ecuador; her specialties are sustainable resource management, in which she holds a Master’s degree, and circular economy. Past roles have taken her from public policy construction and implementation to social impact, waste management, and reforestation projects in the Amazon. She also spends a great deal of time trail running, writing, practicing yoga, and bouldering.
Aron Nicholson — Global Supply Manager
Originally from Sydney, Aron now lives in Perth and has joined the First Mode team there; his career path has included everything from architecture and engineering drafting to overseas supply chain management, manufacturing, estimating, and purchasing at a global level. In addition to being a parent and a self-proclaimed space nut, his myriad outside interests include mid-century design, architecture, furniture, and cars.
Mat Roscoe — Principal Modeling & Simulation Engineer
Originally from New Brunswick, Canada, Mat’s technical skills include Python, embedded systems, system architecture, automation, and robotics; he has previously worked on a wide variety of systems, including many that have flown in space. Outside of work he holds a private pilot’s and glider’s license; while not flying, he spends time with his new puppy.
Christian Gundlach — Technology Support Engineer
Originally from Missouri, Christian also lived in Ohio prior to arriving in Seattle; they earned a degree in mechanical engineering and worked on electric vehicles and rapid prototyping prior to shifting into IT over the last decade. Outside of work they particularly enjoy D&D and MMOs, and are currently working on home-building an electric mountainboard.
Austin Law — Hydrogen Systems Engineer
Originally from western Washington, Austin holds a degree in chemical engineering and has spent the last few years inventing and developing processing plants that convert waste slurries into more valuable products. Outside of work he spends much of his time hiking, skiing, golfing, and sailing.
Dylan Cox — Systems Engineer
Born in Tennessee, Dylan has also lived in Texas, Utah, Florida, and Alabama prior to Seattle. His background is in test engineering, and has included projects such as airworthiness assessments of Army helicopters; he also brings experience in coding, CAD modeling, and simulation to First Mode. In his free time he loves snowboarding, mountain biking, weightlifting, and other physical pursuits.
Sam Tjoelker — Systems Engineer
Originally from Kirkland, Sam has previously worked as a manufacturing and systems engineer on solar power supplies; power management for spacecraft; and medical devices. Outside of work he is especially interested in cycling, sport shooting, World War II history, and photography.
Den Larkin — Electrical Engineer
Previously based in Philadelphia, Den studied both aerospace and mechanical engineering and became certified as a project management professional prior to shifting his focus to electrical engineering. His wide range of skills include astrodynamics, construction and renovation, FEA, and Lagrangian coherent structures.
Tom Miesen — Modeling & Simulation Engineer
Originally from Oregon, Tom brings a broad range of technical skills related to software and robotics, including from designing and building a quadrotor platform as part of his Master’s thesis. His varied array of outside interests and pursuits runs the gamut from antiquing to air frying to astrophotography.