We’ve spent the last three-plus years welcoming what always feels like a more impressive group of new hires to the team with every passing quarter. The final quarter of 2021 was no different—even with an extended holiday break creating the usual end-of-year lull in start dates, we were thrilled to welcome another outstanding crop of new engineers, technicians, accountants, receptionists, government affairs associates, and two new VPs to the First Mode team.

These new First Modizens are as diverse in their perspectives and experiences as ever, bringing expertise in fields as wide-ranging as energy physics, industrial instrumentation, tax modeling, electric vehicles, and corrosion chemistry. Please join us in welcoming them to the team!

Want to work with us? We’re hiring faster than ever! Check out our open roles in Seattle and Perth on our Careers page.

Related story: Introducing the Newest Additions to the Team: Q3 2021

Darryl Diaz — Senior Systems Engineer

Darryl joins the team with nearly a decade of experience in upstream oil and gas, having work on major capital projects as well as legacy brownfield assets. He brings particular expertise in pressure vessel design and integrity assurance; corrosion chemistry; and technical project management. Outside of work he is most interested in human-powered transport, resource efficiency, and spending quality time with his wife and young daughter.

Molly Flynn — Senior Modeling & Simulation Engineer

Prior to joining First Mode, Molly spent her past seven years developing algorithms for defense systems and integrating real-time software: During that time, she worked as a team lead and cross-product team lead. Outside of work she enjoys dancing, hiking, baking, crocheting, and spending time with her recently adopted Chow/Husky mix, Bananas.

Greg Tan — Principal Software Engineer

Greg brings full stack software engineering experience to his role at First Mode, having worked in many industries including mining; energy markets; financial markets; defense; and aerial surveying. Specific past accomplishments he’s proud of include finishing his MBA and developing an aerial survey camera system from prototype to production; outside of work he enjoys hobby electronics and watching Perth Wildcats basketball.

Holly Stein — Electrical Systems Engineer

Holly’s educational background is in mechanical engineering, with an emphasis on product design. For the past three years she has worked in aerospace avionics, primarily on harnessing; outside of work she enjoys many things including reading, writing, sewing, gardening, and exploring via bicycle.

Niraj Suresh — Modeling & Simulation Engineer

Niraj has joined the First Mode team as a M&S engineer: He brings past experience in aerospace engineering, having spent three years at Boeing on the 777X Integrated Modular Avionics team, where he built and tested various avionics software and hardware components. He is an avid classical pianist, and his other pursuits include chess, espresso brewing, and weight training.

Clinton Travis — Senior Project Manager

Clinton brings a wide range of project management experience and technical skills from nearly two decades spent at Boeing performing and leading loads and dynamics analysis for commercial airplanes. One of his proudest professional accomplishments has been planning and leading one of the critical certification flight tests for the 747-8; in his personal time, he enjoys time with his kids, playing and watching soccer, mountaineering, and working on projects at home.

Matt McDonald — Principal Electrical Engineer

Matt began his career as an electronics designer prior to shifting to the mining industry. With a focus on industrial automation and machine control, he is particularly proud to have automated a bulk ore ship loader capable of loading ore into ships at a rate over three tonnes per second. Outside of work he enjoys playing guitar, automating his house and spending time with his kids.

Sean Norris — Senior Technical Recruiter

Prior to joining First Mode Sean spent a year playing professional rugby; eleven years building fighter jets, helicopters, and trains as a qualified aircraft maintenance engineer; and four years in the rail industry within production, warranty, and commissioning. From there he is proud to have transitioned into a new career in recruiting, which he has been doing ever since and considers the best decision he’s ever made.

Paul McGinty — VP, Supply Chain and Production

Paul is an expert on electric vehicles both on and off the planet, with past experience including taking the Tesla Model S2 from alpha through to mass production. Outside of work he enjoys snowboarding; thrash metal from the late ‘80s and early ‘90s; and Porsche and VW vehicles from the late ‘50s.

Nicola Karp — Government Affairs Associate

Nicola brings strong experience in strategic economic development, including policy work, research, tax and economic modelling, stakeholder management, and the ability to delve into rabbit holes to discover the best path forward. In her new role she is learning to be a Texan water dowser and excited to help grow the green hydrogen ecosystem across the US. Outside of work she enjoys pretending to be a T-Rex and eating her children’s leftovers.

Francois Coetsee — Senior Mechanical Engineer

Francois is a mechanical engineering generalist with experience in everything from FEA and failure investigation to fatigue and fracture mechanics. He brings a great deal of experience in the mining sector, including with mobile plant and processing equipment; in his personal life he enjoys mountain biking, fishing, boating, and spending time with his family.

Eduardo Archilla — Senior Process Engineer

Eduardo brings a plethora of gas processing experience and a marked enthusiasm for renewable energy and tackling complex problems to First Mode; his past roles have included work with LNG, biofuel production, and project and operations support. Outside of work his interests include tennis, travel, and comedy, and one of his proudest personal accomplishments is having been able to save someone’s life.

Ruri Maharani Redis — Receptionist

Ruri has worked in the administrative field for her full professional life to date: Her expertise is wide-ranging and includes project management; data collection and analysis; office operational platforms; communications systems; event planning; and managing employee recognition. Outside of work Ruri loves swimming, design, and her habit of walking five kilometers daily.

Mick O’Donnell — Principal Mechanical Engineer

Mick specializes in structural analysis of aerospace, mining, and rail vehicles, bringing three decades of experience across aerospace and defense to his Principal Mechanical Engineer role at First Mode. His most recent experience has centered on in establishing, growing, and managing engineering businesses; in his spare time he particularly enjoys outdoor fitness activities including trail running, cycling, and swimming.

Kris Toguchi — Senior Accountant

Kris brings over a decade of experience in investment accounting to First Mode, having worked on a wide variety of fund types and private equity in the past. In one role she was particularly proud to lead a small team in successfully creating a complex process for identifying foreign currency exposure across systems.

Mitchell Young — Senior Software Engineer

A specialist in modeling and simulation as well as software engineering more generally, Mitchell most enjoys the intersection of engineering design with the computational methods used to understand the problem space. His past experiences have included open-sourcing his main project at TerraPower, and helping convince Bill Gates that to do so would be a good idea; outside of work, he enjoys skiing, hiking, climbing, video games, and tabletop RPGs.

Sunny Brunelle — Senior Electro-Mechanical Technician

Sunny particularly enjoys applying her wide variety of technical skills to working with prototype and R&D electrical systems, as well as with electronics that are non-standard and non-production in nature. Outside of work her interests include roller skating, dancing, cars, and working on audio projects.

Nick Heacox — Senior Electro-Mechanical Technician

Nick brings over two decades of experience as a mechanical technician, supervisor, and manager to his new role at First Mode, having worn a wide variety of hats in his past positions. He particularly enjoys design work and putting projects together; outside of his professional life, he loves mountain biking, hiking, fancy beers, and finding new hobbies.

Jim Wilferling — Battery Systems Engineer

After 25 years working as a professional cook and a stint as a deckhand on a three-masted schooner, Jim got his degree in his 40s and changed careers to focus on lithium battery materials research, cell prototyping, and testing. Outside of work he is particularly passionate about sailing, and also makes time for playing music, hiking, and photography.

Nathan Coad — Principal Battery Systems Engineer

With post-grad education in energy physics and wide-ranging interests in all things mechanical, electrical, and chemical, Nathan’s primary specialty is electrochemical devices and systems, including batteries, fuel cells, and energy storage. Professionally, he is particularly proud of having developed and delivered the largest zinc bromide flow battery module in the world. Among his interests outside of work are fishing, surfing, gardening, boating, and tinkering.

Keontrae LuBom — Electro-Mechanical Technician

Keontrae served in the military as an avionics technician for seven years, where he specialized in troubleshooting radar, weapons, and communications systems in addition to gaining experience with assembling mechanical equipment. Outside of work he spends his time 3D printing, making music, trying new food, and traveling.

Nick Miller — VP, Projects

A mechanical engineer by education, Nick spent five years at Aerojet Rocketdyne learning and developing solid propellant and rockets, followed by five more launching rockets and other spacecraft at SpaceX. Thereafter he shifted into production and program management for Starlink, and is looking forward to bringing these skills to the VP of Projects role at First Mode. Outside of work, Nick enjoys travel, outdoor activities, cooking, and music.