2021 was a year of milestones for First Mode, including major project deliveries for NASA’s Perseverance and Psyche missions; successful testing of a hydrogen fuel cell to power one of the largest zero-emission vehicles on Earth; and a partnership with Scuderia Cameron Glickenhaus to develop the world’s first liquid-hydrogen race truck for the Baja 1000 in 2022.

The company also set hiring records in each subsequent quarter of 2021, with the addition of over 100 employees representing more than 300 percent year-over-year growth. We launched a new website, announced a brand refresh, added an array of new executives and board members to the leadership team, moved into new office spaces in Seattle’s Pioneer Square and SoDo neighborhoods as well as Perth, Australia, and welcomed notable visitors including Washington state governor Jay Inslee to see the progress on projects with the potential to make major impacts in the global fight against climate change.

With all of that said, First Mode’s most popular content in 2021 centered on the things that continue to define our success as a company: The exceptional people on our team, and the incredible work they do day in and day out. The following ten blog posts were our website’s most popular content in 2021.

10. Meet Lexi Humann: Mechanical Systems Engineer at First Mode

Hiking in Iceland Landmannalaugar

“Why does it matter that we keep inventing, testing, and creating? To continue solving the challenges of each generation. We often invent new technologies that address a current challenge, but end up creating a different problem down the road. It’s important that we keep tackling new issues so that humanity doesn’t collapse under its own handiwork.”

9. Autoweek: SCG Looks to Take On the Baja 1000 in Its Own Fuel-Cell Truck

“SCG’s target is the November 2022 Baja, and that means the fast track on a full-scale engineering collaboration to produce a custom racer chassis with First Mode’s integration of a yet-to-be-determined fuel cell with a tank and fueling system.”

8. First Mode Attending 2021 Baja 1000 to Prepare for 2022

First Mode heading to the Baja 1000 2021 to prepare for 2022 (Photo courtesy of Glickenhaus)

“Today if you consider a hydrogen vehicle, it runs on gaseous hydrogen. The industry kind of just adopted that … There’s not a great engineering reason for that. Liquid hydrogen provides quite a bit more energy, but running it at any racetrack has never been done before. This is brutally cutting-edge.”

7. GeekWire Tech Moves: First Mode expands C-suite

Elizabeth Frank, PhD, and Rhae Adams of First Mode

“Frank was most recently a senior applied planetary scientist. Adams, a First Mode board member and co-founder, was most recently GM of the Americas. … In October, the company announced a multi-year deal and $8.5 million investment from global mining company Anglo American. First Mode now has more than 150 employees and plans to double its global employee count in 2022.”

6. Infographic: Celebrating Three Years!

View full infographic here.

“Please join us as we celebrate three years of building the barely possible! Our past and future are all made possible by the quality and character of our team.”

5. A Seattle Manufacturing Lab Built for Clean Tech Development

First Mode SoDo Facility

“First Mode’s new hardware development center hides behind a nondescript facade less than a block from the iconic Starbucks clock tower in Seattle’s SoDo neighborhood. It’s easy to miss, but history is quietly being made in this laboratory—a unique facility tasked with inventing, building, and demonstrating tools helping lead the global transition to clean energy in the coming years. Since 2020, the space has been transformed from a generic warehouse into a laboratory brimming with custom test bays for clean tech development.”

4. Meet Leilani Click: Recruiting Coordinator at First Mode

“I currently organize and plan candidates’ interviews, among various other recruiting and people-related duties. However, if I was asked this question half a year ago, my answer would be just as different as it may be in another few months.”

3. Meet Aidan Morgan: Principal Software Architect at First Mode

“Engineering is a craft, and that requires all of us to invest in ongoing coaching and professional development. My career has been shaped by the teaching, support, and influence of other engineers that I have been lucky enough to have worked with. Nowadays, some of my proudest moments are seeing people that I have had a small part in mentoring or coaching have success in their own careers, whether by launching products or becoming senior leaders.”

2. Introducing the Newest Additions to the Team: Q3 2021

First Mode New Hires Q3 2021

“After a record hiring quarter in Q2, we’ve already blown that record out of the water with twice as many new hires in Q3 … This quarter, we’re very pleased to introduce 38 more additions to our team. Our newest First Modizens have done everything from marine engines and interstage composites to multi-award-winning snowboard design and cell science research.”

1. Introducing the Newest Additions to the Team: Q2 2021

“If you’ve checked out our LinkedIn lately, you may have noticed we’ve been hiring a lot this year. Joining our 13 new hires from Q1, we’re very pleased to introduce 18 more additions to our team in Q2! These new First Modizens bring experience in everything from aerospace engineering and embedded microcontrollers to mechanism design and EV manufacturing.”

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.