Our “Meet the Team” series profiles the creative and curious people of First Mode. We are driven to find purposeful technology solutions to the world’s most important challenges. We take our work seriously but ourselves not too seriously. Want to work with us? View our open positions.
“You never know what you can do until you try. A society that fosters creativity and innovation, and one that accepts failure as part of that process, allows each and every member to make a positive impact through their own involvement.” – Josh
What drew you to First Mode?
I helped found First Mode with ten others because I wanted to work on meaningful projects with good people. The people – from their willingness to teach, to the trust we place in one another – are what convinced me to take a stab at getting the company off the ground.
What are you working on?
I’m the project lead for the Deep Space Optical Communication (DSOC) Technology Demonstration Aperture Cover on the Psyche Spacecraft. I do mechanical design, systems engineering, testing, and a number of things in between for the project. The DSOC aperture cover ensures that the DSOC tech demonstration is safe and debris-free until it is ready to operate in space.
How did your passion for engineering and technology begin?
In middle school, my guidance counselor gave me a model airplane to build to pass the time. That spurred a fascination of aircraft and engineering. I became involved in the space industry in college after a friend invited me to help support a new CubeSat mission. (A CubeSat is a type of miniaturized satellite for space research.)
What do you think is the most significant discovery or human endeavor of the last few years?
The emergence of green energy vehicles. If we are going to stem or stop global warming, we need large-scale changes that reduce our reliance on fossil fuels and our carbon emissions. Having renewable energy powering our daily transportation is a great start.
Why does it matter that we keep inventing, testing, creating?
You never know what you can do until you try. A society that fosters creativity and innovation, and one that accepts failure as part of that process, allows each and every member to make a positive impact through their own involvement.
What are your hopes for the space industry?
My hope is that we can continue to leverage the enthusiasm created by the new commercially driven space industry to support and engage with young engineers who will be helping to create the future.
What does your typical day look like?
A probably unhealthy amount of coffee, followed by preparing for meetings with our team, vendors, and customers. I’ll balance my design work against support work for the team and try to make sure I’m engaging with each team member sometime across the day. I’ll sprinkle some dog walks in to keep the blood flowing and to enjoy any rain breaks when I can. I end the day with a good home-cooked meal with my girlfriend, some playtime with the dog, and rest and relaxation.
What are your hobbies and interests outside of work?
Hiking around the Pacific Northwest, adventures with our one-year-old rescue pup Frank, all things University of Michigan sports, and playing trumpet.