A lover of math, science, and every challenge in between, Phil is a natural problem-solver. He admits he knew very little about civil engineering when he started his studies, but grasped it quickly .
“I like to pull things apart…and hopefully put them back together.” Phil Jones, Vice President, Engineering & Logistics at EllisDon
“I like to pull things apart…and hopefully put them back together,” Phil laughs. “That, and the purple people got me.”
The “purple people” are a frosh tradition at Queen’s University, his alma mater. Phil witnessed this spectacle with his older brother when he was a kid. He recalls it as a charging mass of purple-painted engineers filling the room. This memory eventually led him to engineering – and to EllisDon.
From EllisDon intern to full-time professional
Phil always had an interest in how things work. As an engineering student hoping to develop this instinct, Phil applied for an internship. Of the three companies Phil interviewed with, EllisDon held the most promise. He says George Charitou, Vice President of Construction Sciences sold him on more than a position; he sold him on a strong corporate culture.
Phil was the only civil engineering student accepted, and he learned more during this internship than even he expected. He was able to work on falsework and formwork designs for the Lakeridge Hospital Project in Oshawa; Bloorview Macmillan Children’s Centre in Toronto; the North Tower Victoria Campus in London; and, for the last six months, the Citadel, a notable military college in Charleston, South Carolina.
By the end of the internship, Phil had acquired enough experience and confidence to run with his own work. He spent time gaining professional experience at a structural consulting firm, and strengthened his skills as an engineer. Using the skills he learned at EllisDon, Phil was able to coordinate work with owners, architects and consultants across several projects at once. But as fate would have it, Phil wound up returning to his roots with EllisDon – he assumed a Senior Construction Engineer role in 2011, and is presently working with the company.
A fulfilling career
After years of hard work and determination, Phil feels settled in his career and excited about what the future holds. His experiences in engineering have taught him a lot, and exposed him to many unique and valuable opportunities. However, in the end, EllisDon was the best match for him in terms of company culture.
“Own up to every failure, and people will come to your aid.” Phil Jones, Vice President, Engineering & Logistics at EllisDon
Phil’s advice for current students and new graduates? “Own up to every failure, and people will come to your aid,” Phil stresses. “Otherwise, this industry is a lot smaller than you think.”
Today, he has been promoted to Vice President of Engineering and Logistics. It’s not often you see a VP as young and accomplished as Phil – but he says EllisDon’s support and culture brings out the best in many young professionals.