Alumnus Profile: Christopher E. Jones, BSEE ’05
Current City: Washington, D.C.
What did you do in the year immediately after graduation?
I was hired as a field engineer for Kiewit Mass Electric Construction Co. where I was in charge of the construction installation of traction power substations for the light rail system in Charlotte, North Carolina. It was an amazing experience to assist in kick-starting Charlotte’s rail transit system and witness the Queen City become what it is today.
What do you do for a living now? What does a typical work week look like for you?
I am still in the transit industry where I design, construct, and consult. During a typical work week I am responsible for completing project management duties, which include reviewing cost versus budget, contracting administration, scheduling management, designing and constructability reviews, maintaining staff relationships, as well as developing business and client relations. It’s a role where I have to be very well rounded.
In what ways did your CoE experience have an impact on your career and who you are today?
I believe I had some of the best professors in the world, specifically Professors Guillermo Gonzalez and Reuven Lask. These two professors had so much passion for engineering that I could not help but share their excitement to embody the topic. The personal relationships that I built with them resonated with me far beyond graduation. It was because of Professor Lask that I decided to obtain my Professional Engineer license.
Describe your most memorable moment as a student at the College of Engineering (CoE).
I have so many. I would probably say those long late nights on the fourth floor of the engineering building studying for midterms and finals with classmates, ordering food, laughing, learning, as well as building lifelong friendships.
What motivated you to support the College of Engineering?
The CoE is like no other place. It truly drives to inspire students to be their best, do what they love, and do it for the love of all people. Engineers have a special role and it’s to help people in their everyday life. Our jobs are to keep people safe, healthy, moving, and connected. The CoE motivated me to live out that role and I want to continue to push that belief. That is why in 2006 a classmate and I initiated the UM Legacy scholarship which evolved into the Black Engineering Travel Fund.
What advice would you give to younger alumni or current students who aspire to follow a similar career path?
Nothing worthwhile comes without hard work. There are few goals worth achieving that do not have its challenges. During your journey, be pleased with your success but never satisfied. Be sure to always remain hungry!
How would you describe the College of Engineering in seven words or less?
Preparing the greatest minds for the future!