Tommi Jones, PE, LEED AP, GGP, has been with Clemson University’s Capital Projects department for more than 15 years. In her current role as lead senior project manager, she manages large construction projects across campus.
Typically, Jones manages several concurrent projects following the guidelines established by the State Fiscal Accountability Authority and the Office of State Engineer (OSE). She just recently completed the Tennis Center Complex and is now managing the Memorial Stadium Renovations and Soccer Operations Complex projects as well as various feasibility studies. During each phase of project design and construction, Jones coordinates with various Clemson team members, OSE representatives, architects, engineers, and contractors for a seamless process. The main objective: to ensure projects are completed on schedule and within budget.
GroundBreak Carolinas recently caught up with Jones, whose position in Capital Projects allows her to build or renovate structures on campus to positively impact Clemson students, faculty, staff and visitors – something that she finds especially rewarding.
How did you choose a career in construction?
My grandfather was a big inspiration in my decision to pursue an engineering degree from Clemson. He encouraged me to become an independent woman and assumed that an engineering degree from Clemson would allow this. While at Clemson, I discovered I enjoyed my project management and construction classes, so I chose civil engineering with a construction management emphasis.
Clemson has had a major influence on your career. Tell us about this.
I love the opportunities that Clemson provides for self-improvement and personal growth. As a Clemson undergraduate, I had the opportunity to work as a student employee in the Civil Engineering department through the Work Study program. As an engineering graduate student, I had the opportunity to become a research assistant and work with the SC Department of Transportation. As a civil engineer, I had an opportunity to return to Clemson to join the Capital Projects group. As a Clemson employee, I had the opportunity to earn an MBA through the Employee Tuition Assistance program. By taking advantage of various opportunities at Clemson, I have been able to expand my career opportunities by continuing my education.
As a role model for women in engineering and construction, what are you doing to pave the way for others?
I have served as a mentor for young women in the engineering and construction programs here at Clemson and in the local community. While working as a female engineer in construction for over 20 years, I have learned many lessons to share. Most of my career I was the only female project manager in the office and on the jobsite. By sharing my experiences, I might help the younger women navigate the potential hazards. Additionally, I was recently invited to join the Clemson University Commission on Women. Our pledge is to encourage and inspire women to become leaders, problem solvers and innovators making meaningful contributions to American society.
What do you consider your proudest accomplishments?
Professionally, I am most proud of becoming a Registered Professional Engineer. The process to become registered is rigorous. After graduating from an ABET-accredited engineering program, passing the Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) exam, and completing four years of acceptable and verifiable engineering work, you qualify to take the Principles and Practice of Engineering (PE) exam. Personally, I am grateful to be Mom to two children, Grant and Catherine, who are following my footsteps at Clemson. Grant is currently a Clemson sophomore, and Catherine is entering as a freshman this summer. I am sure my Grandfather is smiling knowing that the next generation of our family will be Clemson Tigers.
Published with permission from Clemson University.