A leader in construction
ASU grad Thomas Fyffe II finds a future in construction management
Editor's note: This is part of a series of profiles for spring 2016 commencement. See the rest here.
A little soul-searching and the help of a best friend led Phoenix native Thomas Fyffe II to a future in construction management.
Even though he has family members in the construction industry, Fyffe didn't get hooked until he took a job as an estimator and project manager for Janus International after serving in the United States Marine Corps for nine years. Though this position offered an excellent career path, Fyffe had a lifelong goal of earning a college degree at Arizona State University.
As a construction management major, he excelled in leadership positions in student organizations. As vice president of the American Concrete Institute’s ASU Chapter he took part in competitions to build concrete beams and coordinated outreach activities for K-12 youth.
As treasurer in Sigma Lamda Chi, he helped the student organization to identify meaningful projects, including building ramps for local disabled homeowners, Habitat for Humanity projects and assembling packages for homeless veterans.
He was also a member of the Advancing Women in Construction student organization and a Fulton Ambassador.
Fyffe says one of his most memorable moments at ASU was working side by side with his teammates at the Reno competition at the Associated Schools of Construction (ASC) annual regional conference in Sparks, Nevada.
“There is just something about being stuck in a room with five other teammates for 24 hours while we mimic the entire construction process of a real project,” said Fyffe, who served as co-chairman for ASU’s 11 Reno teams in 2016.
Fyffe has accepted a position as a field engineer at the PCL Construction Water Infrastructure Group Division located in Arizona. While working for PCL he also intends to work toward a master’s degree at ASU.
If he could have a superpower, he says it would be the ability to stop time.
“Stopping time would allow me to mitigate risks and concerns as a construction contractor. Plus, I would have even more time with family,” Fyffe said.
Someday he would like to be a district manager or an operations manager for PCL Construction. “Outside of my profession, I aspire to be the best friend, father and husband possible,” said Fyffe, a father to an 8-year-old daughter, Jocelin, and a 4-year-old son, Landon.
If not at a construction site you might find him being a typical jack-of-all-trades — playing basketball or baseball or poker, fishing, camping or surprising family and friends with a sleight-of-hand magic trick.
Question: Why did you choose to come to ASU?
Answer: To achieve a lifelong goal of receiving a bachelor’s degree. For me, receiving my degree goes far beyond just receiving a piece of paper. I wanted to show my family, mainly my children, how dedication and commitment can allow even an older guy who served in the United States Marine Corps for over nine years to rise to the top.
Q: Tell me how engineering (or your engineering) will change the world.
A: I strive to become the best construction manager possible. I would like to be known as a “go-to” guy that not only is very experienced, but time and time again has demonstrated to finish projects on time, on schedule and above expectations. Projects that I would absolutely love to be involved with are complex projects that help society such as SpaceX’s mission to inhabit on Mars. Someone has to build the infrastructure to live there, right?
Q: Was there a particular “aha!” moment when you knew that you were on the right path?
A: While doing my internship in Claremont, California, for PCL Construction, I was able to utilize the various skills and education that I received at ASU, Janus International, the military and my upbringing. Not only did I thoroughly enjoy my time during my internship, but also it was there that I starting receiving recognition for the hard work and dedication that I put in everything that I do.
Q: What are your plans after graduation? Graduate school? Do you have a job lined up?
A: I have accepted a position as a field engineer at PCL Construction Water Infrastructure Group Division located in Arizona. While working for PCL Construction I intend to work toward a master’s degree at ASU.
Q: How do you see your future? What is your dream for your life?
A: In the short-term I see myself professionally as a project manager at PCL Construction. Long-term I see myself being a district manager or an operations manager for PCL Construction. Outside of my profession, I will try and be the best friend, father and husband possible. If I am able to succeed as a husband, father and a professional, then I will feel complete!