Young Architect triumphs at construction’s Young Professionals award

Jordan Jones from Newcastle won the Design and Architecture prize in the prestigious Duke of Gloucester’s Young Achievers Scheme on Thursday.

The shortlisted candidates joined over 200 senior industry figures and HRH The Duke of Gloucester at the awards evening at the Underglobe, London, where the winners were announced. The finalists were judged by an esteemed panel of industry experts through a rigorous process of presentations and interviews earlier in the year.

Jordan, a 24 year old Architectural Designer and Graphics Coordinator at AECOM, impressed the judges with his excellent specialist technical, communication skills and his talent for innovation.

Despite a challenging beginning in life, Jordan supported himself through his degree at Northumbria University and graduated with first class honours. Jordan said:

“Everyone will face challenges in their journey through life; it is how we tackle these challenges that define us. My challenge has been supporting myself from a young age and I had to grow up quickly and soon realised that I needed to make a change in my life if I was going to be happy.

Without risk is without reward and I have taken many risks in my journey to create the life I want.”

Whilst at Northumbria University Jordan discovered an interest in design consultancy through his research into how the spaces we occupy change human behaviour and influence wellbeing, a topic he is very passionate about.

Whilst working at AECOM he volunteers his time with archiGRAD, a group of highly creative architecture graduates. By identifying design-based solutions to real-world problems, the G.R.A.D. Programme fills a “consultancy gap” for our “clients”; who have included local arts and community organisations, charities and schools.

Jordan commented:

“during my time with archiGRAD I have provided free design consultancy for numerous organisations, organised and coordinated archiGRAD’s first architecture exhibition entitled ‘We Are archiGRAD’ as part of the RIBA Love Architecture Festival 2013 and co-curated a participatory sculptural exhibition entitled ‘Embedded Union’ as part of the Late Shows 2013 in collaboration with the Globe Gallery.

The judges said:

“Jordan was a stand-out winner. His journey through education and work placements to full-time employment is an inspiration to the younger generation which often find barriers to entry in the world of consultancy. He overcame challenges through determination, dedication and an enquiring mind that seeks to continually develop his skills. He persevered despite the odds and is now working as a specialist in a department of an international multi-disciplinary consultancy. He has supported others in his quest for success and will be a good role model for those from similar circumstances.”

The awards had 5 categories; Design & Architecture, Construction Delivery, Engineering, Surveying and Project Management. Winners will each receive a cash prize and a unique package of support through the Trust and development opportunities through a one year mentoring programme to enable them to make an even greater impact in their future careers.

The Trust is delighted to announce the remaining winners are:

Engineering:

  • Victoria Martin, Expedition Engineering
  • Construction Delivery and Overall winner:
  • Gary Fowler, J. Breheny Contractors

Surveying Winner:

  • Jonathon Baylie, VINCI Construction UK
  • Project Management Winner:
  • Harriet Bower, Balfour Beatty

The highly commended finalists were:

Construction Delivery:

  • Victoria Turner, United House

Engineering:

  • Brett Holmes, BAM Nuttall

Surveying:

  • Mohammed Usman Shah, Costain

Now in its third year, the Scheme, with the support of the Trust’s Patron, HRH The Duke of Gloucester, has been an opportunity for exceptional young professionals to be commended and celebrated for their achievements. It particularly looked for young people who have overcome barriers to get to where they are, and judges read applications from young people who had shown exceptional resilience and determination.

Construction Youth Trust Director, Christine Townley commented:

“We are delighted with the success of our awards scheme which has showcased again the exceptional young talent in construction today. Each of the winners has made significant achievements despite having to overcome challenges to get there. They have all shown real determination to succeed in their chosen career.

“As a charity we support young people from all walks of life to enter the construction industry and we hope that by showcasing what these young people have achieved and recognising any challenges they have overcome, that we can show the next generation of young professionals the wealth of opportunities available in the sector.

“We are extremely grateful to all of our sponsors, judges and our Patron, HRH The Duke of Gloucester, for making these awards possible.”

The Awards were sponsored this year by CITB, KPMG, AECOM, Byrne Group, EC Harris and John Rowan and Partners.