On the back of strong growth in its Irish and international business Jones Engineering is getting creative to ensure it remains on top of its game, says Mr. Jim Curley, Chief Executive, Jones Engineering.
They have announced the creation of 50 new jobs at their new manufacturing and research plant in Carlow and will grow employment to 150 in the next 18 months. The jobs have been created in engineering, design, procurement, logistics, fabrication and transportation. The 83,000 sq ft Carlow facility manufactures prefabricated and modular units for export to countries across Europe and represents an investment of some €7 million by Jones Engineering.
Mr. Curley, announced details of the new investment saying;“Jones Engineering is one of Ireland’s oldest companies. We have survived and grown over the past 129 years by continuously investing in the development of new services that meet market demand. Today our operations extend from Ireland to mainland Europe and the Middle East.
“The modular building industry is replacing traditional construction particularly in large scale developments. In a sector that is often accused of being inefficient and lacking in innovation, this is an innovative solution to achieving more sustainable construction. We design and manufacture on site in Carlow and then ship completed modular or prefabricated units to the construction site. We are currently exporting to mainland Europe and we expect the market to continue to grow.”
With a current portfolio of work that includes the National Children’s Hospital, Boland’s Mills Development and as part of the team delivering the €20bn public transport system in Riyadh, technical excellence is understandably top of the agenda at Jones Engineering. Less expected, perhaps, is the company’s focus on tapping into Irish creativity to maintain a leading edge, both in national and international markets.
A cornerstone of the company’s success has always been around getting the right people, according to Curley. “From the very foundation of the firm it was recognised that if you want to deliver quality work the easiest way to do this is with quality people. With the right team around you, you can do anything.
This growth has allowed us to employ an additional 400 people across our group operations and we continue to reinvest in the group so that we are positioned to take advantage of new opportunities as they arise. Our investment in our new manufacturing facility in Carlow is one example of that investment in our future.” he said.
Jones Engineering has also announced a €1 million donation to Technological University Dublin (TU Dublin) to support the building of Design & Construct, Ireland’s first centre of excellence for construction education at TU Dublin in Broombridge, Cabra.
TU Dublin is Ireland’s largest provider of education and skills to the Architecture, Engineering and Construction sector with over 7,500 undergraduate and postgraduate students, 1,000 trade apprentices and 120 doctoral students. Design & Construct is TU Dublin’s response to the critical skills shortages and challenges facing the construction sector. It will be a national centre of excellence for multidisciplinary and collaborative education, research and industry engagement for the Architecture, Engineering and Construction (AEC) sector in Ireland. Broombridge will, for the first time in Ireland, unite all AEC disciplines allowing the sector address challenges and innovate to maintain competitiveness both nationally and internationally.
Details of the donation were announced at the presentation of the inaugural Jones Engineering Scholarships to Engineering and Performing Arts students at TU Dublin. Five scholarships were presented in total – three to engineering students and two to students from the University’s Conservatoire of Music and Drama.
Speaking at the Jones Engineering presentation, the President of TU Dublin, Professor David FitzPatrick said: “As Ireland’s first Technological University, TU Dublin is leading a transformation in Higher Education, encouraging deeper collaboration with industry for the advancement of knowledge and innovation, and developing key skills through practice-based educational opportunities. TU Dublin has enjoyed a close working partnership with Jones Engineering for many years through our founder institutions, and I am delighted to have this opportunity to thank Jim Curley and Jones Engineering for this very generous support of our Transforming Tomorrow philanthropic campaign. With our partners, we will deliver Ireland’s first national centre of excellence in design and construction at Broombridge, where students will have an incomparable opportunity to experience all construction disciplines and to learn alongside researchers and innovators in what will become a testbed for the Built Environment sector in Ireland and abroad.”
Jim Curley said; “As a graduate of Bolton Street, I am delighted that Jones Engineering is supporting TU Dublin as it establishes this world-class campus here in Broombridge. The centre of excellence for construction education being established by TU Dublin is an important initiative for the future of Ireland’s construction sector. I am particularly pleased that this multidisciplinary centre will break down the traditional silos that can exist between the creative and engineering disciplines and will ensure that our future leaders in the construction sector have the skills which will deliver greater innovation and lead to more Irish construction and architectural firms competing successfully on the global stage.
“At Jones Engineering, we firmly believe in ‘STEAM’, the integration of science, engineering and the arts to generate new ideas and deliver innovative solutions. Our Group works in 14 countries, and every day I see the advantage Irish people have in how they do business. As Irish people we have a natural creativity that allows us to be good communicators but also to look through a more creative lens to projects. The multidisciplinary approach to construction education being developed at TU Dublin will be a game changer in construction education, and we are delighted to support the university in this new approach as a partner in the building of the new Centre and in the presentation of these scholarships to Engineering and Arts students”.
Earlier this year, the company participated in the ESB Science Blast for primary schools and sponsored the plumbing and electrical categories in the National Skills competition. But in addition to recognising the importance of the STEM subjects – science, technology, engineering and maths – at secondary level, Jones Engineering sees the value of STEAM – or bringing ‘art’ into the mix. “If we are to truly stay at the cutting edge of construction, innovation and project delivery and continue to lead on a worldwide scale we need to draw on our national gift of an abundance of creativity,” Curley says. “If we can blend the technical with the creative talents, we open the possibility of keeping our ‘edge’ nationally, but more importantly for the long term internationally.”
Going forward, further international expansion is on the cards. In 2018, Jones Engineering’s first European office was opened in Utrecht in the Netherlands, while two new entities – Jones Engineering Group Acamar Bahrain and Jones Manufacturing – have been announced since the beginning of 2019.
“Throughout Europe, we will be focusing on maintaining our position as a contractor of choice for tier 1 data centre companies, delivering hyper scale, enterprise, co-located data centres and mission critical facilities,” Curley says. “We will be stepping up activities on a global scale cementing existing client relationships and expanding our portfolio across a number of sectors.”