Sundt Senior Project Engineer Chris Elison has been with the company for nine years, getting a job after serving an internship as a student at Arizona State University. He graduated from ASU in 2008 with a degree in Construction Management.
He and his wife were married in 2013 and celebrated the birth of their first child in January. Chris was born in Philadelphia and raised in Minnesota before moving to Arizona to attend college.
The project you just completed, the Valley Metro Northwest Extension, won two Build America Awards for the joint venture team. How did the team earn those honors?
The project was highly complex in an urban environment, but as a team we took the time to understand the needs and expectations of Valley Metro, the City of Phoenix and local stakeholders. In order to complete the project, innovative techniques and outside the box thinking were used, including GPS/Building Information Modeling on the excavator for utility work and the creation of a smart phone app to help distribute information to the community. We were able to finish the project ahead of schedule and on budget. In addition, the team had a highly successful partnership due to partnering sessions, team building and being co-located.
What’s your next project?
I will be on the Gilbert Road Light Rail Extension working with Valley Metro and Stacy and Witbeck again. It is a 1.6-mile extension running from the current end of the line in Mesa to Gilbert Road on Main Street.
What’s the most interesting thing about working in construction?
Every day poses a new and interesting challenge and no two days are alike.
You and your wife had a baby not that long ago. How has that changed your life?
It has changed my perspective on life and my priorities have changed. I put my daughter’s needs before my own. We are also very, very, very tired.
Where do you like to travel?
My wife and I are big fans of warm weather, beaches and umbrella drinks. These are some of the reasons we chose to have a destination wedding in Mexico, one of our favorite places. Some of our other favorite places include Hawaii, Jamaica and St. Lucia. We also enjoy cruising the Caribbean.
What’s the best advice you’ve been given?
I remember my dad telling me, “Establishing trust is a long journey, losing trust is a short trip and earning that lost trust back is a lifetime.”