Problem solver on an international scale
What Raymond Jones learned in mechanical engineering at Clemson was how to learn and how to solve problems. And he’s doing that at ExxonMobil Development in a big way.
A vice president with ExxonMobil Development Company, his region of the world is Asia Pacific (Malaysia, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, Vietnam). The company executes multi-billion dollar projects around the world, and Jones manages a portfolio of projects aimed at bringing oil and gas to market. “Our role,” he says, “is to take resources identified by our exploration company, develop an economic concept, design the facilities and execute the project for turnover to our production company for operations.”
His biggest challenge, he says, is trying to get all of the constituents — including foreign governments and foreign contractors — to line up on a common objective and execute the project flawlessly. He has worked in Qatar, Australia, Nigeria and Europe; now he’s based in Houston, but travels regularly to the countries in his portfolio, checking in at different stages of the projects, making sure everybody is “pointed in the right direction, trying to tackle the same hill.”
Jones came to Clemson in 1982, wanting to be an engineer, but he says he “didn’t really know what an ‘engineer’ was. The professors and staff at Clemson opened my eyes to opportunity and, for that, I will always be grateful.” He joined Exxon (now ExxonMobil) Pipeline Company after graduation as a pipeline engineer, designing pipeline systems to move oil and gasoline from fields to refineries and from refineries to terminals.
The longer he stayed in his career, he says, “the more it was about knowing how to learn, how to solve problems, how to take details and put it in a form others could understand — to communicate the ideas.” And that’s what he passes on to the new engineers who come in: “Just learn how to learn and learn how to communicate.”