A Day in the Life of John W. Dalton, Sr.

Have you wondered how a College of Technology degree could help one break new ground and make an impact on the global market? John Dalton shares his story and answers questions offering valuable insight into leveraging your strengths, embracing industry with academia, and serving as a leader to build a challenging, and profitable career.

John W. Dalton, Sr. is Executive Vice President of Mustang. He has 37 years of experience in the engineering and construction industry and has held executive staff and operations management positions in all aspects of engineering, procurement, and construction. See more about Mustang at www.mustangeng.com

What degree did you earn, and when did you graduate?

B.S. in Technology from the University of Houston, 1977.

What was your first job after graduation from UH?

I completed my degree in seven years, attending night school while working in the Engineering and Construction Industry.

How did you progress to your current position?

Approximately 25 years of my career was spent with Bechtel Corporation, where I held a number of senior management positions, including Bechtel Group Vice President. Throughout my career, I have worked in various project functions including construction, project controls, materials management and project management. I spent a number of years in business development and business management, but spent the majority of my career working on international projects.

In 2003, Mustang engaged me to assist with its growth strategy as it looked to expand its markets and service offerings (specifically construction) and grow internationally. At that time, I was presented with the opportunity to be part of Mustang’s management team and made the decision to join Mustang at that time.

What are the primary responsibilities of your current position?

As Executive Vice President at Mustang, my main responsibility is operations oversight for global engineering, project services, information technology, construction operations; for the Process Plants & Industrial business unit; and for two regions - Europe/North Africa/Middle East/India and Latin/South America.

Mustang has grown globally with six international offices around the world and employing more than 5,000 people.

What is a typical workday for you?

A typical work day for me is usually full of meetings where I work with my team to make decisions regarding project-focused issues and international office operations. I spend time with our clients developing relationships and making sure we are meeting their expectations. Many days are spent travelling to our project offices or jobsites around the world.

What do you like best about your job?

I like knowing I can make a difference in project delivery and construction techniques. I also like working with people that are always looking to be change agents in their respective fields. Also, I believe we all have a responsibility to give back and mentor the next generation, and I enjoy that part of my job.

What advice would you give to students considering a career in your field?

I would advise students to be involved in industry organizations where they can work with peers as well as experienced professionals to gain knowledge. Have a sense of humor and don’t let the stresses of your responsibilities get to you. Also, always look for ways to influence change for the better.

The College of Technology offers undergraduate and graduate degree programs in a variety of majors suited to students wishing to become entrepreneurs in the field of their choice. For information about academic programs, contact the Academic Service Center at 713-743-4100 or visit online at tech.uh.edu/college/academic-services-center. To be featured in a future Day in the Life article, contact Lisa Burns at lcburns@uh.edu and advise your degree and major for consideration.