Experienced People

Paul Dalton

Project Director

Construction, UK

Paul joined Mace’s Graduate Development Programme in 2000. He then worked as an assistant project manager in consultancy roles in the Midlands before transferring to the Far East, where he switched from consultancy to construction, working on hotel and commercial developments in Macau and Vietnam. Paul moved back to the UK in 2010 to become a senior project manager on the Birmingham New Street station redevelopment. He is now project director at One Angel Court, a new office in central London.

How did you get into what you do?
At university I did a construction management 'thin' sandwich course. Although I was sponsored by another company, Mace approached my university to discuss their Graduate Development Programme. I was initially offered the opportunity of working in Manchester, Birmingham or London. I chose Birmingham due to the profile of the project and it gave me a chance to work in my home city.
What do you enjoy most about your role at Mace?

The opportunity to contribute to how our environment changes. And being able to see the result of your hard work – in construction you can leave a personal mark on the landscape. 
What’s your favourite piece of work at Mace?

The obvious thing would be the delivery of Birmingham New Street station and everything that came with it - the scale, its profile and the positive impact it's had on the centre of Birmingham and the wider region.

But I’m also really proud of the first project I managed - a leisure centre for Leicester City Council in 2003. It was only a £10 million scheme, but at the time that seemed huge to me. It was a project that was for the community and during the project the local people really bought into the development. To me that meant it felt like I was working on something worthwhile.

What advice would you give to someone looking to get into what you do?
Get as much experience as you can as early as you can. And don’t get pigeonholed too early – speak to people. Construction has so many avenues that you can go down.
What do you see as the big trend for your specialism in the next five years?
BIM [Building Information Modeling] and it's wider application in the industry. To manage any construction project these days, you need to understand that. I genuinely believe we’re only scratching the surface of what technology can do.
What are you passionate about outside of work?
Creating time to do all the things I like doing with my two young sons. And that means aligning them with my interest in rugby, golf and football – start them early!

“Get as much experience as you can as early as you can. And don’t get pigeonholed too early – speak to people. Construction has so many avenues that you can go down.”