Former student returns to speak at graduate seminar

Chris BartonEducation comes full circle for former civil engineering student Christopher M. Barton ’79. Barton, senior vice president of business development at Wood Group’s offshore business unit, returned to campus in April to speak to students in the Department of Ocean Engineering at Texas A&M University.

With more than 37 years of experience spanning from field engineering to executive-level management, Barton spoke to students about deep-water project planning and development concepts.

“I love to give back and this is the first time I’ve returned to campus for an educational engagement,” Barton said. “It is very important to get students interested in this field at the right time. I look forward to establishing a relationship with the department and returning to speak with students and educating them about the offshore oil and gas business.”

Barton has experience working in a variety of disciplines including  executive management, business development, marketing and sales, offshore operations, platform fabrication and installation and Engineering, Procurement and Cconstruction (EPC)  project management.

“When I graduated I had offers from a number of different companies, but I chose the one that took me to Singapore,” Barton said. “Since then, I have visited over 34 different countries. Despite the downturn this is an exciting business to be in.”

Barton is a member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, the Society of Petroleum Engineers and sits on several advisory boards for upstream industry conferences.

“My advice to current students is to not let yourself get caught up in the financial aspects of a job,” Barton said. “Follow your heart and your passion, that’s what will bring you happiness.”