Texas Tech University

Distinguished Engineer Citations

Distinguished Engineer Photo: David King
David King

David King

Distinguished Engineer



Mechanical Engineering – 1974



At Time of Nomination in 2016

David King grew up in a small West Texas community and attended Wellman High School. In 1970, he enrolled at Texas Tech University, earning a Bachelor of Science degree in mechanical engineering. While a student, David played intramural sports and was active in the local chapter of ASME and honor societies Pi Tau Sigma and Tau Beta Pi. He served as an officer in each of these societies.

After completing his degree in 1974, David spent the first 6 years of his career with M. W. Kellogg Engineering in Houston, Texas. At Kellogg he began work as a mechanical engineer working in various roles/assignments gaining engineering and leadership/managerial roles eventually becoming a Project Director/Manager. During that time he continued being active in the ASME, AIChE, and became a registered engineer in numerous states and participated locally in Texas with TSPE and nationally with NSPE. He began his first international assignment in 1976 being asked to undertake a field assignment in The People’s Republic of China. This assignment saw David take on critical aspects of the construction and start-up of ammonia/urea fertilizer complexes being built at six (6) different locations in mainland China. Not only did David gain valuable career experience during this assignment but he also witnessed a transformative time in China’s history; 1976 was the year Chairman Mao Zedong passed away and saw social changes throughout the country. It was at Kellogg that David met and married his wife Janis in 1979.

In 1980, David was recruited by Howe-Baker Engineers in Tyler, Texas to take on a Project Management role. Howe-Baker was a privately held company that specialized in technology and modular process units worldwide for the refining, petrochemical, and gas processing industries. David’s assignments and career with Howe-Baker spanned over twenty years and took him on international locations that included Saudi Arabia, Libya, Iraq, Pakistan, Europe, Korea, Japan, Indonesia, Thailand, Bangladesh, and may other locations. David served in various assignments progressing to Executive Vice President handling Operations, Business Development, and Marketing. It was during this era that David attended night school at the University of Texas @ Tyler receiving a Master’s in Business Administration. In 2000, Chicago Bridge & Iron acquired Howe-Baker and David began his career with CB&I.

David served as CB&I’s Vice President, North America, Business Development, Refining & Petrochemicals. He was promoted in 2003 to serve as Group Vice President of Western Hemisphere Sales for CB&I. In 2006, upon CB&I’s successful acquisition of John Brown Engineering, David and his wife Janis relocated to London, England where David served as Group Vice President of CB&I’s EAME (Europe, Africa, and Middle East Region). It was during this assignment that David attended Insead University in Fontainebleau, France. David returned to CB&I’s corporate headquarters in The Woodlands, Texas as Group Vice President of Global Services for the corporation. Upon CB&I’s successful acquisition of Lummus Technology & Engineering, Janis and David moved to The Netherlands where David was promoted to Group Vice President and ultimately President of CB&I’s Project Engineering and Construction Group in The Hague, Netherlands handling all operations activities worldwide. David’s last assignment prior to retiring from CB&I was President of CB&I’s Lummus Engineered Products.

In 2014 David accepted a position as Chief Operating Officer for Primoris Services Corporation and later promoted to President and Chief Executive Officer, a position he currently holds. Primoris is one of the largest construction infrastructure service enterprises in the United States. Primoris provides a wide range of construction, fabrication, maintenance, replacement, water and wastewater, and construction services to major public utilities, petrochemical companies, energy companies, municipalities, and other client bases. The Company's national footprint extends from Florida, along the Gulf Coast, through California, into the Pacific Northwest and Canada. Its’ Corporate headquarters are in Dallas, Texas with major offices in Houston, Texas, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Lake Forest, California, San Dimas, California, Atlanta, Georgia, and operating offices in Oregon, Florida, Minnesota, Colorado, and Iowa.

David currently serves on the Texas Tech University Engineering Dean’s Council, and is a former member of Texas Tech’s Chemical Engineering Department Advisory Board and Texas Tech’s Mechanical Engineering Advisory Board. He is a member of Texas Tech’s Key Society. David and his wife Janis supports Texas Tech having established scholarships and as founding members of the International Study Abroad Endowment. David’s career allowed him the privilege of visiting and conducting business in 94 countries around the world.

David and his wife share their time living in Dallas, Texas and at their lake home in Tyler, Texas. They have two married children, Matthew King and Lauren Johnston, and one granddaughter, Baylor Rose King. David and Janis also privately own companies involved in real estate, restaurants, and storage solutions. David’s hobbies include outdoor sports and hunting.

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