Mike Welton


Current position: Chairman, Premier Oil Plc

Course: BSc, Civil Engineering, 1968; Deng, Honorary Degree, 2008


This mentor may be of interest to students of Engineering, or those with an interest in careers in construction, engineering or oil and gas or leadership roles.


Chartered Civil Engineer and Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering and the Institution of Civil Engineers, Mike Welton graduated from the University of Birmingham with a Civil Engineering degree in 1968. He is currently the Chairman of Premier Oil Plc, an independent oil company founded in the Caribbean in 1934. Mike was previously Chairman of construction materials group Hanson plc, Chairman of support services provider Global Solutions Ltd and Chief Executive of international engineering and construction services group Balfour Beatty plc. Mike is also a non-executive director of High Speed Two (HS2) Ltd, a government organisation established to examine high speed rail to the West Midlands and beyond which will revolutionise rail travel in the local area.

Quotes from mentees

  • The main reason for wanting a mentor was to give some focus to the decisions I would be making about graduate placements, and to learn about leadership skills
  • One of the best things he said was that I was free to contact him whenever, which made it very easy for me to feel comfortable to talk to him from the outset.
  • His advice on leadership was to gain an understanding of what motivates people, and to create good personal relationships with people. A great tip he gave for when I start work was ’have a chat with people who you work with, even if there is nothing to talk about as it can help organise your own thoughts.’
  • Mike has since given simple but sound advice about topics from gaining professional charter-ship to understanding different company environments as well as evaluating my thoughts on what I want from a job.
  • One of the best things that Mike said about a future career was that you should take a job that meets your various personal wishes, such as location, money, travel etc… but also one that excites you; something that will really get you out of bed each day.