Year Inducted: 2023
Milton Arthur Davis Jr. is a champion in the field of engineering and in Alabama. He is one of the top performing business development managers in his industry with more than 40 years of progressively challenging experiences.
Davis joined Clayco as vice president of economic development in 2022 after nearly 10 years as director, industrial business development, for B.L. Harbert International in Birmingham, using his engineering expertise on the business development end of construction and process engineering. His unique combination of technical, financial, and operational expertise has brought success at every stop along his career path.
He graduated from The University of Alabama in 1981 with a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering. Later, Davis earned an MBA from the University of Alabama at Birmingham in 1992. Davis also completed the construction management program at Texas A&M University in 1996.
After graduating from UA, Davis worked for MW Kellogg/Rust as a systems control engineer on several projects. He obtained his Professional Engineering license and eventually moved into project management. During his 15 years with the company, Davis served on projects involving Weyerhaeuser, AlliedSignal, and Eastman Chemical.
In 1996, Davis joined BE&K Engineering and Construction Co. For the next three years, he served as project manager for Vulcan Chloralkali, Hexcel, and Westlake projects. He then devoted a year as the plant engineering manager at Hexcel in Decatur where he contributed to a plant investment of $100 million, 130 employees, and annual capital expenditures of $7 million with $20 million in expenses.
Following his work with Hexcel, Davis served with BE&K as principal manager of business development from 2000 to 2011. He organized the development and implementation of strategic marketing plans for client companies in the process industry. Davis excelled in the business side of the industry and became highly respected among his colleagues.
In 2011, Davis accepted a position as director of industrial business development with B.L. Harbert International. His responsibilities included market analysis, sales, strategic planning, client presentation, risk analysis, and contract negotiations. During his tenure, the company made the Birmingham Business Journal’s Best Places to Work list. In his last year with the company, Harbert reported $1.2 billion in green construction and ranked seventh in American Companies Working Abroad.
In 2022, Davis joined Clayco, a full-service, turnkey real estate development, master planning, architecture, engineering, procurement, and construction firm.
Throughout his career, Davis has received several honors and awards including UA Centennial Fellow Chemical and Biological Engineering in 2010, 2012 UA Distinguished Engineering Fellow, and was selected as Engineer of the Year in 1996 by the National Society of Black Engineers.
His service to engineering education and the state includes several boards and leadership positions such as chairman of the Alabama Community College System Board of Trustees, chair of the Capstone Engineering Society, and co-chair of the Economic Development Committee of Manufacture Alabama, and active member of the Economic Development Association of Alabama. As a member of the Alabama Community College System, Davis is at the forefront of examining and approving measures that ensure the success of residents, businesses, and industry at Alabama’s 24 community and technical colleges. He has promoted Alabama and helped in the recruitment of numerous manufacturing projects to the state.
He is a founding partner and sponsor of the NSBE Summer Engineering Experience for Kids (SEEK Program) in Birmingham, and Davis and his wife, Alpha, endowed a scholarship for freshman engineering students at UA.