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Dave Fulton: An entire career spent advancing the metal construction industry

2012 Metal Construction Hall of Fame

Davefulton

Dave Fulton is no stranger to the metal building industry, having spent his entire working career in metal construction. While he claims he got started in the industry by accident, it is that long and active career, along with his advancements in product development, that stood out to the judges for the Metal Construction Hall of Fame.

Fulton's start in the metal construction industry began before he even graduated college. In 1965, he began working for Ambridge, Pa.-based H.H. Robertson Co., where he did drafting for the metal wall panel company. After graduating from Geneva College in Beaver Falls, Pa., in 1976 with a degree in civil engineering, Fulton continued his career at E.G. Smith in Emsworth, Pa., where he ran their Research and Development department. In 1979, Fulton moved to Cambridge, Ohio, when the company decided to move its research center to be near the foam panels manufacturing plant. From there, Fulton moved to Houston in 1982, when he took the position of engineering manager for Moncrief Lenoir Manufacturing, a siding and foam panel business. Fulton's career took another turn when he started the research center for Houston-based MBCI in 1986.

After nine years at MBCI, Fulton got involved in the metal building side of the business at NCI Building Systems. As the vice president of research and development, he was responsible for bringing in new products as well as developing the company's quality control program. In addition, he also received his Certified Welding Inspector's License. Fulton stayed with NCI until 2000 when he went to Whirlwind Steel Buildings as the vice president of research and development. At Whirlwind, Houston, he developed their quality control program, which consisted of its AISC MB Certification, Canadian Welding Program and IAS Certification.

In 2009, Fulton moved on to start his own consulting company D-Cubed. In addition to his consulting company, he also works for Pittsburgh-based Triangle Fasteners Inc., as the director of engineering, is an IAS auditor for Farabaugh Engineering and Testing, represents Painesville, Ohio-based TopHat Retrofit Systems, and also consults for Metanna, Monument, Colo.

Throughout his 47-year career in the metal construction industry, Fulton has developed three patented products. His first patent, a standing seam roof clip called the articulating clip, is with MBCI. While at NCI, Fulton developed a vented outside metal closure for standing seam metal roofs. And his third patent, which is still pending, is under D-Cubed and is called the Pitch Clip. The Pitch Clip is for retrofit construction, and allows the pitch of a roof to be built up from a flat roof.

My entire working career has been in this industry, working for many different companies and have developed friendships with many people in all of the different types of companies and associations that created this industry. This is a great industry that has weathered the highs and lows of our economy and I am proud to be a part of it.

Dave Fulton

Fulton spent nine years on the board with the Metal Construction Association and is still active on the technical committee. He is also active in the Metal Building Manufacturer Association, serving on the energy committee and other subcommittees, including Oak Ridge National Laboratory. He also represents the MBMA for the American Welding Society for their codes, and is on the committee for sheet metal. Additionally, he is on the ASTM Committee EO6 on Performance of Buildings; chairs the board for the Cool Metal Roofing Coalition; and is on the American Iron and Steel Institute's committee on specifications. He is also active in the Roofing Industry Committee on Weather Issues Inc. (RICOWI), where he investigates the effects of hurricane damage in relation to the metal industry. Over the years, Fulton has also written articles for a variety of industry publications.

"My entire working career has been in this industry, working for many different companies. I have developed friendships with many people in all of the different types of companies and associations that created this industry," Fulton says. "This is a great industry that has weathered the highs and lows of our economy and I am proud to be a part of it."

When he's not working, Fulton, who just recently welcomed his third grandchild, enjoys playing grandfather, golfing and scuba diving.

As Fulton says, the metal construction industry is a great industry, and once you get involved, you never really leave it. One of the things that he's most proud of though, is that his youngest daughter, Carrie, is also involved in the industry. While she currently works for Houston-based Rigid Global Buildings, they had the opportunity to work together at Whirlwind, where they worked as a team, spending time together whether it was traveling to different committees and meetings, or carpooling. Fulton's legacy will always remain within the metal construction industry-two generations strong.