I have recently been appointed Engineering Operations Manager at one of the company’s smaller manufacturing sites. I have responsibility for all engineering activities on site – maintenance, capital budgets and projects and site utilities. I have a team of half a dozen direct reports.
I have had seven different roles across four different sites. I worked in Project Engineering, as a Process Engineer and looked after the capital budgeting and forecasting for all manufacturing sites before moving into Project Management roles in Research and Development and Consumer Healthcare including spending four months working in India.
No two days are ever the same, but it could involve:-
Reviewing a business case for a capital project
Assessing the Engineering impact of a process change
Taking part in the investigation into a production issue
Forecasting the annual capital budget
Reviewing the weekly maintenance plans
By working in the Pharmaceutical Industry in some way shape or form, you are doing something to make people better and improve their quality of life and that is very important to me. I had two job offers to choose from in my final year at University, I selected this one for the reason above; oh and it paid a bit more money!!
I have a first class honours degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Bath.
A business or basic financial qualification would be useful.
Working on the scaling up of a new HIV product that was launched in 2004.
The company I work for is very large so opportunities are extensive and varied, including the possibility of working abroad if I wish.
It is vital that you are able to communicate with people at all levels, to quickly assess a problem and establish that steps need to be undertaken in a attempt to solve it. Demonstrating a sense of urgency is also very important.
I would say that as people are always getting ill, they will always need medicines so, if you are good at your job, there will always be opportunities in the industry. However, with continuing advances in science, that job will be constantly changing and you have to be prepared to adapt accordingly.
A research chemist needs to have excellent laboratory skills, an in-depth knowledge and understanding of organic chemistry, and a love for science.