AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals LP Project Director, Engineering in Cambridge, United Kingdom

AstraZeneca is one of the world’s most exciting bio-pharmaceutical companies. From scientists to sales, lab techs to legal, we’re on a mission to turn ideas into life-changing medicines that improve patients’ lives and benefit society. We’re constantly moving forward as a company – agile and purposeful in our work.

The Business Area:

Global Engineering and Real Estate team has its main hubs in the U.K., U.S. and Asia Pacific, they also have a strong presence in Scandinavia and India. By putting next generation assets on the ground the team is playing a fundamental role in supporting AstraZeneca’s strong pipeline. Combining the use of the newest technologies, skilled programme management and a broad range of engineering and construction expertise, the team establishes strong partnerships with end customers to build facilities which match requirements and exceed expectations.

Role description

To support the build of the new state of the art Cambridge high profile site, AstraZeneca is looking to appoint an experienced Project Lead to take on the role of Project Director, Engineering. This highly visible role will allow a recognised expert in major project delivery to make a significant contribution to the new global footprint of the organisation and its strategic goals and vision. This role will support the Senior Director Special Projects who has overall accountability for the build of this large, complex and high value site.

The Project Director, Engineering will support the Senior Director Special Projects, Andy Smith, on the project delivery process of a substantial project until its anticipated completion and subsequently, future engineering projects of significant size or multiple projects within a project programme. You will provide strategic direction, and lead internal and external teams in all aspects of project delivery from conception through successful user operation. You will interface with AstraZeneca’s senior executive management team, other key internal users as well as the senior management of the respective vendors to ensure business alignment.


• Sets strategic direction for this and future large projects or programmes and provides their expert perspective in the broader AstraZeneca strategic planning activity

• Leads and provides the senior corporate expertise for the project

• Provides guidance to senior management and governance bodies

• Leads, motivates and drives the project/programme, the core project team and on-site construction workforce through the project

• Drives and demonstrates synergies at key organisational interfaces and promotes excellence in delivery through both line and matrix leadership

• Defines standards and metrics to monitor and review performance for the project/programme and makes appropriate interventions

• Applies knowledge of current and future industry trends and how they will affect the business.

• Drives business processes in anticipation of requirements to ensure optimal delivery

• Possesses in depth managerial and technical expertise and experience

• Acts independently, guided only by very broad company policies and objectives

• Makes decisions that affect the success of the project/programme

• Ensures that systems and specialist expertise is available, cost effectively, to successfully deliver the project/programme

• Represents AstraZeneca publicly in matters pertaining to the project/programme and proactively influences stakeholders regarding the company’s reputation in that area

• Drives and communicates a compelling vision and sense of purpose for the project/programme

Candidate knowledge, skills and experience

• Proven leadership of significant complex projects/programmes for the building of laboratories preferably in a pharmaceutical/biotech, laboratory, scientific, hospital, semiconductor environment and/or with a large-scale infrastructure or challenging architectural structure.

• Capability of developing and implementing business strategy coupled with a commercial mindset

• Good understanding of legal aspects, experience in contract negotiation (and escalation)

• Full and detailed knowledge of relevant Safety, Health & Environment legislation

• Evidence of successful management of diverse senior stakeholders in a pressured, highly visible and matrixed environment

• Ability to comfortably operate/communicate at board management level (internal and vendors)

• Can organise, inspire, lead and drive a team

• Project and change management skills

• UK Project experience and experience of greenfield, large-scale projects

• Can build strong relationships with senior stakeholders and external contractors and suppliers

• Demonstrates adaptability and flexibility

• Strong problem-solving skills and resilience to manage challenges in an aspirational way

• Comfortable with high visibility role

• Demonstrates gravitas, leadership, poise, resilience and confidence

• Solid communication and contract negotiation skills

• Understands evolving and changing environment

• Problem-solving approach

• Loves their job


A competitive package and benefits are offered for the role.


The role is based in Cambridge.

AstraZeneca is an equal opportunity employer. AstraZeneca will consider all qualified applicants for employment without discrimination on grounds of disability, sex or sexual orientation, pregnancy or maternity leave status, race or national or ethnic origin, age, religion or belief, gender identity or re-assignment, marital or civil partnership status, protected veteran status (if applicable) or any other characteristic protected by law. AstraZeneca only employs individuals with the right to work in the country/ies where the role is advertised.