Chemical engineering within the pharmaceutical industry

The pharmaceutical industry in the UK is strong with a large number of companies working on treatments for diseases such as cancer, respiratory disorders and cardiovascular disease. There is a wide range of engineering skill sets utilised in the pharmaceutical industry ranging from hands on mechanical engineering through to compliance and quality engineering.

The pharmaceutical industry is heavily regulated by regulatory bodies such as the FDA and MHRA. With such heavy regulation there is a need for engineers who can ensure the processes on site adhere to applicable regulations including GMP. This needs to be done on both a manufacturing level and at laboratory stages such as R&D and QC testing.

With such a wide range of chemical processes and manufacturing equipment used it is no wonder that chemical engineers play an important role in the development and manufacture of pharmaceutical products. There are a number of departments that benefit from the skills a chemical engineer can bring to a team including applicable transferable skills when working with production and packaging equipment. If a plant based role is not something you are interested in there are a number of laboratory and office based roles within the scientific industry that would be suitable.

Chemical engineers can work in a wide range of roles including:

  • Process Engineering / Plant Engineering
  • Product Development (device)
  • Research and Development
  • Testing/ Quality Control
  • Manufacturing/production Engineering
  • Quality / Validation Engineering
  • Project Management
  • Design Engineering

The pharmaceutical industry is seen as a safe bet during unstable markets due to the need for new medicines being essential. With this in mind it has never been a better time to take a role within the pharmaceutical sector. As the pharmaceutical industry is heavily regulated, engineers with experience working in the sector have a large number of transferable skills for less regulated sectors such as parts of the chemical industry.

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