Chemical engineering within the pharmaceutical industry

The pharmaceutical industry in the UK is strong, with a large number of companies working on treatments for a range of diseases – including Covid-19. There are a wide range of engineering roles available and skill sets utilised within the pharmaceutical industry, ranging from hands on mechanical engineering through to compliance and quality engineering.

 

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Why is chemical engineering important?

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.

 

The types of roles chemical engineers work within

Chemical engineers can work within a number of different roles in the pharmaceutical industry, as they are needed at every stage of a number of processes. Some of these include:

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

 

Why get into chemical 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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