Mace People

Priya Shah

Associate Director

Consultancy, UK

A chartered chemical engineer by trade, Priya Shah is a shining star on our senior leadership team in pharma. When she’s not busy supporting pharmaceutical clients with her expertise in project engineering management, Priya also finds the time to champion our graduate development programme and has spearheaded the IChemE accreditation at Mace.

Why did you join Mace?
I studied chemical engineering at university and worked in the nuclear and gas industries prior to joining Mace. I began to transition from engineering into project management at my last job and realised that I wanted to pursue a path where I could combine the two. Mace offered the opportunity to work in project engineering management while also becoming part of the senior management team for pharma. It’s the best of both worlds.
What attracted you to pharma?
Pharma is a fascinating sector. There is never a dull moment. The industry is rapidly accelerating and we need to stay on our toes to address global challenges and make technological advancements. Every single person in the world needs healthcare so there is always a demand.
What do you enjoy most about your current role?
I love being part of a process where the end-product helps people. Whether clients need labs for vaccine production or cutting-edge facilities for DNA tech treatments, Mace will always want to find a better way to do it. Car T-cell therapy, for example, is introducing a new way to treat advanced cancer, which involves bringing the treatment to the patient rather than the other way around. We get to be part of that evolution through the services that we offer.
Any highlights?
Yes! When I joined Mace, one of my ambitions was to introduce IChemE accreditation, which we achieved at the end of 2019. I’m thrilled that we’ve rolled out the training scheme in pharma. Our graduates now have a chance to become chartered chemical engineers on the job. At the end of the day, it comes down to marrying business goals with the goal of offering trainees a lucrative career. I think this is something that Mace does well.
What skills do you need to be good at your job?
You must be a ‘people person’ and comfortable wearing many hats. My job is versatile and building and maintaining relationships in the industry is a big part of what I do. It’s important to have the right values embedded in yourself and pass them on to the people that you manage. 
What are you passionate about outside of work?
I love to travel. I’ve been all over the world, but I often go back to Kenya, which is like a second home to me. I have a lot of family there, so I tend to visit every couple of years and try to catch the wildebeest migration on safari.
If you hadn’t got into this line of work what do you think you might be doing?
I’ve always said that if I didn’t get into engineering I would have been a dentist - not because I have a passion for looking into people’s mouths, but due to the opportunity it presents to be your own boss combined with providing an essential health care service.

“Whether clients need labs for vaccine production or cutting-edge facilities for DNA technology treatments, Mace will always want to find a better way to do it.”