Director of Life Sciences and Pharmaceuticals
Delivering award-winning projects and pioneering spaces for life-changing medical treatments, Rob Lemming now spearheads Mace’s Life Sciences & Pharmaceuticals construction business. With a career in construction spanning over 20 years, Rob leads multidisciplinary teams, driving scientific innovation through smart construction methods while upholding Mace’s commitment to reducing carbon across his projects.
- How did you get into what you do?
I have an eye for architecture and design, and early on developed a passion for the built environment. It led to my degree in construction engineering management where I was sponsored by Skanska before later starting my career with them. It was during my placement year at university that I experienced first-hand the developments of 30 St Mary’s Axe (fondly known as ‘The Gherkin’) and Wembley Stadium. The possibilities and the long-lasting impact that large-scale projects of this kind create, really opened my eyes and I knew this was something I wanted to be a part of.
- How has your career progressed since joining Mace?
I started at Mace as a senior project manager and I have never stood still since joining the business in 2014. As my appetite and opportunity have grown, I’ve gained greater autonomy to shape and challenge the way we deliver large schemes as a business, from the redevelopment of St Barts and London Hospitals, to the construction of Nova; a mixed-used development in London Victoria.
Life sciences caught my attention as it’s ever evolving and improves the lives of millions. It’s been exciting to super-charge the sector within Mace over the last seven years - being able to create buildings that accelerate world-leading research and help to advance cures for life-threatening diseases is truly remarkable.
- What do you enjoy most about your current role at Mace?
It’s fulfilling to be part of a purpose driven company that strives to break new ground, it’s what separates Mace from its competitors. I enjoy the operational complexities that arise when considering the right environments for pharmaceutical organisations to thrive in. It's something we had to completely rethink when we embarked upon our highly complex research and development centre with AstraZeneca. I’m proud of how my team have delivered distinctive value while helping AstraZeneca on their journey to achieving net zero carbon.
It's an honour to be part of the journey that transforms lives and to collaborate with the science community, even working alongside individuals who have been knighted for their incredible contribution to society.
- What skills do you need to be good at your job?
You must understand and believe in your purpose to be able to effectively lead diverse teams to succeed. Leadership is not about being the best but making others better, whether that’s through upskilling or simply inspiring.
It’s important to focus on the strategic ways to add value and spend time wisely. Being busy doesn’t necessarily constitute success.
- What might someone be surprised to know about you?
At university, I began playing the guitar and joined forces with three other friends to form a four-piece Indie Rock band. We even gigged around the UK for a time!
- What are you passionate about outside of work?
I love spending time with my family and have a keen interest in sport, travelling and dining out. I unwind on the weekends by coaching and managing both my son’s and daughter’s football teams, which is a great way to switch off and spend time with them.
“It’s fulfilling to be part of a purpose driven company that strives to break new ground.”