Ryan Barnfield
Mace People

Ryan Barnfield

Technical Lead – Public Sector & Life Sciences

Construction, UK

Ryan leads technical engineering and operations within Mace’s Public Sector & Life Sciences business. A chemical engineer by training, Ryan is driven by the impact his expertise and projects can have on people’s health and every day lives. Ryan and his team have successfully delivered groundbreaking projects in the manufacturing and R&D space, consistently pushing the boundaries of innovation and efficiency.

How did you get into what you do?

I studied Chemical Engineering at university, and towards the end of my degree I realised that I had a fascination for anything related to the biotech and pharmaceutical industry. I found the sector’s continuous drive for evolution and innovation captivating – this channelled my curiosity into a career focused within the sector. Later, I discovered Mace’s grad scheme and it was the perfect introduction to the world of construction.

Since then, I’ve worked with some of the biggest clients as well as some highly specialist and technical organisations across the sector within our consult and construct engines. The company has continued to grow its capability and reputation within the sector, and it really feels like the opportunities are endless!

What do you enjoy most about your current role at Mace?

It has to be the people! Not only am I privileged to work with an extremely motivated and talented team internally, I also get to collaborate with a diverse range of stakeholders in my role. Coming from an engineering background, I really enjoy a deep dive into the technical details of a project or solution, often in tandem with our clients’ engineers and subject matter experts (SMEs).

In most cases, I am also fortunate enough to meet our end user community and operations teams. I am always excited to explore opportunities to deliver the most practical solutions that meet their needs and improve their experiences or productivity, in what will eventually become their day-to-day environment.

What has been your proudest achievement at Mace so far?

For me, any new or repurposed GMP facility releasing its first drug product to market is a special feeling. Designing and installing these specialist facilities, although intensive and often a multi-year process, is particularly rewarding as we are directly facilitating the production of medicines that will improve people’s lives 

That said, I’m particularly proud of the AstraZeneca Discovery Centre (DISC) in Cambridge; what a project! Designed to promote innovation through collaboration, I often say it’s comparable to a campus, all contained within one building. I thrive on a challenge and the complexity and capability built into the DISC, powered by advanced robotics, high-throughput screening, AI-driven technology, and more, is frankly astonishing. Again, it’s very rewarding to know that this work will play a key role in the discovery and development of next generation therapeutics, gene-editing and cell therapies.

Why Mace?

Mace has a strong reputation as an industry leader and for attracting experts in their field. I really enjoy that Mace has a continual desire to seek best practice and industry change by pioneering new techniques and working practices.

For me, a winning formula for career growth is the huge range of opportunities for personal development and to grow my expertise, coupled with an array of industry leading clients and projects.

What motivates you everyday?

Working within the industry is in itself very rewarding because of the wider aspects and impacts of the work we do in this field. Whether that is enabling scientific research on life changing medicines or facilitating the production of pioneering new treatments, you are playing a vital role in a vast machine.

Just think - an extensive industry that truly is a collaboration of the best skillsets from a diverse range of stakeholders, driving innovation and advancement to ultimately improve the lives of so many individuals across the world - when you put it in those terms, your own role becomes very self-motivating!

If you hadn’t got into this line of work what do you think you might be doing?

At one stage in my school days, I had been dead set on a career as a pilot. But a severely delayed and rerouted trip back from Australia in the late 00’s saw me reconsider my career choices!

It also recently occurred to me that my time spent during the COVID pandemic would have been of an entirely different intensity as a pilot, compared to my role working in the pharmaceutical industry!

Ryan Barnfield

“Working within the industry is in itself very rewarding when you consider the wider aspects and impacts of the work we do in this field.”