Experienced People

Stephen Foster

Associate Director

Consultancy, UK

Stephen has worked in the construction industry for over 20 years across a diverse range of sectors. Having spent the last few years specialising in pharmaceutical projects in North America, he’s now using his expertise to manage solutions and develop greater efficiencies for UK based projects. 

How did you get into what you do?

I did a degree in business administration but my family’s roots are in construction so I guess it was inevitable that I’d fall into the industry. I got into construction management pretty quickly and it felt like a natural fit from day one. After a few years I started managing projects and over the years I’ve worked across a really diverse range of sectors which has made me pretty well-rounded in terms of my industry knowledge. 

How has your career progressed since joining Mace?

I joined Mace in 2015, and my career has developed quickly. I started as a construction manager to work on a Roche Diagnostics project in Indianapolis but it quickly transitioned into a project manager role on the same project and then expanded yet again to the management of the entire Roche North American account.

In April 2017, my fiancé and I moved to the UK so that I could bring my knowledge and pharmaceutical experience to Mace’s partnership with GSK. Mace is big on sharing knowledge to benefit our clients which is great for me as it’s given me an opportunity to grow my career as well as take on an adventure.

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

Being located on site with the client. It helps as I can see what their needs are in real time and show them how Mace can add value to the services we provide. The construction industry and our pharmaceutical clients are always looking at how we can execute projects more efficiently, safely and sustainably with less quality defects. Mace and our clients have always been on the forefront of developing and driving best practices to achieve, which gives me great job satisfaction.

What has been your proudest achievement at Mace?

Being selected to work on a new project with GSK. It's innovative in lean principles and has a collaborative project delivery model. It's such an exciting opportunity to grow Mace’s relationship with GSK and gain valuable experience in a newer delivery model which focuses on a trusted unified team with the owner, designer and contractor.

What skills do you need to be good at your job?

I think one of the most critical skills is keeping communication open between all parties. You're responsible for integrating stakeholders, evaluating risk and understanding project data all the time, so your communication planning and style needs to constantly adapt. Asking questions and listening to your team is another critical aspect - something which is often overlooked in my opinion.

What do you see as the big trend for your specialism in the next five years?

I see the use of lean techniques growing. The UK are already ahead of the US in terms of ‘lean’ because of restrictive labour agreements and regulations that don't always promote engagement. I see the real benefits to the client and it’s great to be in a market where it’s embraced and is being used innovatively in the design of prefabrication and in prototyping construction modules.  

What are you passionate about outside of work?

I've enjoyed electronic dance music for over 20 years. It started long before EDM was mainstream and had massive concerts and before some of today’s DJs were even born.

If you hadn't got into this line of work what do you think you might be doing?
I'd be in the design field, probably an architect. I've always liked the artistic side of design and working with structures - I see buildings as pieces of artwork.

“Mace is big on sharing knowledge to benefit our clients which is great for me as it’s given me an opportunity to grow my career as well as take on an adventure.”