A Look into Being a CDMO Lead Building Engineer: Colleague Spotlight on Michael Boylan  

16th May 2024


At a Contract Development and Manufacturing Organization (CDMO) like Abzena, the Lead Building Engineer plays a vital role in ensuring the smooth operation of our facility, enabling our scientific and technical teams to focus on their groundbreaking work without concerns over the supporting utilities. Tasked with maintaining and overseeing critical systems such as HVAC, electrical services, and plumbing, this position ensures that the infrastructure supports the stringent requirements necessary for biopharmaceutical production. The Lead Building Engineer’s expertise helps to prevent disruptions, maintain product integrity, and ensure regulatory compliance.

Michael Boylan is the Lead Building Engineer at Abzena’s Bristol, PA Bioconjugation Development and Manufacturing site. He started his career journey at Orleans Tech where he pursued a career as an electrician, which culminated in a 29-year role as a certificated electrician with HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) specializations. Michaels’ successful career path led to his current high-impact role at Abzena, where he oversees multiple duties related to pharmaceutical facility infrastructure and maintenance.  He’s been instrumental in maintaining the complex HVAC needed to provide stable conditions for our most sensitive bioconjugate and complex chemistry programs.

“A Utilities/HVAC specialist and manager is tasked with getting out in front of problems before they happen to mitigate any potential costly payload damage. Heightened communication with the scientists is necessary to move quickly to resolve any issues without interrupting their workflow,” states Michael.

Most days may begin with rudimentary tasks such as changing lights, repairing a door, or moving equipment. There is a lot of important and new equipment at Abzena, so it can present new challenges every day.  The lead building engineer must prioritize any urgent issues and then make sure the janitorial staff has everything they need as well. This allows for more focused work towards ongoing projects with also includes collaborating with different vendors and assessing any future work and scheduling needs.

Michael’s role isn’t limited to just maintaining and ensuring that the Bristol site’s HVAC and electrical systems are running smoothly. He also oversees and maintains all facets of the utilities that play a critical role in how our facility functions on a day-to-day basis, ensuring our state-of-the-art facility is in peak shape for customer programs.

Beyond Abzena’s doors, Michael has a rich home life and enjoys building models with his grandkids. He appreciates the proximity of Abzena’s Bristol site to his home and the cooperative, friendly work environment. Michael says he really enjoys his co-working relationships.

“I work with a lot of good people who are friendly and if you need a hand, they are willing to help you or teach you something that you never done, I don’t know much about the some of the equipment the scientist use and they always help when I needed a hand.”

Behind the Scenes with a Lead Building Engineer
The essence of maintaining our complex systems and utilities at Abzena is anchored around tackling time-sensitive problems and needs that facilitate the intricate backstage activities essential to our biological and bioconjugate services. Transparency is a cornerstone of our approach, guiding our project management philosophy to embrace new ideas and meet our customers’ needs head-on.

A Closer Look at Michael’s Responsibilities:

  • Engaging with all members of Abzena staff, including the scientists, to resolve any equipment and facility issues and providing up to the minute service-based needs.
  • Planning, scheduling and driving facility maintenance and improvement projects in a timely fashion.
  • Organizing janitorial staff scheduling and needs.

Considering a Career with Us?

If Michael’s journey resonates with you and you have a similar passion for making a difference in the biologics and bioconjugates space, we would love to hear from you. We value expertise in life sciences and engineering and a proven track record in project management, especially in the realms of small molecules, biologics, or antibody-drug conjugates (ADCs).

We invite you to share your CV with us through the Abzena Careers Portal. Together, we can continue to innovate and lead in the industry, one project at a time.