Emma Bould

Lieutenant, Royal Navy – Engineering Manager, GMS Ware

I joined GSK in January 2015 following five years as a Weapons Engineer Officer in the Royal Navy.

I am currently working at Global Manufacturing & Supply Ware as an Engineering Manager in the Respiratory Manufacturing Stream, leading continuous improvement activities on the production lines for the devices that treat COPD.

Asthma and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder (COPD) both affect millions of people around the world. COPD is one of the leading causes of death globally, so the work we are doing is really important to improving lives of patients.

Despite only being in post for a short time, there have been a number of occasions where I have fallen back on my experiences and what I learned from my time leading an engineering team onboard a T23 frigate on operations in the Gulf and Indian Ocean. Some of the issues are no different – we have to manage gaps in our teams, train and develop them, and also keep a focus on the objective.

We have the challenge of figuring out how to reliably manufacture - on a large scale - the products which R&D have spent years developing. It’s not always an easy task especially when dealing with a unique device and using very complex and unique production equipment. I guess that’s why the engineering teams are so important, and it is rewarding to know that every device we manufacture will improve the quality of life for our patients with asthma and COPD. The devices we manufacture have to work every time…much like your weapons systems when you need them!

The pace of work-life often feels similar on site to that of a ship on high tempo operations – but with the added advantage of being able to go home at the end of the day! One thing that is different at GSK is that I feel more empowered than in any other place I have ever worked. I make the decisions I need to in my daily work, and perhaps most importantly, I am supported in the decisions I make. It really does feel like I’ve joined a team and our goal is making people feel better. I am proud to be a part of that effort.