First Published: 28 Feb 2019

In celebration of our 40th year, we will be bringing you interviews with some of Custom’s longest serving employees who will be sharing their fondest memories of Custom’s history and what they are looking forward to in the future. Our February interviewee is our Technical Operations Manager, Rob Hawkes.

 When did you join Custom Pharma Services?

I joined 16 years ago in February 2003.

Tell me about your journey at Custom Pharma Services

I joined the Technical Services department as Technical Project Manager and I was managing the Tech Transfer of Pharmaceutical and Nutraceutical products into Custom.

Back then we reported directly to Business Development Director so I’ve always done a Technical role being involved in Regulatory and Compliance Services previously.

I have been in Technical Services for most of the 16 years, however, I did have a 3 year sojourn into Operations as the Associate Director of Operations between 2005-2009 and I was responsible for Manufacturing, Packing, Warehousing, IT, Health & Safety, Engineering, and Site Services. That was a very busy time for me, during a challenging time for the company (hopefully not as a consequence of me being the Ops Director). In 2009 I moved back to the Technical Services department where I have been in various roles since.

I’m currently Technical Operations Manager and look after a team of Formulation Scientists and a Pilot Area. We have 4 main activities: Clinical Trial Supplies, New Product Developments, Product Remediation and Tech Transfers of existing products. We have a team of 4 Formulation Scientists, 3 Development Technicians in the Pilot Area, a Senior Project Manager and a Proposal Writer.

What are your fondest memories of Custom Pharma?

Always the people! The vast majority of the people I have worked with here have been very talented individuals and good fun to work with.

Also, it might be a bit geeky, but I do have really great memories of some of the Technical achievements we have had as a team over the years, remediating technically challenging products that others have been unable to fix.

Another that comes to mind is back in 2009 I was offered the chance to work with a team in China which was a great experience to be able to go over there, work cross-culturally and break down the language barriers. It’s was great!

What are you most excited for, for Custom’s 40th year?

I think really, and most will probably say the same, it will be seeing Custom complete its move to the new facility over in Moulsecoomb. This facility will better enable Custom to properly realise its ambitions and potential, and it is a great thing to be a part of. It’s a very exciting time for us.

I am also very excited to be attending Outsourcing Clinical Trials in Israel next month, it’s an exciting move for Custom to start putting out feelers into these new markets for us.