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Director, Head of Engineering

AstraZeneca UK

Location: Cambridgeshire, Gaithersburg, Maryland

Job Type: Full time


Job title: Director, Head of Engineering
Location: Gothenburg (Sweden), Cambridge (UK), Gaithersburg (USA), Barcelona (Spain), Mississagua (Canada)

The Center For Artificial Intelligence (CAI) is a lab focused on applying machine learning research to the toughest challenges at AstraZeneca. We are a team of experts from different disciplines including Machine Intelligence, Data Science, Real World Evidence and Bioinformatics. We innovate together with our leading biologists, chemists, and clinicians to close the gap between today's challenges and the forefront of machine learning. If you want to have an impact on transforming patients' lives by accelerating new medicines to patients, this may be the position for you!

What you’ll do
In this role, you will build a small team responsible for the ensuring that our AI Research Scientists and Data Scientists are able to go from a ideation to experimentation to application as quickly as possible. This role will collaborate heavily with R&D IT and drive projects on the kubernetes based AI Platform as well as be expected to be hands on in accelerating our science. The ideal candidate will have industry-relevant experience delivering at scale Machine Learning in the AWS cloud ecosystem.

You will be part of a collaborative team of scientists and lead a team that together have the chance to create tools, standards and workflows that will advance the standard of healthcare, improving the lives of millions of patients across the globe. Our team builds AI solutions to difficult challenges in clinical trial data analysis, Graph and NLP, Computer Vision, Knowledge Graph, and deep learning led drug discovery

As an AI Platform Engineer with an interest in building complex systems, you will be responsible for inventing how we use technology, machine learning, and data to enable the productivity of AstraZeneca. You will help build, deploy and develop our next generation of platforms and tools at scale.


  • Collaborate with Data Scientists, Machine Learning Researchers and IT to build the platform and tools that underpins their research.

  • Be a part of a high performing agile team, continuously improving AstraZeneca’s Machine Learning development environments, platforms and tooling

  • Work closely and collaboratively with internal governance and compliance functions such as Cyber Security and Data Privacy to secure our estate without obstructing end-user productivity.

  • Debug and opitmize distributed computation workloads

  • Opitmize ML training workloads with the research team

Essential for the role
  • PhD degree in computer science, electrical engineering, statistics, applied mathematics, or a related field.

  • 5 or more years of demonstratable experience working with AWS

  • 3 years of experience working with Kubernetes and container-based applications.

  • 2 years of administering a production cluster, with an understanding of operators, storage classes and service meshes.

  • 5 years or more of experience building and delivering software using the Python programming language, extensive experience with the python ecosystem and packaging.

  • 3 or more years of demonstratable experience deploying the underlying infrastructure and tooling for running Machine Learning or Data Science at Scale using Infrastructure of Code

  • Experience working in an Agile team

  • Experience working with internal security standards and frameworks

  • Experience working with GxP compliant life science systems will be looked upon favorably

  • Experience leveraging DevOps to enable automation strategies

  • Creative, collaborative and resilient.

Desirable for the role
  • 3+ years of experience within the pharmaceutical industry with extensive knowledge of clinical trial process (all phases) and associated regulatory activities.

  • Deep understanding of drug development and clinical trial process and data (all phases).

  • Participation and activity in the scientific community on program committees, editorial boards, organizing workshops, etc.

Why AstraZeneca?
At AstraZeneca we’re dedicated to being an excellent Place to Work. Where you are empowered to push the boundaries of science and unleash your ambitious spirit. There’s no better place to make a difference to medicine, patients and society. An inclusive culture that champions diversity and collaboration, and always committed to lifelong learning, growth and development. We’re on an exciting journey to pioneer the future of healthcare.

So, what’s next?
Are you already imagining yourself joining our team? Are you ready to bring new insights and fresh thinking to the table? Good, because we can’t wait to hear from you.


Date Posted


Closing Date


AstraZeneca embraces diversity and equality of opportunity. We are committed to building an inclusive and diverse team representing all backgrounds, with as wide a range of perspectives as possible, and harnessing industry-leading skills. We believe that the more inclusive we are, the better our work will be. We welcome and consider applications to join our team from all qualified candidates, regardless of their characteristics. We comply with all applicable laws and regulations on non-discrimination in employment (and recruitment), as well as work authorization and employment eligibility verification requirements.

AstraZeneca requires all US employees to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 but will consider requests for reasonable accommodations as required by applicable law.