Director of Campus Facilities and Operations

Who We Are

Southern Research (SR) moves science that helps heal the world. Located in the heart of Alabama’s biotech ecosystem, the organization’s 81-year legacy in leading scientific breakthroughs includes nearly 700 patent awards, the creation of seven FDA-approved cancer drugs and testing more than half of active chemotherapies in the United States. Our community of experts includes highly specialized scientists and professional staff, fostering a mentoring environment and adding value to the clients and communities we serve. Our collective education and experience allow us to create opportunities for collaboration, innovation and entrepreneurship in line with our mission.

The role of the Director of Campus Facilities & Operations leads development and operations of state-of-the-art facilities that houses these scientific breakthroughs. In this role you will lead the planning, construction, operation, maintenance, security, safety and sustainability of over 10 acres and 15 buildings in the heart of Birmingham’s Biotech corridor including the development of our flagship building. You will also support the facility operations of key strategic partner programs. This role reports to the VP of Operations and is a critical member of the SR Leadership Team.

What You Will Own

  • The growth and development of a team of managers and technicians that maintain facility operations and security.
  • SR’s master campus planning to build a modern campus that supports SR’s strategic growth in Drug Discovery, Development, Data and other drivers (including an incubator with wet lab and office space and a venture studio) that helps build a biotech ecosystem in Birmingham.
  • Safe and comfortable operation of a 10-acre campus and 15 buildings that include administrative and scientific lab space including BSL3s and ABSL3 labs.
  • SR’s space planning and management to support the growth and addition of over 150 new SR’s employees in the next 2-3 years.
  • SR’s safety and security program.

What You Will Do

  • Build a high performing team sharing purpose, providing context, ensuring frequent and transparent communication and operating with a supportive, continuous improvement and growth mindset. Hire, onboard, coach, train and develop a team of managers and facilities employees to ensure every facility employee is well supported and committed to the success of SR. Lead the co-creation of group OKRs (Objectives and key results) with the team and provide support to achieve results while operating with SR values.
  • Serve as the key contact to coordinate and facilitate SR’s master campus planning. Work collaboratively and lead and align internal and external stakeholders to support an on time, on budget campus plan that supports the growth of SR’s programs.
  • Plan, budget and execute cap-ex, maintenance projects to decrease address deferred maintenance. Instill and refine maintenance processes to proactively address campus issues.
  • Refine, support and implement the campus safety program to support an open, safe and inviting operation. Ensure strong adherence to all applicable regulation including Good Lab Practice compliance standards.
  • Work closely with Environmental & Safety group to support the safe, efficient and high-quality operation of scientific lab space including BSL3s and ABSL3 labs.
  • Lead the renovation, preparation of existing space to support the addition of over 85 employees in 2023 with continued growth to support 450 employees on the current campus. Proactively plan and implement cost effective minor renovations to ensure employees are comfortable and are well supported to perform their roles.
  • Develop SR’s sustainable program to ensure SR operates in an environmentally friendly manner.
  • Manage SR’s utilities program. Build and execute energy efficient improvements to support a cost-effective operation
  • Manage the facilities and operations of leased spaces for SR tenants. This role will play a key role in building SR’s incubator and venture studio programs
  • Support SR’s key partnerships with UAB and other organizations to develop strategic programs such as the Genomics Diagnostics Lab and the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation Center of Excellence
  • Leads the Facilities department’s annual budgeting process with the team and ensures adherence to the budget through process improvement, the use of innovative and creative tools and technology and strategic team planning and growth.
  • Cultivates and maintains strong relationships with vendors and supports SR’s small business program

What Experience is Most Important for this Role (Minimum Requirements/Qualifications)

  • Operational experience that has resulted in process and cost efficiencies, space improvements and environmentally friendly solutions.
  • Experience leading small and/or large capital projects.
  • 5+ years of facility management experience. 
  • Demonstrated knowledge of HVAC, boiler, chillers, plumbing and power systems. 
  • Project Management experience.
  • Bachelor’s degree in Construction Management, Architecture, Project Management, Engineering or Facilities Management.
  • Ability to observe appropriate safety and study requirements by reading, understanding, and following Standard Operating Procedures (SOP), Good Laboratory Practice (GLP) requirements.

Preferred Experience

  • Experience with lab space.
  • Experience with mechanical systems and other needs of lab spaces.


  • An empathetic leader with a learning and growth mindset and one that builds high performing teams.
  • Strong communication and interpersonal skills.​
  • Good organizational and problem-solving skills.
  • Good negotiation skills.
  • Knowledge of regulations and laws.

Physical Demands

  • This position is typically located in an office environment
  • Ability to wear appropriate PPE if necessary to enter laboratory work environment
  • Ability to perform work utilizing a computer for extended periods of time
  • Ability to climb ladders and stairs in performing work

Certifications, Licenses & Registrations

  • Certification in facilities management a plus

What to know about how we operate at SR

At Southern Research, we pursue science with purpose. We move science every day, pledging to empower belonging on our team, harness curiosity, embody a culture of execution, and put patients, clients and communities at the forefront of our work.


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