David Broughton

David Broughton


David Broughton


“My work is driven by a passion for innovation and a commitment to help future generations meet their needs.”

A day in the life of David Broughton encompasses strategic leadership, active project participation, and time relaxing with family. Having spent more than 30 years shaping the life sciences landscape, David is known for his hands-on approach to delivering solutions that meet today’s demands and anticipate tomorrow’s challenges. As Gannett Fleming vice president, life sciences, he is dedicated to improving human health, integrating sustainability, advancing green solutions, and delivering projects with passion and purpose.

We asked David a few questions to get to know him better.

Tell us about your role and responsibilities at Gannett Fleming.

At Gannett Fleming, I lead our life sciences, food and beverage, and industrial manufacturing sector initiatives, providing innovative solutions in these critical regulated facilities. My team focuses on fostering discovery and the advancement of science with environmental stewardship through architecture, engineering, and construction management services. Our projects span clinical and commercial spaces, including research development areas, messenger RNA (mRNA) manufacturing, biomass renewables, wastewater reclamation, and cell and gene therapy.

Each day is filled with diverse challenges—from optimizing technical processes to enhancing environmental efficiencies. I get to partner with leading companies while supporting their growth and advancing their missions, all while fueling my interest in innovation and commitment to sustainability.

How does Gannett Fleming support your professional development and career growth?

The work environment at Gannett Fleming is unmatched. By providing me the flexibility to take risks in unique project circumstances, I have experienced tremendous personal and professional growth. My work is driven by a passion for innovation and commitment to helping future generations meet their needs, including focusing on trends like sustainable packaging, water reclamation, vertical farming, carbon reduction, and data platform modernization.

Gannett Fleming also promotes a culture of mentorship, which I find rewarding. I can mentor team members in a setting that values openness, honesty, and non-judgmental interactions. This mentorship role helps nurture the next generation of professionals and enriches my understanding and skills, ensuring that we all continue to grow and excel in our respective paths.

What impactful and innovative projects have you worked on recently?

In the fast-paced life sciences industry, client organizations face increasing competition, evolving regulatory requirements, and growing demands for personalized medicine. For life-changing medications and vaccines, reliable access to clean water is critical.

Recently, our work has led us to provide pretreatment of manufacturing wastewater and complete water reclamation and reuse as influent potable water at a plant level. This full-circle approach has shown great environmental stewardship to conservation and the well-being of the available water basins serving the local population. There is no better feeling than knowing you have done your part in preserving our natural resources for the future!

How does your work contribute to Gannett Fleming’s vision of creating a better future, together?

My work at Gannett Fleming aligns with our vision of creating a better future, together, particularly through our contributions to the life sciences industry. I was drawn to this sector because of its dynamic nature—marked by urgent demands and development timelines—which directly improve human health and uplift communities. My commitment to this field is deeply personal. I developed a passion for this cause after losing loved ones to illness and medical complications in the prime of life.

As professionals in the architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) industry, Gannett Fleming contributes to improving processes in the research, development, and biopharmaceutical fields. I think of it as doing my part to improve and enhance people’s health and well-being.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?

The best advice I’ve ever received is simple yet profound: “There is no substitute for hard work.” This principle has guided me throughout my career, underscoring the belief that dedication and perseverance are crucial to achieving desired outcomes. It’s a philosophy that drives personal success and fosters a culture of accountability and leadership.

I firmly believe in leading by example and embodying the work ethic I hope to inspire in others. This means not asking anyone to undertake a task I would not be willing to do myself.

What are your favorite hobbies?

Off the clock, I enjoy spending time at the beach or snow skiing with family.

When I need some alone time, my go-to is automobile restoration. My time restoring classic cars is more than just a hobby. It reflects my dedication to detail and excellence— traits I bring to every project at Gannett Fleming.

I love working on Chevrolet and Dodge muscle cars from the 1965 to 1971 period. One of my favorite projects is my Dodge SRT Demon. It’s a drag car!

What’s your favorite way to unwind after a busy day?

I enjoy listening to the ocean, watching the waves crash on the beach, and gazing at the North Carolina stars from my back deck — usually with a neat Eagle Rare bourbon in my hand.


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