Tan Sri Datuk Dr. Ahmad Zaharudin bin Idrus commenced his career in the Ministry of Agriculture in 1969, and then served as the Director General of the Department of Food Technology with the Ministry of Agriculture in 1974 and as Director of Food Technology at the Malaysian Agriculture Research and Development Institute (MARDI) from 1975 to 1981.
Tan Sri Datuk Dr. Ahmad Zaharudin served as Secretary of the National Council of Scientific Research and Development under the Ministry of Science, Technology and the Environment from 1981 to 1986. Subsequently, he was appointed as Controller of the Standards and Industrial Research Institute of Malaysia (SIRIM) from 1986 to 1989. Tan Sri Datuk Dr. Ahmad Zaharudin was the founder of Petroleum Research Institute Petronas from 1989 to 1992 and Managing Director of Petronas Scientific Services from 1992 to 1994, as well as a board member of Petronas Refineries Sdn. Bhd. from 1989 to 1994.
He served as the Vice-Chancellor of Universiti Teknologi Malaysia from 1994 to 2001. He held the position of Science Advisor to the Prime Minister from January 2001 to July 2006 and concurrently served as Joint-Chairman of Malaysian Industry-Government Group for High Technology (MIGHT). He was also the President of the Academy of Sciences Malaysia from April 2001 to April 2007, Chairman of Technology Park Malaysia (2002-2005), and Chairman of Malaysian Biotechnology Corporation (2005-2012).
Currently, he is the Chairman of Senstech Sdn. Bhd., Inno Bio Ventures Sdn. Bhd., Inno Biologics Sdn. Bhd. As well as member of both the advisory panel of the Malaysian Institute of Economic Research and the Panel of Advisors on Science & Technology to the Islamic Development Bank Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. He is also the current Chairman of the Board of Directors of University Malaysia Terengganu.
Tan Sri Datuk Dr. Ahmad Zaharudin obtained a Bachelors degree in Agricultural Science from the University of Malaya (1969), and subsequently both his Masters and PhD degrees from the University of Aberdeen. He was conferred Honorary Doctorates from Universities of Portsmouth and Loughborough (United Kingdom) and four other Universities in Malaysia.