Profile - Patent examiner - Laura
Name and qualifications
Laura. Bachelor of Science (Physics), Postgraduate Certificate in Nanotechnology
Current position at IP Australia & commencement of employment
Senior Patent Examiner, February 2007
How did you find out about IP Australia?
Canberra Times advertisement
What made you choose to start your career at IP Australia?
After completing my degree, I wanted to apply my science background to the commercial side of the science industry rather than academia. IP Australia offered somewhere I could do just that and the exciting possibility of seeing patent applications on the cutting edge of technology.
What is the most interesting thing about (a) your job and (b) working at IP Australia?
The most interesting aspect of working as a patent examiner is the incredible variety of technologies we get to see - within my field of physics, I examine patent applications from both traditional fields like optics, and cutting edge fields like nanotechnology. Having the freedom to select which cases I work on keeps each day exciting, wondering which new ground-breaking application might be just around the corner.
The opportunities to get involved in areas outside patent examination, such as policy development or IT, also provide examiners with a range of options for further career development.
Is there a particular project you have been involved with at IP Australia that you especially enjoyed? Why?
One of the many projects I've been involved in was to train patent examiners from the Thai Patent Office. During this project I developed and delivered training materials, and arranged internal office and sight-seeing visits for a very busy two week program. It was rewarding to see the Thai examiners leave Australia with new skills and technical expertise, and strong relationships forged across linguistic and cultural borders.
How do you find the training and professional development offered by IP Australia?
The initial training course is designed to get you up to speed in examining patents, but it also offers a great opportunity for networking with fellow trainees before moving into respective technology sections. The first few months at IP Australia are a lot of fun in the Training Centre! In the years following the training course, I have been very lucky to participate in leadership and professional development courses, attend technical conferences and study online for 9 months to receive a Postgraduate Certificate. I've also been provided opportunities to be involved in some unique projects which have kept my work interesting and varied, as well as enabling me to develop a wider range of professional skills.
How do you find the general culture of the IP Australia workplace?
IP Australia's culture is one of the most appealing aspects of my job. My section includes people from a diverse range of backgrounds and we take a very cooperative approach to getting work done. While most examination work is conducted as an individual, the team atmosphere is very open and supportive - we regularly enjoy morning teas to celebrate successes, or a drink at happy hour with our General Manager. Some of the other great aspects of working here are the flexible hours and health and well being program - I play sports at lunch times and can easily manage personal priorities outside of work.
What would you highlight to potential applicants considering a career with IP Australia?
IP Australia offers a workplace where you can apply your technical knowledge, develop expertise in legal matters, enjoy ongoing professional development, and not only that, but maintain a great balance between work and lifestyle.
If you moved here for the job, how do you find living in Canberra?
It's impossible not to love Canberra when you can reach both the snowfields and beach in a couple of hours, be home from work in under half an hour without battling peak hour, and enjoy beautiful sunny days year round.
Last Updated: 13/12/2012