Notre Dame employee finds professional development opportunities through patent law

Author: Stephanie Healey

Ke Min

Ke Min originally came to Notre Dame in 2011 as a postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. Although she is passionate about chemistry and has over 10 years of experience as a chemist, she wanted to explore other career opportunities and found the Master of Science in Patent Law (MSPL) program to be a great fit.

“This program has been an excellent opportunity for me. I don't need to completely abandon my chemistry background, but have the ability to switch my focus to a totally different angle,” Min explained. “I had four patent applications throughout my Ph.D. research, but could never figure out how the attorneys wrote them out. I was certainly interested in getting to know more about the patent law field.”

The MSPL’s classes are open to any Notre Dame employee with a science or engineering background, and can be paid for with the University’s Employee Educational Benefits.  Min is primarily focused on work and research for her MSPL capstone project, writing a patent application for a Notre Dame researcher, while balancing her current University position as an editorial assistant in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering.  “I definitely had to spend a lot more time after work on my reading and writing assignments. I would say it was an intense period and I’ve had some struggles, but it is definitely worth it.”

Min has really enjoyed her experience in MSPL so far. “The best part is reading and analyzing patents,” she said.  “This is a magic world. I think it is a luxury to enjoy the intellectual accomplishments without sweating the difficult problems.”

Although she is unsure of the next step in her career, Min is confident that her exposure to patent law will have a tremendous effect on her future.  “Although I may still pursue a career as a chemist, with my education on intellectual property prosecution, I believe I have a wider career path and a greater potential in my career development.”

The Master of Science in Patent Law welcomes enrollment by employee-students with any scientific or engineering background. To learn more about the program, visit the patent law website, or contact the program’s director, Karen Deak, Ph.D.