A Chemical Engineer Witnessing UF’s Technology Commercialization Firsthand (UF Innovate)

Eric Shear

A Chemical Engineer Witnessing UF’s Technology Commercialization Firsthand

I am currently serving as a patent research and marketing intern at UF Innovate | Tech Licensing for the Fall 2021 and Spring 2022 semesters. In my role, I am working with some wonderful and knowledgeable people and am learning a lot about the process of patenting and commercializing new technologies. Each case is different and pushes my understanding of technology in new and unexpected directions. One day, I could be working on a non-confidential summary for a tough magnesium alloy, the next on a prior art search for oleogels used to deliver drugs to the retina.

As a graduate student in UF’s chemical engineering department, I am working with a professor to secure funding to research a new method of separating dissimilar gases, without chemical absorbents or phase changes. Our goal is to patent this technology if it works, so I took this internship to witness the tech commercialization process from the inside and contribute to the commercialization of other technologies.

Sara Dagen and Veronica Talavera manage the internship program. They enthusiastically welcomed me and answered every question I had. I have a demanding study schedule as a graduate student and contributor to UF’s Rocketry Club, so their flexibility makes it possible to make the most of my time at UF.

This internship exposes me to many different facets of technology, which will only increase my fluency in any situation I might encounter in my career as an engineer and technologist.