Logan Christenson (B.S. 2009, M.S. 2011) currently holds a position as a patent attorney with the Salt Lake City based Intellectual Property firm of Workman Nydegger, where he helps inventors, start-ups, and developed technology companies from a variety of fields obtain protection for their inventions.
Although not the typical career route taken by an engineer, Logan credits his ability to work in the patent field to the engineering-based thinking skills he learned in the Biological Engineering program: “Patent law is a strange mix because you are learning about cutting edge technology on one hand while trying to navigating a complex area of law on the other, but fortunately the engineering mindset is pretty comfortable with the need to find solutions that fit within a given set of constraints, be they legal, technological, economic, or all of the above.”
While at USU, Logan earned his M.S. while working with Dr. Ron Sims to develop a rotating algal biofilm reactor designed to produce economically harvestable biomass while treating wastewater. After graduating, he attended law school at the University of Virginia. He graduated in 2014 and moved back to Utah to begin practicing as an attorney.
As for working as a patent attorney, Logan says that “it’s a lot of fun helping engineers and scientists move their ideas from early concept stages toward getting a product ready for introduction into society and into the market.”
According to Logan, one of the greatest advantages of the Biological Engineering degree is its versatility: “I know enough biology, enough chemistry, enough process engineering, enough general mechanical engineering, and even enough electrical engineering to be able to work with almost any inventor.”