From Electrical Engineer to Patent Attorney – Exploring STEM Career Paths

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From Electrical Engineer to Patent Attorney – Exploring STEM Career Paths

Career Expert Program

From aspiring book editor to engineer to patent lawyer, Career Expert Cheryl Greenly of Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems hosts a new program for Girl Scout Cadettes, Seniors, and Ambassadors. Learn about Cheryl’s fascinating career path and how engineering can be a stepping stone for many different careers. Read below for a sneak preview of Cheryl’s experiences!

Where: Within 30 minutes of Elyria
When: Weekends or Weeknights after 5pm
How to Schedule: Contact Cheryl at

“I was a good student in high school, but my choices for future careers were marine biologist or book editor.  I didn’t even think about electrical engineering until my dad, a metallurgical engineer, explained how engineering can be a stepping point for any type of career.  Engineering disciplines teach you problem solving techniques and are fields that will always be in demand.  I never had a teacher or family member discourage me from pursuing electrical engineering because I was female, although many told me how difficult it would be to study electrical engineering.  Many students, male and female alike, dropped out of the program.  I will describe how I found the help I needed to succeed.

After four wonderful years at Grove City College, I graduated with a B average with my BSEE.  The job at Bendix found me as my future boss was also a Grove City College graduate.  I worked with pressure sensors and wheel speed sensors for commercial truck and bus systems for several years.  I will bring examples of the sensors currently used for antilock braking and stability control for show and tell.  While trying to figure out my future career path, I was given the opportunity to be our site’s patent liaison with the corporate patent attorney.  After talking with two different corporate patent attorneys, I decided that it was a fascinating job that would combine my technical skills and my communications/writing skills.

I started law school with the huge support of my family and my workplace, and graduated after five years with my Juris Doctorate while working full time and going to school part time.  I started full time in the Bendix patent department in 2008.  My job responsibilities include educating inventors on what is patentable, participating in engineering meetings to encourage submission of new ideas, searching published patents to ensure that the ideas submitted are novel, writing patent applications for submission to the US patent office, responding to rejections from the US patent office, investigating allegations of patent infringement, researching and filing trademarks, investigating allegations of trademark infringement, reviewing business contracts to ensure that Bendix intellectual property is protected, educating employees on confidentiality obligations and reviewing all confidentiality agreements.  I would be willing to speak on any of these topics that would interest your group.”

Reach out to Cheryl at to take advantage of her unique perspective.


PLEASE NOTE: Badge Boss/Career Expert experiences are free but Troops or individual girls may be asked to provide supplies for activities. Badge Bosses are adults who volunteer to help girls/troops earn badges! Badge Bosses choose the badge they want to offer. Career Experts share what it is like to be employed in a particular profession. Badge Bosses and Career Experts are not required to be Girl Scout members (though some are) or complete a criminal background check (though some do). Badge Bosses and Career Experts are not responsible for supervision and therefore should not be left alone with girls. For the safety of our members, troops should maintain the appropriate child to adult ratios with their own approved volunteers. If you have questions about Badge Boss and Career Expert programs, please contact Laura Mottor at

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