Principal and St. Louis patent attorney Elisabeth Koral was recently interviewed by the McKelvey School of Engineering at Washington University in St. Louis for an article in their Engineering Momentum magazine. Koral is a proud alumnus of both WashU and McKelvey.
The following excerpt appears in the publication’s fall 2019 issue:
While engineering and law may seem somewhat incongruous, for alumna Elisabeth Koral, her engineering degree from Washington University in St. Louis was excellent preparation for her career as a patent attorney.
“All of the skills you learn and develop while an engineering student, such as critical thinking and problem-solving, are skills that can be applied across a wide spectrum of fields,” said Koral, JD, a principal who practices patent law at Harness IP in St. Louis. “As I went through the engineering program, a career in patent law presented itself as a better fit for all of my interests.”
Koral earned a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from WashU in 2004, then earned a juris doctoris degree from Northern Kentucky University in 2007.
“Even when I knew I was not going to pursue a traditional chemical engineering career, I knew I wanted to continue to use my engineering degree and to work in the science field. Patent law was a natural fit for that,” said Koral, a native of Cincinnati, Ohio.
“It’s really exciting to work with inventors and be a part of new science and new technology,” she said. “I am able to work with innovations in many fields; for example, pharmaceuticals, chemical engineering processes, materials, organometallic chemistry and semiconductors. It is very rewarding to work with so many different innovations and to help inventors secure their rights.”
Koral said that female inventors seeking patents are still a small minority, meaning there is still so much underutilized potential from female inventors.
Growing up, Koral was supported by her family and teachers to pursue her interest in the STEM fields, so it is important for her to give back and encourage and support women to pursue the STEM fields.
“I feel very lucky to have had access to programs to learn more about careers in the STEM fields and to have encouragement from my family to explore my interests in science and math,” she said.
She is a member of the Women & Engineering Leadership Society, which fosters professional and personal growth of female engineering students to develop them into leaders and serves as a support and advocacy network for female engineers associated with WashU.