Skip to content

ISE Graduate Seminar

Patents for Engineers


Abstract: This presentation will introduce how engineers can successfully use the United States Patent and Trademark (USPTO) databases to enhance their knowledge of state-of-the-art research that may not necessarily be found in other resources such as Google Scholar or University of Tennessee LibKey databases.  The USPTO is a resource that was developed by the United State government to advance the state-of-art of knowledge of all new, unique, and uncommon ideas, also known as inventions. There is an enormous amount of outstanding research developed by companies that lead to the patents filed at the USPTO.  This presentation will start with some operational definitions and examples regarding patents.  The differences in key terms such as patent clerk, patent agent, and patent attorney and why these are important to engineers will be discussed. The cost of patens and maintenance fees will be covered in the presentation. The majority of the time will be a hands-on presentation of how to use the USPTO advanced search functions to search for key words and phrases.  There will be a final discussion regarding tips and techniques of how to manage a large amount of data retrieved from the USPTO. Google patents will also be briefly covered.

Bio: Mr. Ken Stonecipher is currently a first-year Ph.D. student in the Industrial and Systems Engineering program.  He is researching the manufacturing and remanufacturing of electric vehicle battery systems.  After completing his undergraduate and graduate degree at Tennessee Technological University, he worked for IBM as a telecommunications systems analyst and was later promoted to an Industry Specialist with a focus on precision guided manufacturing using robotic systems, rule-base machine learning, and machine vision.  He later worked on the first commercial products in rule-based systems and artificial intelligence commercial software.  After working at IBM for eight years, Ken moved to Caterpillar Inc. located in Peoria, Illinois, and stayed there for 28 years as a test engineer in the Center for Manufacturing Excellence. He and his colleagues developed advanced tools for in-plant manufacturing line to test in-line and end-of-line components such as planet and countershaft transmissions, pumps, and torque converters. He was also a corporate innovation steward for four years and involved in developing a variety of disruptive innovation solutions for a variety of products across the company. He holds 13 patents and submitted over 200 patent applications during his career at Caterpillar. Ken was the winner of multiple quality improvement awards given by three different CEOs of Caterpillar Inc.

Friday, March 10, 2023 at 2:15pm to 3:15pm

John D. Tickle Engineering Building, 410
851 Neyland Dr, Knoxville, TN 37996

Event Type

Lectures & Presentations




Current Students, Faculty & Staff




Industrial and Systems Engineering
Contact Name

Yvette M Gooden

Contact Email

Contact Phone


Google Calendar iCal Outlook

Recent Activity