Alyssa Telfer

Alyssa Tefler

Degree of Bachelor of Science 1998, Degree of Bachelor of Engineering (Biomedical) with Honours 1999


What lead you to study at Flinders University?

I was really drawn to biomedical engineering course because I’d never seen anything like it. I was only 16 when I was looking at university courses and had never known an engineer. I was enticed by the opportunity to satisfy my love of learning how things worked with the potential to have a positive impact on peoples’ health and quality of life.

What is your current role and responsibilities?

I am a patent attorney and Principal at the firm Phillips Ormonde Fitzpatrick (POF). My responsibilities include advising clients on Intellectual Property protection and enforcement strategies, drafting and prosecuting patent applications for medical devices, recruiting, developing and managing a team of attorneys in the firm’s Electronics, Physics and IT team and when I can, contributing to issues of concern to the patent attorney profession in my role as a FICPI Australia councillor. I also sit on the POF Board which means I have a role in overseeing implementation of the firm’s broader strategic goals.

What do you most like about what you do?

There are many aspects of what I do that I love (and some that I really don’t!) however the most rewarding part must be the people I work with both inside my firm and outside it. I have had the opportunity, through my work, to meet the most incredible scientists, engineers and clinicians who are truly pioneering and changing the way we deliver healthcare for the better.

What is the achievement you are most proud of?

That is a tough one – my work achievements are largely dependent on the achievements of my clients! Which are many and varied. On a personal note, something that I have not actively set out to do but which I am proud of as I am told it has made a positive difference, is being a role model for younger women in the patent attorney profession.

Is there any experience from your time at Flinders that has had a lasting impact on you professionally and personally?

The most enduring impact was made by the very first encounter I had at Flinders. My first ever visit was for an open day. There was a model of the heart which took my interest, and a whole lot of other interesting and interactive pieces that I found more engaging than the other engineering disciplines (including mechanical engineering at the University of Adelaide where I was originally enrolled).

What advice do you have for your younger self, or for students beginning their career in engineering?

Try to find passion in what you do. As in life, work is more fun if you enjoy what you do and who you do it with! And, if you need help ask for it.

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College of Science and Engineering Engineering

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