As part of our series in the lead up to Mother’s Day, Megan Fisher, Executive Manager of Intellectual Property and Licensing, tells us about a typical day at work and how her life has changed since becoming a mum. By the way, intellectual property is everything from inventions to designs and artistic works.
Tell us about a typical day.
A lot of my day is spent discussing with commercial people, scientists, and intellectual property managers within our organisation and outside, about how we can develop and commercialise technologies so we can get them out there to make a difference. That’s the CSIRO part. On either side of that there is the usual feeding, clothing and taxiing kids around.
Why did you get into science in the first place?
At school, I was very interested in home science, and not just because of the cooking but because I was interested in the science behind nutrition and how it helped us to function. At uni I focused on chemistry and biochemistry because this interest translated into wanting to understand how things worked at a molecular level.
Tell us about your children.
I have two great boys – one who is 10 and the other is 4. My 10 year old is into everything – cubs, tennis, swimming and cricket – but his greatest passion at the moment is playing Minecraft. My four year old is full of beans, loves Ironmen and Clone Wars and has asked me to buy him a brown shirt so he can dress like Anakin Skywalker.
Has being a mum changed how you work? If so, in what way?
Yes! It has certainly fine-tuned my organisational skills. My Outlook calendar is my new BFF. I use it to schedule my work and home life, and the lives of my family.
How do you think your sons would describe what you do for a job?
They tell people that I am a scientist.
What one thing do you wish other people understood more about being a working mum?
I think all the people I work with have a good understanding of what it’s like to be a working mum. For me it’s knowing and accepting that even though you have left ‘work’ for the day there are still a few hours of work ahead before you can sit down with the iPad and surf the net.
What’s the best day you’ve had at work?
I’ve had many best days. I particularly like the days when you hear that a technology you helped with has progressed to the next stage of development with a company or become a product on the market or is helping a company grow.
What one invention would you like CSIRO to work on that would make a mother’s life easier?
Can I pick two? One would be an invention to help prevent or cure all those bugs that kids seem to pick up in the early years. Another invention would be something that automatically tells the kids to stop playing that computer game and physically removes them from the iPad/iPod/computer.
Did you know that CSIRO is a significant producer of intellectual property? We’re Australia’s largest patent holder, with 3582 live patents, 728 inventions, 275 trademarks and 83 plant breeder rights. More than three billion people around the world use one of our most famous inventions everyday…