Dan Scott, MetE’70, holds 105 patents, the second-most in his employer’s history. He has 55 more that are pending examination and over 400 international counterparts to his U.S. patents.
Scott, a senior technical advisor for oilfield drilling contractor Baker Hughes Inc., says he takes a customer-advocate approach to his work to ensure that the product or process he is developing can meet his clients’ needs. Scott manages the company’s diamond and diamond composite research for drill bits.
“There are very few eureka moments for me,” explains Scott. “I like to sit down with someone else and bounce ideas off them. I find that talking with fellow employees who are from a different technical area than mine really helps give perspective to my ideas and ensures I am not missing something.”
After 45 years with Baker Hughes, he still remembers his first original idea — what he calls a “simple fix” to a heat-treatment process used in his company’s plant.
“In the synthetic diamond drilling industry that I work in, we aim to build products that last,” says Scott. “The best way to do that is to take a step back and look at the worn products. To get to the root cause of what had limited the life and see if we can either improve it or create something entirely new.”