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Michelle Felt Swe Award Winner 700X393

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Patented Success.

By: Verizon Careers

Society of Women Engineers (SWE) recognizes V Teamer for inventions.

On August 31, The Society of Women Engineers (SWE), the world’s largest advocate for women in engineering and technology, named V Teamer Michelle F. as an award winner in its 2020 list that honors achievers and leaders within engineering. Michelle was recognized under the Patent Recognition category for two of her awarded patents.

Heather Doty, president of Society of Women Engineers (SWE), summarized this year’s WE20 Award Recipients: “The men and women recognized have lived and learned through significant contributions to the engineering community, and they continue to lead in their careers and personal lives. They are leaders paving the way to empower and inspire future women engineers across the globe.”

What dreamers do.

Ideas are born from necessity. For Michelle, finding ways to make life easier and efficient is second nature. That’s how she came up with two ideas to make her long and arduous New York City commute much easier.

“I thought, what can I create that would allow taxis to find me, rather than me finding them? Which, as anyone who has commuted knows, is impossible during bad weather like rain or snow, “ she said.

Thus, her award winning patents were born. Michelle soon developed Patent #10,002,198 (Mobile taxi dispatch system) and Patent # 10,297,157 (Server for communicating with mobile and vehicle devices). Both these patents led to her recognition by the Society of Women Engineers.

“It is important that we take inspiration from the world around us, and think to ourselves: how can we create better? Michelle's commitment to bringing her ideas to life is a great example and inspiration to us all.”

Vivek Gurumurthy, Global Technology Solutions CIO for Verizon Consumer Group

Find your inspiration.

Michelle says inspiration can be found anywhere. In her case, she found inspiration in her daily life, whether she was commuting to New York City or walking down the aisle at Home Depot. She shares these tips for being proactive and patenting your ideas:

  1. Identify the problem + solution. First, acknowledge the problem. What is the problem, and what is the solution?
  2. Draw out the solution. What is unique about your solution? Is it tangible, and not just an idea? Write out the idea/process that leads to the solution.
  3. Investigate and audit competitors. Audit what other companies are doing. What are their solutions or approaches?
  4. Test your idea. When you feel like your idea is strong, make sure to visualize and concisely plan out. Prototype it. Test it. Test it again. Create a focus group to get that feedback. This will help poke holes in your idea, and for you to strengthen it.
  5. Submit it to the Patenting team. When you get to this point, it’s time to call in Verizon’s patenting specialists. As part of its support for innovation, Verizon has a Patent Recognition Awards Program that provides awards to Verizon employees when Verizon pursues a patent based on their inventions.

Verizon knows the value of women in STEM. Executive Director Senthil Muthusamy says it best: “Michelle’s act of innovation is a unique feat, her leap of imagination to solve the problems and the urge to pursue them. Her passion and excitement serves as a great inspiration for all of us to think creatively and challenge the status quo.”

Learn more about engineering roles at Verizon.


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