With interest not just in science but also in its applications, Jing Fung Tan chose to study chemical engineering for a bachelor’s degree at the University of Melbourne in Australia. After that, as a Ph.D. student at the same university, he introduced a commercial slant to his research designing star-shaped polymers for use in paint coatings and drug-delivery systems. The stringent conditions necessary to produce the star polymers made commercializing them difficult, so he developed an easier-to-scale-up approach for industry. The work led to a provisional patent application, which he helped draft. That experience helped him secure a patent attorney traineeship, at Griffith Hack in Melbourne, immediately after finishing his Ph.D. in 2009.