John Tao’s First Job

John Tao
V.P. of Open Innovation, Weyerhaeuser

His First Job

I was a Research Engineer in the Cryogenic Systems Division of Air Products and Chemicals.

His Career Since Then

Dr. Tao is currently responsible for Early Business/Venture Development, Licensing (in and out), Technology Partnering, and Intellectual Asset Management. Weyerhaeuser is an $8 billion integrated Forest Products Company.

Prior to joining Weyerhaeuser, Dr. Tao was the Corporate Director of Technology Partnerships for Air Products and Chemicals, Inc., a $10 billion company headquartered in Allentown, Pennsylvania. He was responsible for worldwide external technology development, Intellectual Asset Management, government contracting and licensing/ technology transfer. His contributions in over 30 years included the venture that commercialized a new family of polymers, a JV that the company profited with over $200MM in invested capital and IP value extraction of over $100MM in tax credits.

Dr. Tao holds a B.S. in chemical engineering from Carnegie-Mellon University, an M.S. in chemical engineering from the University of Delaware, and a Ph.D. in chemical engineering from Carnegie-Mellon. During his tenure with Air Products, Dr. Tao has been involved in engineering management, R&D management, commercial development, venture management, and planning and business development. Dr. Tao is a board member of the Industrial Research Institute and the Lehigh Valley Ben Franklin Technology Partnership, and is a Board member and a Fellow of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers. He serves on the Advisory Committee for the National Science Foundations IIP/SBIR, and the Advisory Board of the Chem. Eng Dept of Carnegie Mellon University. He is also a member of the Licensing Executive Society and of the Commercial Development and Marketing Association.

Dr. Tao has presented and published over 80 papers and holds 9 patents and one pending.

Advice for Young Chemical Engineers

Do what you have passion for, and remember that communications and relationships are as important as technical results.

What was your very first job? And your first engineering job?


Jayce's picture

Nice series, good idea!!

Douglas Clark's picture

Thanks, Jayce! We'll be featuring a new engineer each week for the next month or so.

May's picture

Thanks for the new series. I really like that! This will give people a range of perspectives as well as more awareness about chemical engineering! I wish we have a "gold-star" button.

Danial Zia's picture

Nice new series, is there a platform/website where a fresh chemical engineering graduate can get help to find a new job?

Sonja Bradfield's picture

Hi Danial, you can check out AIChE's career page here: