This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

A comprehensive tool to prioritize multiple engineering R & D projects




Kummarasetti, Srinivas

Type of Degree



Mechanical Engineering


When trying to allocate funds to different projects, people encounter many situations where they need a methodology that can address the issues that arise and provide a quick solution. In the case study described in this thesis, Sanjeev Kumar, CEO of Superstar Specialties, Inc., was faced with a decision on how to allocate resources among fifteen proposed R&D projects that were slated to start in August 2005. The board had allocated him $4.91 million to spend on R&D for the next budget year. As the CEO of a $400 million company with five business units, Sanjeev had to choose the best prospects from among the different R&D projects that had been proposed. A research methodology specifically designed to assist in such decisions was developed for this case study. This type of methodology is often used when the questions being posed are --Y´how¡ and the focus is on how to make profits. This tool will serve primarily to prioritize projects based on company wide uniform metrics. The particular type of case study chosen to present the analysis was an embedded single-case design. Sources of data for case studies may come from documents, computer software, market research, direct observation, and participant-observation. This investigation utilized all of these methods, with the exception of market research. The data and methodology were provided by Dr. Earl Wagener, the CEO of Tetramer Technologies, and interviews were conducted to further analyze and explain aspects of the problem. This research conclusively demonstrates the importance of prioritization of projects and also shows how measuring and weighting different projects based on company wide uniform metrics can be helpful.