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Design for Commercialization (DFC): A Multi-domain Feasibility Approach for the Diffusion of Renewable Energy Technology

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2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Seattle, Washington

Publication Date

June 14, 2015

Start Date

June 14, 2015

End Date

June 17, 2015





Conference Session

Engineering Economics New Frontiers

Tagged Division

Engineering Economy

Page Count


Page Numbers

26.462.1 - 26.462.19



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Paper Authors


Oscar M. Bonilla Baruch College of the City University of New York

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Dr. Oscar Bonilla has been working as a consultant for the insurance industry in the implementation of Lean Management and Operation Programs across Latin America and the U.S. He is also a Professor of Service Operations Management at Baruch College's Zicklin School of Business in the City University of New York. Prior to that, Dr. Bonilla worked on the financial analysis and cost control of enterprise mission critical and capital projects. His research interests are in the field of engineering management and technology transfer, specifically on the economics and commercialization of renewable energy technologies. His professional experience includes more than 10 years of work on industrial automation, dynamic systems control, reliability, six sigma, lean manufacturing, continuous processes improvement, and project and operations management. He obtained a bachelor's degree in automation engineering from La Salle University in Colombia, a master’s degree in industrial processes automation from Los Andes University in Colombia, and a master’s degree and Ph.D. in engineering management from Stevens Institute of Technology (Hoboken, N.J.).

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Donald N. Merino P.E. Stevens Institute of Technology (SES)

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Donald N. Merino retired as a tenured full professor and as the Alexander Crombie Humphreys Chaired Professor of Economics of Engineering at Stevens Institute of Technology. He taught Engineering Economy, Financial Management, Decision Analysis, Total Quality Management, and Strategic Planning. He is Founder Emeritus of the undergraduate Bachelor of Engineering in Engineering Management (BEEM) and the Executive Master in Technology Management (EMTM) Program at Stevens.
Merino won the Morton Distinguished Teaching Award for full professors at Stevens. John Wiley published his book, “The Selection Process for Capital Projects.” Merino is past Chair of the Engineering Management Division and Engineering Economy Division of ASEE. Merino was awarded the ASEM and ASEE Bernard Sarchet Award. He is an ASEM and ASEE Fellow and past president of ASEM.
Dr. Merino has 25 years of industrial experience in positions of increasing managerial / executive responsibilities.

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DESIGN FOR COMMERCIALIZATION (DFC): A MULTI DOMAIN FEASIBILITY APPROACH FOR THE DIFFUSION OF RENEWABLE ENERGY TECHNOLOGYNatural resources are used globally on such modern conveniences as transportation, industrialand energy production. Higher standards of living, rapid population growth, and technology,all contribute to an increased demand for energy. However, extracting, processing, and usingthese resources to generate it can cause environmental problems, such as climate change, thedisruption or destruction of ecosystems; a decrease in biodiversity, land, water, and air pollution.The question is not whether natural resources will be depleted, the question is when. Therefore,society as whole needs to do a better job at preventing the depletion of natural resources,conserving energy, preventing pollution, and developing a more sustainable way of living.A path to achieve this goal is to increase the amount of renewable energy production, and toexpedite the development and commercialization of renewable energy technologies (RETs) thatcould allow us to reduce the demand for natural resources drastically. However, how can RETsbe developed and commercialized at a speed that could have a significant impact in preventingthe depletion of natural resources?RETs face several barriers to commercialization that have been classified in four differentdomains; technical, economic, operational, and regulatory & policy. Moreover, research hasidentified the economic domain as the dominant factor in the commercialization of RETs,specifically, the economic feasibility and risk of RET projects.Furthermore, how can the methods of analyzing the economic feasibility of RET projectsbe improved in a way that investors have a better understanding of the risk and expectedreturn on investment, so that the flow of capital invested can expedite the development andcommercialization of RETs? Moreover, is there a comprehensive model that successfully andholistically addresses the commercialization challenges of RET projects?Design for commercialization (DFC), is a proposed systems approach focused at the project levelthat could help answering these questions. A comprehensive literature search shows the need forthis approach.

Bonilla, O. M., & Merino, D. N. (2015, June), Design for Commercialization (DFC): A Multi-domain Feasibility Approach for the Diffusion of Renewable Energy Technology Paper presented at 2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/p.23800

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