On characterization of technology readiness level coefficients for design

DS 87-2 Proceedings of the 21st International Conference on Engineering Design (ICED 17) Vol 2: Design Processes, Design Organisation and Management, Vancouver, Canada, 21-25.08.2017

Year: 2017
Editor: Anja Maier, Stanko Škec, Harrison Kim, Michael Kokkolaras, Josef Oehmen, Georges Fadel, Filippo Salustri, Mike Van der Loos
Author: Fahimian, Mahi; Behdinan, Kamran
Series: ICED
Institution: University of Toronto, Canada
Section: Design Processes, Design Organisation and Management
Page(s): 309-316
ISBN: 978-1-904670-90-2
ISSN: 2220-4342


Technology innovation is an important driving factor in creating competitive advantage in industries that have evolved by convergence of technology and design. In this industries, technology management is a pillar of design management. One valuable source in technology management is Technology Readiness Level (TRL), initially developed for NASA. The application of TRL numbers has been expanded to estimate the cost and risk of acquisition or development of different technologies. However TRL numbers are ordinal and applying mathematical operations on them create incorrect results. TRL cardinal coefficients are developed to eradicate this error. In this paper TRL cardinal coefficient values for seven NASA aeronautic technologies have been calculated based on Analytic Hierarchy Process. For the first time, the cardinal coefficients are calculated based on a quantifiable criterion. The variable progress in cardinal coefficients indicated a realistic reflection of the nature of the technology development. In addition, cardinal coefficient numbers were mathematically meaningful when comparing the maturity of technology development across different technologies.

Keywords: Design management, Technology, Risk management


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