Friday, August 2, 2013

Sustainable Product Development and Manufacturing–Free Online Course from Stanford University

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The Course

This course focuses on strategies and techniques for development of sustainable products and manufacturing processes. Using case studies, we will examine strategic decisions and best practices in new product and process development when environmental and resource externalities are accounted for.

Environmental sustainability has emerged as the imperative management undertaking for business sustainability in the face of rising global demand for natural resources and environment services and of environmental problems such as climate change. We will examine how regulatory and voluntary requirements for sustainable development affect the ability of a firm to achieve its business and corporate objectives. We will assess how sustainable products and operational practices contribute to the firm’s competitive advantage and operational efficiency and to enabling entrepreneurial opportunities.

Students will examine the industrial ecology and life cycle assessment techniques in integrating traditional product and process development requirements with those of the environment and society.

The emphasis in this course is on sustainability requirements in management of new product and process development from the perspective of the senior-level executive who is responsible for the firm’s business and operational strategies.
Student teams will develop a new sustainable product, or undertake field study projects to gain firsthand experience with sustainability practices in a company.

The objective of this class is:

  1. To develop an awareness of the need for sustainable development and the challenges/opportunities for business sustainability.

  2. To develop awareness of the evolution of environmental sustainability concepts and associated governmental regulations and business response on a global scale.

  3. To develop an understanding of the state-of-the-art practices in sustainable product development and manufacturing including industrial ecology, life cycle assessment and modeling techniques.

  4. To gain an appreciation of the complexities associated with operationalizing sustainability in the framework of traditional business models for assessing return on investment in new products, production and operational initiatives.

  5. To review the range of general management issues in addressing sustainability and to develop decision-making skills in development of sustainable products for commercial success.

The Instructor

Dariush Rafinejad is a consulting associate professor at the Management Science & Engineering Department at Stanford. Dariush teaches and conducts research on sustainable product development and manufacturing, and has co-authored a number of case studies and papers in the sustainability field. In 2007, he published a book on Innovation, Product Development and Commercialization. He is also a faculty member at Presidio Graduate School in San Francisco and an adjunct professor at Haas Business School at UC Berkeley. Dariush has over 30 years of product innovation and senior executive experience in the semiconductor and solar energy industries and was a corporate vice president at Applied Materials and Lam Research Corporations. Dariush has served on the boards or invested in several startup companies in solar, semiconductor and medical fields. He is also the founding principle of Blue Dome Consulting Company which partners with high-tech executives for product and business leadership. Dariush received his Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from UC Berkeley.

Dariush Rafinejad's picture

More Information

Technical Requirements
You need a computer that allows you to watch the video lectures, and the ability to upload your assignments. You will also be required to collaborate with teammates via email, skype, and other free online tools.

Statement of Accomplishment
Subject to satisfactory performance and course completion, you will receive a statement of accomplishment signed by the instructor. This statement will not stand in the place of a course taken at Stanford or an accredited institution.