March 29, 2022

Olga Bekker: Technology Readiness

Event Details

Date & Time

Tuesday, Mar 29, 2022 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM


School of Engineering & Applied Science
Engineering Management Program
The Renouard Distinguished Lecture Series




Speaker via Zoom. Students invited to participate with pizza in Bollier 120. Zoom link posted at


Event Type & Tags

  • Academics

About This Event

Stage-Gate® and Technology Readiness Process
Intended for a general audience

For many modern corporations new product and technology development is a battleground of advanced ideas, innovations, and more superior performance and cost-effective products. Companies routinely encounter challenges related to a fierce competition, extensive infrastructure of suppliers, partners, and co-collaborators, and complexity of end products coupled with the cost pressure. Covid-19 and subsequent resource and skills deficiency affected many businesses and compelled them to focus more on dynamic and efficient decision-making processes for new product and technology development.

The gated process concept was introduced by Robert Cooper 30+ years ago and has been used by many major corporations for more effective portfolio management and decision-making throughout new product development process since then. The idea of using staged development and gate decisions enabled higher fidelity integration of the complex products’ design and production, and precision in selecting products, features, and technologies responding to the companies’ strategic needs. Consequently, the gated process proved to be one of the most compelling methodologies of product and technology portfolio management enabling users to maximize value on investments and maintain balance of radical and evolutionary ideas while staying on par or ahead of competitors due to wisely orchestrated strategic approach.

Dynamic innovations development of the last several decades introduced a challenge of assessing maturity of innovations and advanced technologies, and using a common language to be able consistently compare maturity levels between different types of technology. NASA was a trailblazer in the field of creating a measurement system, building the technology readiness level (TRL) scales, and promoting the sequence of TRL decision-making gates. The chokepoints still remain in dealing with technology transitions from R&D organizations to technology implementers and using the TRL approach for timely unfolding and mitigating transition risks. Stable, progressive, and reliable decision-making system and quality decisions are crucial for complex products integration, new product and technology development, and efficient technology transitions.

About Olga Bekker

Olga Bekker is a process and integration subject matter expert in the Technology Integration group of the Boeing Commercial Airplanes (BCA) Product Development. She has worked at BCA for 21 years, initially as an integration engineer on 757 Program, followed by positions in 787 integration organization and Product Development R&D technology integration. Olga is responsible for supporting BCA sustaining and future derivative Programs on technology integration and transitions sides. Olga has an extensive experience building, managing, and upholding product development and technology process standards and policies related to efficient portfolio management, and product and technology development. Her work led to extending the gated process use for the entire product and technology development lifecycles at the Enterprise level, adopting best industry practices for more efficient technology readiness assessments, and streamlining process applications for early product development stages.

Olga holds a Master of Science (MS) in Civil Engineering from Moscow State University of Civil Engineers (Russia), as well as, an MS in Technical Management from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. Olga is also a registered patent agent with United States Patents and Trademarks Office.