Management of Computers in R&D

(Develop guidelines to assist the R&D manager in effectively integrating computers into their operations)

Computers were beginning to play an important role for industrial R&D in the early 1980s. An ROR Subcommittee was formed to advance the understanding of potential benefits from utilizing computers for all aspects of R&D in IRI member companies. Several surveys were conducted to determine who was using computers and how they were being used. Trends in the use of computers were reported in three papers, the last of which predicted that 90 percent of scientists and engineers would be using computers regularly by 1995, and that nearly all senior managers would have terminals on their desks at that time.  A General Session at the 1987 IRI Fall Meeting was also arranged on the theme, "Enhanced R&D Effectiveness Through Computing-Myth or Reality?" The General Session and a Special Interest Session at this meeting described the potential value of using supercomputers for modeling in various industries. Petroleum, automotive, and pharmaceutical firms were among the first to begin using advanced computing techniques that are common in nearly all industries today.