Capstone – Project Charter

Industry & Market Research

A Collaboration Between

Engagement Synopsis

R&D cost is the biggest spend for companies, specially in tech sector. How much should a firm invest in R&D in markets where it has high/ medium/ low market share. Create a model to have a benchmark that gives a comparative relationship between market share and R&D spend


  • Applied Materials, 974 E Arques Ave, Sunnyvale, CA 94085


  • Some understanding of Semiconductor Equipment manufacturing industry
  • Knowledge of Applied materials and its competitors (Business, Market Share, Revenues, Gross Margin, Operating Expenses and Net Income)
  • Analytical decision modeling


  • Inside of executive decision making process
  • Learn how to allocate limited resources based on market positioning
  • Create a benchmarking model for businesses to adopt

Company Information

CompanyApplied Materials
StageLarge Enterprise
Hiring PotentialFollow-on Projects, Formal Internship, Entry Level Full-Time, Upper Level Full-Time

Company Overview

We are the leader in materials engineering solutions used to produce virtually every new chip and advanced display in the world. Our expertise in modifying materials at atomic levels and on an industrial scale enables customers to transform possibilities into reality. At Applied Materials, our innovations make possible the technology shaping the future.

Company Supervising Team

Sr. Manager, Portfolio Mgmt.


[email protected]

Course Info & Engagement Details

SchoolUniversity of Notre Dame Mendoza College of Business
Engagement FormatCapstone - Small Team Consulting Project - Students work in small groups of 2-6 directly with faculty and host company project champions on developing real solutions to real-world challenges.
ProgramMBA Consulting
Course2020 SPRING – MBA Interterm (IMMERSE)
Students Enrolled120 Enrolled, 2-5 per group per project
Meeting Day & Time3/2 - 3/5/2019 on-site at host company
Student Time Commitment1-3 Hours Per Week
Company Time Commitment3-5 Hours
Duration4 days (03/02/2020 - 03/05/2020)
Departments InvolvedData Management
Growth Strategy
Reporting, Financial Planning & Analysis
Research & Development
File Attachments

School Supervisors



[email protected]


There are currently no students assigned.

Collaboration Timeline

  • November 11, 2019

    Alice Obermiller, MBA Experiential Learning Program Director, will begin interviewing interested companies and discuss project ideas.

  • December 20, 2019

    Final date for companies to express interest in participating.

  • January 10, 2020

    School faculty and project champion finalize project charter, legal documents, and background materials.

  • January 31, 2020

    Student Teams Finalized

  • March 2, 2020

    OFFICIAL PROJECT LAUNCH: Students will be on-site working for the week

  • March 5, 2020

    OFFICIAL PROJECT END: Students will present results to company leadership on-site

Key Milestones & Project Process

  • March 1, 2020 - Pre- read

    Before on-site interaction, students are expected to have some understanding of Semiconductor Equipment Manufacturing industry.Students can use public resources like Applied and its competitors’ 10k, Annual report, and Gartner’s market research for WFE (Semiconductor Wafer Fab Equipment industry)The financials (Revenue, Gross Margin, Operating Expenses, R&D investments, Market Share, Profitability) for Applied & its competitors should be available to studentsEstimated Time Investment: 6 -8 hrs.

  • March 2, 2020 - Data Collection and on-site interviews

    Collect all the information required for Benchmarking and data modelling. We will help set-up interviews with stakeholders and help provide all required data.

    Suggested Deliverable:

    Review data set and interview feedbacks with Project co-ordinators

  • March 3, 2020 - Working Path and model strawman

    Dissect data and create the first draft of Benchmark model. Expectation is to have a first draft ready with proposed model ideas. Review with stakeholders and get their feedback on direction and validation of the solution.

    Suggested Deliverable:

    1st draft review of benchmark model by EoD

  • March 4, 2020 - Gaps, iterations, and storyline

    Day 3 should be used to plug in the gaps in data/ research based on Day 2 feedback. Also, the storyline for Executive presentation should be ready

    Suggested Deliverable:

    Review power point deck/ excel model / tableau dashboard (if required) with coordinators and get final feedback

  • March 5, 2020 - Final Deliverable

    Present to Applied Materials’ senior executives. Students should be prepared to answer counter questions on methodology, data used, sample set and proposed recommendations.

    Suggested Deliverable:

    Create a power point/ tableau deck with storyline: Problem Statement -> Why we need to solve this? -> What does data suggest? -> Proposed solution/ model -> Suggestions/ Recommendations