"Refinery Location and Organizational Adjustments in the U.S. Biofuel Sector" by Sharmistha Bagchi-Sen

Sharmistha Bagchi-Sen - Professor and Department Chair, Geography, The University at Buffalo, The State University of New York

Sharmistha Bagchi-Sen’s research interests include innovation studies, urban and economic geography.  Her current research is on the evolution of biofuel innovation and production in the United States. Dr. Bagchi-Sen has been professor at the University at Buffalo-SUNY since 1993, and has served as Chair of the Department of Geography from 2010 until 2016. She earned her PhD from the University of Georgia.

Geographic analysis of firms focuses on location conditions, organizational characteristics, and internal adjustments of firms to external factors.  In recent years, high-tech firms and product innovation tied to leading industrial clusters have been the focus of interest and far less emphasis has been placed on the evolution of process-based manufacturing.

Process industries, characterized by strong resource linkages, mature technologies, and long product lifecycles, form a significant portion of industrial activity across the United States. Moreover, the products of process industries, often non-assembled (e.g., chemicals), are inputs for many other forms of production, integrating these industries into value chains that cross sectoral and geographic boundaries.

This study examines locational variation in a process industry (biorefineries) within the broader policy context of renewable energy development. A related focus of the study is to understand patterns of reorganization in bioefineries in response to external conditions such as the cost of inputs, market evolution, technological uncertainty, and policy shifts.  

Results show temporal shifts in the role of institutions vis-à-vis input availability and market conditions.  Furthermore, organizational and industrial adjustments show the need to pursue various types of innovation to adjust to external pressures.


Tuesday, January 17, 1:30-3:00 pm
Coor Hall, Room 5536