Date of Award

Summer 2003

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Computer Engineering - (Ph.D.)

Department

Electrical and Computer Engineering

First Advisor

MengChu Zhou

Second Advisor

Reggie J. Caudill

Third Advisor

Nirwan Ansari

Fourth Advisor

Edwin Hou

Fifth Advisor

Ying Tang

Abstract

Increasing global population and consumption are causing declining natural and social systems. Multi-lifecycle engineering and sustainable development address these issues by integrating strategies for economic successes, environmental quality, and social equity. Based on multi-lifecycle engineering and sustainable development concepts, this doctoral dissertation aims to provide decision making approaches to growing a strong industrial economy while maintaining a clean, healthy environment. The research develops a methodology to complete both the disassembly leveling and bin assignment decisions in demanufacturing through balancing the disassembly efforts, value returns, and environmental impacts. The proposed method is successfully implemented into a demanufacturing module of a Multi-LifeCycle Assessment and Analysis tool. The methodology is illustrated by a computer product example.

Since products during the use stage may experience very different conditions, their external and internal status can vary significantly. These products, when coming to a demanufacturing facility, are often associated with incomplete/imprecise information, which complicates demanufacturing process decision making. In order to deal with uncertain information, this research proposes Fuzzy Reasoning Petri nets to model and reason knowledge-based systems and successfully applies them to demanufacturing process decision making to obtain the maximal End-of-Life (BOL) value from discarded products.

Besides the BOL management of products by means of product/material recovery to decrease environmental impacts, the concepts of design for environment and sustainable development are investigated. Based on Sustainability Target Method, a sensitivity analysis decision-making method is proposed. It provides a company with suggestions to improve its product’s sustainability in the most cost-effective manner.

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