University of Surrey

Test tubes in the lab Research in the ATI Dance Research

Multi-criteria decision support for sustainable material choices with applications in the shipping sector.

Reiss, Stefanie (2016) Multi-criteria decision support for sustainable material choices with applications in the shipping sector. Doctoral thesis, University of Surrey.

EngD_Dissertation_SReiss.pdf - Version of Record
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial Share Alike.

Download (9MB) | Preview


The shipping industry represents a large sector with a wide range and significant scale of impacts. This underlines the need for sustainable decision making, which ensures the economic viability of operations in the long term, whilst reducing environmental impacts and health and safety risks. The demand for integrated tools that enable decision makers to integrate a holistic set of sustainability measures has already been pointed out in the literature, ideally considering the whole life cycle. In this Thesis, a multi-criteria decision support framework has been developed to evaluate the implementation of different material options on a life cycle basis. This comprises an evaluation of Life Cycle Costs (LCC), Environmental Impacts (EI) and Risk Assessment (RA) alongside each other, explicitly accounting for uncertainties in the inputs. Subsequently, all these aspects are integrated through a Multi-Criteria Decision Analysis (MCDA) approach, allowing to account for different perspectives and priorities of the decision maker. The framework was used to evaluate High-Strength Low-Alloy steel (HSLA) and advanced composites to replace conventional steel in ship structures. Results show the potential of these materials, indicating significant financial and emission savings over the life cycle, despite their higher initial costs. However, currently uncertainties and consequently risks are present and the approach shows how to account for these depending on the priorities of the decision maker. It is demonstrated that the approach provides structured decision support for sustainable material choices. The novelty lies in integrating different sustainability aspects in one coherent framework, taking a life cycle perspective. By doing this it is possible to integrate different types of data and explicitly account for different stakeholder perspectives and decision maker priorities. Another key feature is the clear visualisation of results, facilitating transparent communication to support the decision making process. Whilst the contribution of the research presented is demonstrated for the shipping sector, the potential of applying the framework and the methodology in other industrial applications is highlighted.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subjects : Sustainability for Engineering and Energy Systems
Divisions : Theses
Authors :
Reiss, Stefaniestefanie@reiss.me0000-0002-4924-5290
Date : 21 December 2016
Funders : TWI Ltd. Cambridge, University of Surrey
Contributors :
Depositing User : Stefanie Reiss
Date Deposited : 05 Jan 2017 09:26
Last Modified : 31 Oct 2017 18:59

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


Downloads per month over past year

Information about this web site

© The University of Surrey, Guildford, Surrey, GU2 7XH, United Kingdom.
+44 (0)1483 300800