Date of Award

January 2015

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Mechanical Engineering

First Advisor

Karthik Ramani

Second Advisor

Fu Zhao

Committee Member 1

Carol Handwerker

Committee Member 2

John Sutherland


With future environmental regulations imminent in the United States, manufacturing companies are faced with the need to optimize existing product systems for environmental efficiency without compromising their performance, quality and deployment. To meet this need, computer-supported design tools must be extended to allow for identifying, indexing, and delivering lifecycle knowledge to users at various organizational levels and roles, e.g. managers, assemblers, and suppliers. The challenges associated with such an undertaking lie within the complex nature of lifecycle data, which carries with it spatial-temporal dependencies from multiple sources in an unstructured form. Just as lifecycle data resides in ``silos'' based on its individual domain, the existing tools and frameworks are fragmented and lack unified integration to be used for lifecycle decision making. This fragmentation has created significant barriers for designers for integrating sustainability-related considerations within lifecycle design.