PhD ProjectA Multi-objective Optimization Framework for Supporting Decisions for Hazardous Waste Transportation and Disposal

Supervisors: Dr. Burak Boyaci and Dr. Konstantinos Zografos (Lancaster University)

Large quantities of hazardous materials are transported and distributed annually throughout the world. Shippers, carriers, package makers, freight forwarders, consignees, insurers, and governments are just a few of the parties involved in securely transporting hazardous commodities from their origins to their destinations. With different priorities and viewpoints involved from various parties, hazmat transportation is a typical multi-objective optimization problem which makes it further complicated to solve these problems as there is a high level of public concern surrounding hazmat transport problems due to the risks involved. Hence, it is fundamentally important to design and operate hazardous (nuclear) waste processes in a way that is safe, efficient, and economical.

The goal of this PhD is to develop effective and innovative optimization models that handle these three main objectives simultaneously:

(i)     Transportation, storage and handling cost

(ii)     Environmental cost, e.g. greenhouse gas emissions, related to transportation and

(iii)    Risks related to transport, handling and storage of the waste.

It’s crucial to understand that the risk associated with transportation operations is dependent on several factors, including the route, travel time, mode of transport, handling procedures, and the load of the various forms of transportation. The multi-objective and dynamic character of the challenge at hand necessitates the creation of efficient algorithms capable of producing high-quality three-dimensional efficient frontiers in a reasonable time. Our research will explore and develop mathematical models and heuristic algorithms for transport-related choices arising from the transportation of hazardous material (hazmat).