Sustainability and Life Cycle Product Design

Deborah Thurston, Sara Behdad

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This chapter addresses problems that arise during product design for sustainability and the life cycle. A description of the problem itself is provided from an industrial engineering viewpoint. The first section describes the problem elements, including the need to expand the set of conflicting objectives under consideration, the need to consider the entire product life cycle, the need to employ new data acquisition tools, and the need to investigate the complex role of consumer behavior before, during, and after the point of purchase. Subsequent sections summarize work the authors have done towards solving these problems. A general mathematical programming framework is first presented. Then, the chapter highlightes several instances of the benefits of bringing the logic and mathematical rigor of industrial engineering methods to these problems. The authors’ previous contributions to sustainable design are presented and include defining the concept of the product life cycle from a decision-based design point of view, developing different types of decision-making techniques for engineering design (both subjective and objective), normative decision analytic methods (e.g., multiattribute utility, constrained optimization), methods for environmentally conscious design to cover new environmental objectives (e.g., connection of design with the end-of-use phase), and immersive computing technologies to address challenges with information-intensive design procedures. The final section presents methods to consider heterogeneous consumer behavior during product selection, use, and disposal.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationWomen in Industrial and Systems Engineering
Subtitle of host publicationKey Advances and Perspectives on Emerging Topics
EditorsAlice E Smith
ISBN (Electronic)9783030118662
ISBN (Print)9783030118655
StatePublished - Sep 14 2019

Publication series

NameWomen in Engineering and Science
ISSN (Print)2509-6427
ISSN (Electronic)2509-6435


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