Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Engineering Science (Interdepartmental Program)

First Advisor

John Henry Wells


A multiple objective formulation, which incorporates robustness and constraint enforcement as design criteria, is utilized to model the layout of food processing facilities. These facilities are subject to the compliance with guidelines dictated by public health agencies, changes in product mix, and variation in production levels due to seasonality, which render existing layout design algorithms unsuitable for their design. The solution of the robust multiple objective formulation is implemented using a construction heuristic algorithm, MORCH, and an improvement heuristics, MOLAD. The MORCH/MOLAD hybrid algorithm performs comparably to well known heuristic algorithms where materials handling cost is used as the only design criterion. Also, the MORCH/MOLAD solutions are more robust than those of robust heuristic algorithms. Moreover, through the use of a qualitative constraint matrix, the hybrid algorithm generates layouts that conform to guidelines imposed by U.S. regulatory agencies without significantly penalizing materials handling cost. As a qualitative constraint matrix in conjunction with materials handling cost are present in the model, a multicriteria decision making aid that deals with qualitative and quantitative factors, the Analytic Hierarchy Process, is used to select the most suitable layout and to guide the generation of and search for good alternative layout solutions by the hybrid algorithm.