Date of Award

Spring 2011

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Engineering Management

Committee Director

C. Ariel Pinto

Committee Member

Resit Unal

Committee Member

Rafael Landaeta

Committee Member

Thomas J. Murphy


This dissertation contributes to insights regarding the implications of using Project Risk Management (PRM) and Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) in managing projects for a complex system. The PRM approach apprehends many forms of risk both internal and external within a given project and assists the manager in determining the level of importance of each individual project phase and component to optimize project success. The life cycle approach to project management is used with short-term limitations with respect to a product's life cycle over several years. The literature discusses many tools and techniques that assist project managers in implementing optimal solutions, but published statistics indicate failures to meet schedules and/or budgets are still common. This dissertation combines PRM and LCA for ship repair and maintenance projects for a ship's 35-year service life. A framework highlighting the fundamentals of PRM and LCA was developed for the purpose of improving a ship's service life and operability.

The results of the analysis of survey data from subject matter experts indicate that a PRM and LCA of complex systems is a viable methodology. The framework was validated by subject matter experts and produced viable evidence that the proposed framework, if implemented, may have a 34% success rate of accomplishing its stated purpose of: reducing ship systems, equipment, or component failure rates; reducing a ship's life-time costs; and improve ship reliability towards meeting its 35 year operational service life.

Furthermore, this dissertation contributes to the body of knowledge in the fields of project-risk management and life cycle applications by providing a framework of a complex system of systems of ship repair and maintenance that can be used for any complex system of organizational entities.