Date of Award

Fall 2019

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Engineering Management & Systems Engineering


Engineering Management and Systems Engineering

Committee Director

Charles Daniels

Committee Member

Resit Unal

Committee Member

Rafael Landaeta

Committee Member

Kaitlynn Castelle


This dissertation focuses on the use of three new combinational hybrid approaches to solve a rational decision problem. Even though Multi-Attribute Utility Theory (MAUT) and the Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP), and the Analytic Network Process (ANP), are all long established theories, their practical applications continue to grow and generate new knowledge. As a case study approach, there exists a knowledge gap concerning the use of these MCDM methods in the area of environmental remediation, and more especially, in situations that involve radioactive materials. From this, and as borne out by the literature review discussed herein, a problem statement is thus affirmed: This dissertation analyzes how the MAUT, AHP, and ANP can be used, both individually and as combinational hybrid approaches, in terms of a case study involving the selection of a geographically appropriate location indicative of the relative natural background value for radon [in air] at a known environmental remediation site for which many volumes of information are publicly available. More broadly, this dissertation seeks to interpret how the practical application of MAUT, AHP, and ANP, both individually and as combinational hybrid approaches, can assist decision-makers in making related decisions at environmental sites, especially those that involve radioactive materials. Comparison of MAUT, AHP, ANP, and testing of the three combinational hybrid approaches is accomplished by analyzing the same decision problem via each method. From this, similarities and differences between the outcomes of each model (i.e., the results) are analyzed, along with further comparisons drawn between the MAUT weighting factors and AHP / ANP priority vectors for each rendition. Still yet, very granular comparisons are made between the basic MAUT marginal utility values and the AHP / ANP alternative-level priority vectors. One case study is likely insufficient to prove the utility of the three combinational hybrid approaches that are herein advocated. More case studies are encouraged to assess the true utility of these approaches. While hybrid MCDM approaches are nothing new, this research is original and unique and serves to add to the compendium of knowledge done by others, strengthening and bolstering the use of such approaches in engineering management and beyond.