Handling uncertain decisions in whole process design

Richard E. Hodgett, Elaine B. Martin, Gary Montague, Mark Talford

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In recent years, the chemical and pharmaceutical industries have observed a noticeable decline in economic activity. This has resulted in many companies focusing on innovative research and development as they consider this key to business success. In particular, a number of leading industrial organisations have adopted the principles of Whole Process Design (WPD). WPD considers the optimisation of the entire product development process, from raw materials to end product, rather than focusing on each individual unit operation. The complexity involved with the implementation of WPD requires rationalised decision-making, often with limited or uncertain information. This paper presents the outcomes of two questionnaires that examined the requirements of professionals working within the chemistry-using industries with respect to developing a decision-making support tool. From the findings a methodology is proposed, the outcome of which allows a decision-maker to visually interpret their decision results with associated levels of uncertainty. A chemical route selection case study demonstrates and validates the application of the proposed methodology.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1028-1038
Number of pages11
JournalProduction Planning and Control
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 10 Sep 2014


Dive into the research topics of 'Handling uncertain decisions in whole process design'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this