Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Industrial Engineering (MSIE)

Degree Level



Industrial Engineering


Heather Nachtmann

Committee Member

Edward Pohl

Second Committee Member

Gregory Parnell


Applied sciences, Decision analysis, Inland waterways, Portfolio optimization, Value focused thinking


Maritime transportation functions as the backbone of world trade. The U.S. inland waterway transportation system is comprised of 12,000 miles of navigable waterways that connect and move freight between the global supply chain and thirty eight States. When investing in inland waterway infrastructure, we should aim to maximize all benefits associated with the investment including flood protection, water supply, hydropower generation, recreation, and environmental impact benefits. We formulate an initial qualitative value model for the inland waterway infrastructure investment decision based on a value-focused thinking approach which allows us to holistically evaluate project investment alternatives. Given limited resources, a portfolio optimization model is formulated to maximize the total value associated with the project investments while considering budget and minimally acceptable benefit constraints. To demonstrate application of our developed approach, we present a case study based on the McClellan Kerr Arkansas River Navigation System.