Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Mechanical Engineering

First Advisor

Dr. Hiram Moya

Second Advisor

Dr. Jianzhi Li

Third Advisor

Dr. Douglas Timmer


International trade and border security have always been linked together, and so has the need to find ways to improve security decisions. The United States and bordering countries benefit from the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), but amongst the positive effects of NAFTA there is a looming drug threat that effects the bi-national supply chains. In 2015 Customs and Border Protections (CBP) processed over 72,000 trucks, rail, and sea containers a day. CBP also seized 3.4 million pounds of narcotics, the majority of them at the ports of entry. With unknown threats using commercial vehicles to transport their illicit material, the effective use of security resources is essential. This thesis, applies optimization strategies to ports of entry inspection points. By implementing these strategies, insight into optimization of system performance and security can be accomplished. This is crucial in finding the balance between commerce and security at ports of entry.


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