This article focuses on the use of genetic algorithms in developing an efficient optimum design method for tilting pad bearings. The approach optimizes based on minimum film thickness, power loss, maximum film temperature, and a global objective. Results for a five tilting-pad preloaded bearing are presented to provide a comparison with more traditional optimum design methods such as the gradient-based global criterion method, and also to provide insight into the potential of genetic algorithms in the design of rotor bearings. Genetic algorithms are efficient search techniques based on the idea of natural selection and genetics. These robust methods have gained recognition as general problem solving techniques in many applications.