What is Industrial and Systems Engineering (ISE)?

Thinking manufacturing?  Think again, and think bigger.  ISE is distinctive because its tools can be applied to any business in any setting, from production to services, in either the private or public sector.  Industrial and systems engineers design, improve, and optimize processes, systems, or the products and services themselves.  In today’s competitive marketplace where continuous improvement and cost containment are paramount to survival, this is an extremely critical role.  That is why our graduates are so sought-after. Click here for an online presentation.  

ISE graduates take a “systems” perspective – assessing all of the inputs and outputs, the people, money, machines, information, resources, and time – in order to do things better.  Using mathematical models and methods, the industrial and systems engineer makes an impact through critical decision-making.  This is why, over time, our graduates rise through the managerial ranks. 

Here are just a few of the challenges an ISE may have to face:

  • Justify spending $3 billion on a next-generation semiconductor fabrication (wafer fab) facility.
  • Predict how many copies of the new Harry Potter book will be needed in the local bookstore.
  • Build a portfolio of stocks, bonds, and options to minimize the downside risk caused by rising oil prices.
  • Shorten the wait lines at Disney World Design a transportation system, including warehouse locations and truck routes, in order to improve on-time deliveries at lower cost.
  • Lead a project team to develop the next Presidential helicopter. Shape the future growth of a company by allocating funding to research and development projects.
  • Improve the quality of healthcare by studying and re-designing the flow of patients through a hospital and the scheduling of nurses.
  • Automate a production line to improve capacity and throughput while reducing worker injuries.

Take a look at a video about what Industrial Engineers do. Video courtesy of the Institute of Industrial Engineering.