Industrial Engineering has been traditionally concerned with the analysis, design and control of materials, work and information in operating systems.
A distinguishing focus has been the integration of humans, machines, and materials to achieve optimum performance of operating systems. Methods of operations research and ergonomics provide the fundamental tools for performing this analysis and integration.
More recently the field has expanded to include non-industrial operations involving supply, distribution, transportation, communication and information handling, medical care and safety. The design and control of these systems requires the use of scientific methods in a variety of research and application areas.
Graduate education in the Department of Industrial and Operations Engineering provides an important complement to our strong undergraduate program. National polls have consistently ranked the department's graduate program among the best in the United States. The student body in the Department of Industrial and Operations Engineering is highly international in character, including students from Canada, Mexico and many countries in Asia, Europe and South America.
History of the IOE Department
The Industrial Engineering Department of the College of Engineering was created in 1956 in anticipation of the increasing importance of mathematical modeling and computers in the manufacturing sector. Specific effort was made to retain and develop the well-established industrial engineering curriculum in human performance (work measurement, methods study, human motivation), engineering economics, production and facility planning, and quality control. At the same time courses involving new techniques such as mathematical programming, simulation, and computer data processing were added to the curriculum
Increasing use of mathematical modeling and computers in history has opened up many new opportunities for industrial engineering graduates. To reflect the increasing importance of the department's program, not only to industry, but to all sectors of the economy, the department changed its name to " Industrial and Operations Engineering " (IOE).
Since the 70's there has been a major increase in demand for industrial engineers in service industries: banking and insurance; health care; transportation and distribution; environmental protection; and information processing. The department now plays a major role in providing engineers for the design, improvement, and installation of work in these service industries.
As a result of growth in curriculum as well as in enrollment, the department moved into its own building on North Campus in 1983. As of December 2009, the department has awarded over 5193 bachelor's degrees, more than 1867 master's degrees, and 407 doctoral degrees. Current enrollment averages 500 undergraduates and 260 graduate students.
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