About Industrial and Systems Engineering

What is ISyE?

Industrial and Systems Engineering is a branch of engineering that focuses on the optimization of processes, systems, and organizations. Industrial Engineers utilize humans, information, data, and machines/equipment to design, implement, and improve these complex systems. This is a broad field which spans over a variety of industries in finance, healthcare, manufacturing, transportation, and more. Industrial Engineering is the bridge between the business and engineering world. They fill the gap between management and operations and work to make industry processes as efficient as possible. Utilizing mathematical, statistical, analytical, and programming skills, Industrial Engineers solve many challenging problems that companies face every day. The demand for Industrial Engineers is increasing as each year goes by. ISyE is a great career because of its flexibility in the path one may choose to take. Some of the focus areas for IE’s are engineering analytics and operations research, healthcare systems engineering, human factors and ergonomics, and manufacturing/supply chain management.

ISyE Focus Areas

Engineering Analytics and Operations Research

Engineering Analytics and Operations Research is the applied science that deals with quantitative decision problems that involve the allocation and control of limited resources. These types of problems arise with industrial firms, financial institutions, health care organizations, transportations systems, energy and resources, and government. This type of Industrial Engineer develops and uses mathematical and statistical models to solve problems. Most of the mathematical and statistical involves mathematical optimization techniques, probabilistic and statistical methods, experiments, and computer simulations. 

Healthcare Systems Engineering

Healthcare Systems Engineering focuses on complex decision making problems in healthcare that can be solved using quantitative models. This ISyE focus area attempts to use science, technology, and specialization to improve these statistics and improve healthcare in our country. Some applications include the location of healthcare facilities, capacity planning for hospitals, blood banks supply management, planning staffing levels and nurse scheduling. 

Human Factors and Ergonomics

Human Factors and Ergonomics is the study of the cognitive, physical and organizational factors to create human interactions with systems that increase safety, enhance performance, and increase user satisfaction. The basis of this focus area is creating user friendly systems because if a system doesn’t work for people then it doesn't work at all. It improves people’s lives and makes people's jobs better. Human Factors and Ergonomics can save lives and dollars. Any time you’ve engineered a product, process or system to work more efficiently with humans, you’ve practiced human factors. 

Manufacturing and Supply Chain Management

The Manufacturing and Supply Chain Management focus area deals with the efficiency and costs of manufacturing and understanding supply chain logistics. Manufacturing is the foundation for economic growth and is a large industry for creating jobs. This focus area works directly on manufacturing systems. This includes production machines, material handling equipment, assembly lines, people (operators), products (inventory) and production planning and control. These engineers either design new systems or improve efficiency of existing systems. When designing a new system, an Industrial Engineer may decide the number of machines, layout, production capacity and throughput of the operations. When a system is operating, improvement is something an Industrial Engineer may be focused on. They may focus on area such as lead time, cost, quality, and safety.