What is Industrial Engineering?

It would be best to Start things off by telling you what IE is all about in this first post.

What is IE?

Industrial Engineering is concerned with the design, improvement and installation of integrated systems of people, materials, equipments and energy. It draws upon specialized knowledge and skills in the mathematical, physical and social sciences, together with the principles of methods of engineering analysis and design to specify, predict and evaluate the results to be obtained from such systems. Industrial engineers work to eliminate wastes of time, money, materials, energy and other resources. Part of being an industrial engineer is learning how to balance changes.

Industrial engineering is also known as operations management, production engineering, manufacturing engineering or manufacturing systems engineering; a distinction that seems to depend on the viewpoint or motives of the user. In healthcare industrial engineers are more commonly known as management engineers, engineering management, or even health systems engineers. The name "industrial engineer" can be misleading. While the term originally applied to manufacturing, it has grown to encompass services and other industries as well. Similar fields include operations research, systems engineering, ergonomics and quality engineering.

Compared to other Engineering, an IE’s work cannot be seen or takes no physical form. This is so, because IE’s Deal with systems and systems are basically “Intangible” – we know its there but cannot touch it. IE has also the widest scope of studies: Basic Engineering of other fields, Business Law, Psychology, Management Information Systems, Management, Marketing Systems, Computer Simulation, Work measurement, Ergonomics, Facilities planning and Design and many more! That’s why some call IE’s as the “Jack of Trades”, so many things to learn, study and apply.

So what do IE's do?

While engineers typically make things, IE's figure out how to make or do things better. This is what gives IE's so much flexibility - as you can imagine, everyone would like to do things better! IE's are primarily concerned with two closely related issues: productivity and quality. They address these two issues by looking at integrated systems of machines, human beings, information, computers and other resources.

Since these systems are basically everywhere, an IE can work not only in Manufacturing Industries but also in service and most likely business. Making things better applies to almost everything!

Why is the IE Different?

What sets industrial engineering apart from other engineering disciplines is its broader scope. An IE deals with people with people as well as things. An IE relates to the total picture of productivity improvement. (And productivity in simplest terms means getting the most out for the least put in.) An IE looks at the "big picture" of what makes society perform best - the right combination of human resources, natural resources and man-made structures and equipment. An IE bridges the gap between management and operations, dealing with and motivating people as well as determining what tools should be used and how they should be used.

“An Industrial Looks at Chaos, and has a vision of Order.”

What is Industrial Engineering? What is Industrial Engineering? Reviewed by Vernon Joseph Go on Friday, January 11, 2008 Rating: 5

1 comment

  1. A very good and informative blog. Very useful for those who are still confused as to what course they should take in college. Thanks for the link. Keep up the good work