The Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering in Texas A&M Universityâ€™s Dwight Look College of Engineering was established in 1939. It has consistently been ranked in the top 10 departments in the United States over the past 10 years by the Gourman Report, the National Research Council and US News and World Report.
We provide education and research that contribute to the economic and technological advancement of the state, the nation and the world.
Our outstanding faculty are nationally and internationally recognized for the quality of their research and teaching, and their leadership in the profession. We have strong programs in manufacturing and production systems, logistics and supply chain management, operations research, applied probability and statistics, systems engineering, quality and reliability, and system simulation â€” especially important in the current environment of international trade and global competition.
Our graduates are well prepared for successful careers as practitioners and academicians. They are highly sought after for their comprehensive backgrounds and systems perspectives.
What do industrial and systems engineers do?
Industrial and systems engineers design, implement, and manage integrated systems of materials, equipment, people, and information. They find creative ways to solve problems by applying specialized knowledge in mathematics, science, and the principles of engineering. Their skills and expertise are in demand across a broad spectrum of the economy.
Industrial and systems engineers are found in all branches of business, government, the military, and academia. Every organization is interested in operating more efficiently and productively. Whether itâ€™s baggage handling at the airport, crowd management at theme parks, cost effective health care delivery, enhanced homeland security, or efficient manufacturing and logistics - industrial and systems engineers can improve the design and operation.
Is industrial and systems engineering right for you?
If you like technical subjects but are also interested in the â€œbig pictureâ€, if you like to solve problems, if you view people as an integral part of the system, industrial and systems engineering might be the career choice for you. The role of an industrial engineer is to see how a system operates as a whole and how its components can be made to work together more efficiently and cost effectively.
â€¦and after graduation?
Industrial engineers are referred to as systems analysts, operations researchers, production or project engineers or managers, quality or reliability engineers. Their â€œsystems perspectiveâ€ makes them well suited for management positions. Some industrial engineers start their own companies; others go into research or consulting.
The demand for industrial and systems engineers is strong and growing because today more than ever, companies must function as productively as possible to stay in business and must take a systems view to grow and expand. Industrial engineers have the skills and training to help make this happen. Salaries are competitive with other fields of engineering.
The Industrial and Systems Engineering undergraduate program at Texas A&M is consistently ranked in the top 10 in the nation. The four year curriculum is designed to provide a solid basis in mathematics and science as well as in manufacturing systems, production and inventory control, logistics, distribution and supply chain management, operations research, quality and reliability, factory design, and engineering economics. The program culminates with a senior design course where students have an opportunity to apply what they have learned to an actual industry problem. At graduation students are well prepared for business, industry, or graduate studies.
To see semester-by-semester details of our undergraduate curriculum in industrial and systems engineering and descriptions of course content, see Academics and Current Students.
Co-op and internship programs give you the opportunity to earn money while gaining valuable work experience. The undergraduate advisor in the Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering can help you make the right connections. Experiential education is coordinated through Texas A&M's Career Center. For more information see Experiential Education.
Industrial and systems engineering students are encouraged to join the student chapter of the Institute of Industrial Engineers (IIE). This group plans and participates in monthly meetings with invited speakers, field trips, competitions, service projects, and general camaraderie. Check out the IIE website.
Alpha Pi Mu, the industrial engineering honor society, also has an active and involved chapter within the department. It was recently named one of the top three chapters in the nation. .
This tradition-rich university offers a broad spectrum of opportunities for a well-rounded student life. Activities are plentiful with more than 680 recognized student organizations, including academic, recreational and sports clubs, hometown and international clubs, honor societies, social fraternities, service and religious groups. For more information visit the Student Life page.
The graduate program in industrial and systems engineering is tailored to meet the professional objectives of the individual student.
The master's degrees are attractive to students who want to enhance their competitiveness in the job market and expand their career options, or continue on to the Ph.D. degree. The department offers three master's degrees: a Master of Science (M.S.) in industrial engineering, a Master of Engineering (M. Eng.) in industrial engineering, and a Master of Science in engineering systems management. The degrees are flexible, allowing a wide choice in course selection and emphasis areas. Students may design degree plans that generalize over a broad range of expertise within industrial and systems engineering, or may choose to focus specifically on areas like operations research, systems engineering, engineering management, or logistics.
Both the M. Eng. and the M.S. in engineering systems management are available via distance learning. This program is for off-campus students who desire to pursue a degree without having to leave their homes or jobs. For more information, visit the ISEN Distance Learning. The M.S. in industrial engineering is a research oriented degree which provides a good foundation for those interested in further advanced studies.
The Ph.D. degree is a research-oriented degree for individuals interested in a career in academia, consulting, or with an organization requiring advanced training. Research activities of the faculty are diverse, providing numerous and varied opportunities and facilitating selection of an advisor in the student's area of interest.
For more information about the graduate program, see Academics.
The INFORMS student chapter (Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences) is open to all students, but comprised primarily of graduate students. Chapter activities include networking and social opportunities, sharing of research, and participating in seminars given by academic and industrial practitioners of operations research. Check out the INFORMS website.
Research in Industrial and Systems Engineering
Current faculty research activities cover a broad spectrum of application and industry sectors. The focus on design and operation of large-scale systems positions the department as a key player in emerging areas such as homeland security, service system operation, enterprise risk management, information management, and health-care delivery.
The department has a strong faculty working in the area of applied probability: queueing systems, failure-prone systems, risk analysis, scheduling, and other aspects of industrial systems.
Cognitive Ergonomics/Human Factors
Research in this area includes the analysis and design of tools and technologies to support a human's key cognitive functions (e.g., perception, attention, memory, decision making) in the context of joint human-machine systems. Active research involves investigating novel display technologies to support efficient human information processing and multi-task performance in a wide variety of complex work domains.
Research in this area focuses on the two key drivers of energy-efficiency: enhancing production and distribution of renewable energy such as wind and solar; and reducing energy consumption through efficient operations in energy-intensive manufacturing industries, data centers and commercial/residential buildings. Activities include developing methods to monitor systems with inherent uncertainty and controlling their operations without degrading quality.
Industrial and systems engineering tools are used to improve information and personnel flows in medical practices, identifying data storage and information system requirements, and establishing security policies. In addition, researchers are designing incentives to help healthcare decision makers reduce costs. Other researchers work to reduce medication errors and improve quality of care in pediatrics, or develop practical solutions to improve patient service delivery. Quantitative methods are used to optimize patient scheduling (e.g., in nuclear medicine and surgery) and healthcare facility configuration, which includes prescribing the location and size of each facility, the services each is to offer, and the capacity assigned to each service.
Industrial and systems engineers are well suited to develop practical solutions to the problems of homeland security. Current research initiatives in the department are the evaluation of first responder equipment, robotics applications to search and rescue, and sensor surveillance system design.
Logistics and Supply Chain Management
Current research concentrates on quantitative modeling to gain insight into practical supply chain initiatives such as vendor managed inventory; third party warehousing and transportation; forward, backward and closed loop supply chain network design; warehouse/distribution system design; integration of inventory, facility location and transportation decisions; and radio frequency identification (RFID).
Management and Decision Analysis
This research thrust investigates the theory and practice of decision making under uncertainty (decision analysis). Active research areas include the modeling of probabilistic dependence, specification of individual and corporate risk preference, valuing information gathering activities and experiments, the development of optimal exploration programs, and the application of copulas to price forecasting. These ideas are being applied in industries ranging from pharmaceutical to upstream oil and gas.
Modeling and Analysis of Complex Systems
Modeling and analysis techniques are currently used in four major research areas: (1)
biological systems such as forest fire spread and pest management through population control; (2) probabilistic systems such as air traffic scheduling, communications and enterprise systems, maintenance science, and optimal replacement analysis; (3) service systems such as healthcare treatment planning, healthcare delivery systems, revenue management, and workforce agility issues; (4) production and manufacturing including lean manufacturing, facility design, material handling, production planning and control, and cost modeling.
In addition to basic and computational research in networks; intelligent heuristics; linear, nonlinear, and integer programming; and stochastic programming, the department prides itself on the successful application of optimization techniques across many areas including manufacturing, transportation, and logistics.
Quality and Reliability
Current research activities include six-sigma variation reduction in automated manufacturing processes; sensor network design and interpretation of distributed sensor data; statistical analysis and information mining of large quality-related databases and high-volume in-process measurement data; optimization of complex measurement systems for quality improvement; optimal system design for reliability; and reliability of microelectronics, nanoscale, and software-based systems.
Simulation is a powerful tool for modeling and analyzing systems in which randomness is an important component. It is used to address challenging real-life problems where traditional solution methodologies have failed. Current research applications include development of virtual manufacturing facilities, control of wildfire spread and fire-fighting planning, and disaster evacuation planning.
Research in this area focuses on the application of synthetic environments (e.g., virtual reality, augmented reality) in real-time high volume multidimensional data analysis, modeling and analysis of information extraction and exchange between components of globally distributed systems, remote decision making, and telecollaboration.
System Design for Sustainment and Remanufacturing Activities
Research in this area is focused on the definition, development, and deployment of lean manufacturing practices to the unique problems of remanufacturing and sustainment. Total quality management, process redesign, stochastic MRP, production planning, and supply chain management are major components of this initiative.