What is ISE?

Below is a brief overview of what majoring in Industrial and Systems Engineering entails! If you would like more information on the Institute of Industrial and Systems Engineers, please click on the tabs to the right.

Industrial engineering deals with the optimization of systems, processes, or organizations. As an industrial engineer, you’ll apply mathematics, engineering, and science methods to do optimize these complex systems. Because of the complexity of these systems, IE’s need to have a skill set that includes- a broad systems perspective and being able to work well with others. “Many practitioners say that an industrial and systems engineering education offers the best of both worlds: an education in both engineering and business.

The most distinctive aspect of industrial and systems engineering is the flexibility it offers. Whether it’s shortening a rollercoaster line, streamlining an operating room, distributing products worldwide, or manufacturing superior automobiles, these challenges share the common goal of saving companies money and increasing efficiencies.

As companies adopt management philosophies of continuous productivity and quality improvement to survive in the increasingly competitive world market, the need for industrial engineers is growing. Why? Industrial and systems engineers are the only engineering professionals trained specifically to be productivity and quality improvement specialists.

Industrial engineers figure out how to do things better. They engineer processes and systems that improve quality and productivity.”1 Industrial engineers do this through the use of “statistical analysis, interpersonal communication, design, planning, quality control, operations management, computer simulation, and problem solving.”2 “They work to eliminate waste of time, money, materials, energy and other commodities. This is why many industrial engineers end up being promoted into management positions.

Many people are misled by the term industrial engineer. It’s not just about manufacturing. It also encompasses service industries, with many ISEs employed in entertainment industries, shipping and logistics businesses, and healthcare organizations.

The benefits of industrial engineering are widespread as indicated in three different slide shows.

ISEs make processes better in the following ways:

  • More efficient and more profitable business practices
  • Better customer service and product quality
  • Improved efficiency
  • Increased ability to do more with less
  • Making work safer, faster, easier and more rewarding
  • Helping companies produce more products quickly
  • Making the world safer through better designed products
  • Reducing costs associated with new technologies

Videos & Podcasts

Helpful websites to check out:

O*Net Online: Industrial Engineers

O*Net Green Occupation: Industrial Engineers


Sloan Career Cornerstone Center: Industrial Engineering Overview

U.S. Dept. of Labor Occupational Outlook Handbook: Industrial Engineers

Industrial Engineering at Walt Disney World


[1] “What Industrial & systems engineers Do.” [Online]. Available: https://www.iienet2.org/details.aspx?id=716. [Accessed: 23-Aug-2016].

[2] “What Do Industrial Engineers Do?” [Online]. Available: http://mime.oregonstate.edu/what-do-industrial-engineers-do. [Accessed: 23-Aug-2016].