What is Industrial Engineering?


Industrial engineering is known by a myriad of names such as operations management, management science, operations research, systems engineering etc and can be defined as the field of engineering that deals with optimizing complex processes or systems. It tackles the development, implementation, improvement and evaluation of any complex system that is concerned with money, information, people, energy, equipment or health. So, in short, you could say that it is the application of knowledge to design complex systems and to predict the results of such systems.

Industrial Engineering Sub Disciplines

Industrial engineering has been divided into a number of sub-disciplines which are as follows;

  • Operations research and optimization techniques
  • Engineering economics
  • Supply chain management and logistics
  • Systems simulation and stochastic processes
  • System dynamics and policy planning
  • System analysis and techniques
  • Manufacturing systems/manufacturing engineering
  • Human factors engineering and ergonomics (safety engineering)
  • Production planning and control
  • Management sciences
  • Computer-aided manufacturing

Top Industrial Engineering Universities

The top three ranked universities when it comes to Industrial Engineering are as follows;

  1. Georgia Institute of Technology
  2. University of Michigan
  3. Northwestern University

Industrial Engineering Associations

There are a myriad of associations pertaining to Industrial engineering but we shall list only three;

  • IIE
  • ASQ
  • ASEM

Being an Industrial Engineer

Being an industrial engineer will require you to understand complex systems. You’ll need a firm grip on science, mathematics and engineering methods since you’ll be applying them for the sake of system integration and operations. An industrial engineer works with a broad system that is complex in nature and therefore, skills and knowledge pertaining to a number of disciplines is necessary. You will have to work on your communication skills since you will be dealing with a lot of people while working in this field. In a nutshell; you will be analyzing, designing, planning and evaluating systems.

Industrial Engineer Salary

An Industrial Engineer’s average annual salary in USA is $81,000.

Top Industrial Engineering Companies

The top three companies pertaining to Industrial Engineering are;

  • Siemens
  • ABB
  • Kraft

Top Industrial Engineering Implementations

Check out the three top implementations (as per us) that are a result of Industrial Engineering.

  1. Tesla Motors factory
  2. Amazon Warehousing
  3. Foxconn Production Centers