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Industrial engineering (IE) is about choices. Other engineering disciplines apply skills to very specific areas. IE gives you the opportunity to work in a variety of businesses.


As described by the Institute of Industrial Engineers (IIE):

"Industrial engineering (IE) is about choices. Other engineering disciplines apply skills to very specific areas. IE gives you the opportunity to work in a variety of businesses. The most distinctive aspect of industrial engineering is the flexibility that it offers. Whether it’s shortening a rollercoaster line, streamlining an operating room, distributing products worldwide, or manufacturing superior automobiles, all 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 engineers are the only engineering professionals trained as productivity and quality improvement specialists.

Industrial engineers figure out how to do things better. They engineer processes and systems that improve quality and productivity. They work to eliminate waste of time, money, materials, energy, and other commodities. Most important of all, IEs save companies money. This is why more and more companies are hiring industrial engineers and then promoting them into management positions.

“‘Industrial engineer’ is synonymous with systems integrator - a big-picture thinker, in other words. It's an employee who takes what exists today and conceptualizes what should exist in the future. A lot of engineers become disillusioned with the engineering profession because they get involved in minutiae or they end up on a CAD machine all the time, and they never get out in the factory environment or the operating environment. That's not what happens to an industrial engineer. IEs spend most of their time out in the real operating environment, coming up with scientific approaches to problems rather than seat-of-the-pants, temporary solutions,” says John Samuels, vice president of Norfolk Southern.

Many people are misled by the term “industrial engineer.” The 'industrial” does not mean just manufacturing. It encompasses service industries as well. It has long been known that industrial engineers have the technical training to make improvements in a manufacturing setting. Now it is becoming increasingly recognized that these same techniques can be used to evaluate and improve productivity and quality in service industries.

“Anybody who needs surgery studies, assessments, redesign in the surgery department … we do it,” explains Tryna Knox, director of surgery performance for VHA. 'Onsite hospital visits, which include observations and interviews to understand the flow of patients through operating rooms are conducted to help surgeons and anesthetists understand their own efficiency levels.” Knox credits her industrial engineering education for much of her current success. 'I think the whole systems focus in IE is very important,' she says."

To learn more about the skills required to be an industrial engineer; what IEs do and where they work; how IEs benefit society and business; and more, visit the About Industrial Engineering from the IIE website.

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Vision, Mission & Values

The RIT ISE Department is globally recognized for graduates who are highly sought after due to their ability to solve problems and transform organizations.

The Industrial and Systems Engineering (ISE) Mission and Vision are intended to align with the overall mission of the Kate Gleason College of Engineering (KGCOE) at Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT).


Provide ISE education that integrates experiential learning and applied research, with a student centered approach, resulting in graduates who make immediate and long-lasting contributions in manufacturing, service, government, and academia.


The RIT ISE Department is globally recognized for graduates who are highly sought after due to their ability to solve problems and transform organizations.  Our graduates, along with research performed by our students and faculty, positively impact the quality and competitiveness of manufacturing and logistics, the efficacy of health care, and the integration of sustainable practices into many settings.


In addition to the overarching values of KGCOE and RIT, ISE is founded on the following values:

Student Centered:  Our department makes decisions and behaves in a manner that demonstrates the primary importance of our students’ needs and interests.

Community:  Our department is a close-knit community characterized by respect for our differences, inclusion of a diverse set of ideas and people, and friendly collaboration among the faculty, staff, and students.

Teaching Excellence:  We demonstrate continuous excellence and innovation in how we deliver classes to our students, and the support we provide our students outside of class.

Experiential Learning: We provide experiential learning throughout our undergraduate and graduate curricula via co-op, relevant projects, and practical experiences in our state-of-the-art labs.

Practical Research:  Our innovative research makes an impact on the outside world, both directly through its application, and for our students via project opportunities and incorporation into our courses.

Innovation:  Our teaching and research are characterized by new ideas and approaches, as well as a willingness to take risks.

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Advisory Board

The ISE Advisory Board

James Bagg
Boulevard Consulting Group

Scott Campbell
Raymond Corporation

Joshua Dennie
Optimax Systems

Thomas Jefferson
Intel Corporation

James S. Johnson
Insyte Consulting

Wendi Latko, Ph.D.
Xerox Corporation

Mike Least
Wegmans Food Markets

Catherine Lloyd
Harris Corporation

Steve Matteson
Simpler - Healthcare

Jason Smith
Walt Disney World Corporation

Kanika Wright
Carestream Health

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The BS program in industrial engineering is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET,


The BS program in industrial engineering is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET,

Annual program enrollment and degrees awarded information can be found here.  (opens as a PDF).

BS Industrial Engineering

Given that the undergraduate IE program falls under the purview of ABET, the assessment process is tightly linked to the ABET criteria.  During AY2007-08, the ISE department focused on redefining the program educational objectives and student outcomes for the undergraduate program.  These objectives and outcomes were developed based on input from key constituents, including the advisory board members, alumni, employers, and ISE faculty.  The objectives are reviewed by the faculty and advisory board every three years.  The student outcomes are also reviewed every three years, and revised if necessary to ensure achievement of the program objectives.

IE Program Educational Objectives: 

Broad statements that describe the career and professional accomplishments that the program is preparing graduates to achieve.

U.1.  “Systems Integrators” – Produce graduates who will draw upon broad knowledge to develop integrated systems-based engineering solutions that include the consideration of realistic constraints within contemporary global, societal, and organizational contexts.

U.2.   “Life-Long Learners” – Produce graduates who will develop engineering solutions using the skills and knowledge acquired through formal education and training, independent inquiry, and professional development. 

U.3.  “Graduate Education” – Produce some graduates who will successfully pursue graduate degrees. 

U.4.  “Engineering Professionals” – Produce graduates who will work independently as well as collaboratively with others, and demonstrate leadership, accountability, initiative, and ethical and social responsibility.

IE Student Outcomes

What students are expected to know and be able to do by the time of graduation. These relate to the skills, knowledge, and behaviors that students acquire in their matriculation through the program.

U.a. “Engineering Foundations” - an ability to apply knowledge of mathematics, science, and engineering 
U.b. “Experimentation” - an ability to design and conduct experiments, as well as to analyze and interpret data 
U.c. “Design” - an ability to design a system, component, or process to meet desired needs within realistic constraints such as economic, environmental, social, political, ethical, health and safety, manufacturability, and sustainability 
U.d. “Multidisciplinary Teamwork” - an ability to function on multidisciplinary teams 
U.e. “Problem Solving” - an ability to identify, formulate, and solve engineering problems 
U.f. “Professional Responsibility” - an understanding of professional and ethical responsibility 
U.g. “Communication” - an ability to communicate effectively 
U.h. “Broad Education” - the broad education necessary to understand the impact of engineering solutions in a global, economic, environmental, and societal context 
U.i. “Life-Long Learning” - a recognition of the need for, and an ability to engage in life-long learning 
U.j. “Contemporary Issues” - a knowledge of contemporary issues 
U.k. “Modern Tools” - an ability to use the techniques, skills, and modern engineering tools necessary for engineering practice


Assessment and Evaluation of Objectives and Outcomes

The ISE department has continued to assess and evaluate the IE program with respect to the IE undergraduate program objectives and outcomes.  While a majority of the assessment instruments have been in place for several years, the assessment instruments were reviewed and adapted in the summer of 2008, so they are tightly linked to the current objectives and outcomes that were revised in AY 2007-08. 

All quantitative data is collected on an on-going basis and evaluated every other year.  Any data that falls below the desired evaluation metric, triggers continuous improvement actions (unless otherwise noted, all survey data use a 5-pt. scale).  All qualitative data is summarized annually and evaluated every other year.  Actions are acted upon when deemed appropriate by the faculty.

MS Industrial & Systems Engineering          
MEng. Industrial & Systems Engineering    
MEng. Engineering Management 
MS Sustainable Engineering
MEng. Sustainable Engineering

There are several graduate programs within the ISE Department that share similar coursework, are administered collectively, and utilize the same assessment and evaluation plan. 

In Fall of AY2008-09, the ISE department redefined the graduate program objectives.  These objectives were developed based on input from key constituents, including the ISE faculty, students, employers, and advisory board members.  The graduate programs are not accredited by ABET and thus do not need to be tightly linked to the ABET criteria. Since the graduate program objectives were refined in Fall of AY2008-09, the assessment instruments have been reviewed and adapted, so they are linked to the newly refined program objectives.

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ISE Academy

Recognized for their dedication, leadership and support


2016 Steve Matteson

2015 Robert J. Brinkman

2014 Gary Christie

2014 Robert Hochstetler

2013 Dan G. Ritter

2013 Dr. Sudhakar Paidy

2012 Dr. Johann "Hans" Demmel

2012 William C. Hard

2011 Dr. Jasper Shealy

2010 Dr. N. Richard Reeve

Guidelines for the ISE Academy


Individuals who have made a significant impact on the field of Industrial and Systems Engineering and have contributed to the success of RIT’s Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering and its graduates are eligible.

Preference should be given to individuals who have not played an active role in the daily affairs of the department for the last three years.


To be included in the academy an individual must first be nominated.

Nominations will be accepted from anyone, a request for nominations will only be sent to those who have a direct tie to the department: faculty (including emeritus), staff, alumni, advisory board, etc.

The ISE Academy committee will review the nominations received to determine those that meet the eligibility criteria.After doing so, a ballot will be distributed to current faculty and staff, faculty emeritus and members of the academy to allow them to vote for the nominee(s) they feel best meet the eligibility criteria.

The ISE Academy committee will determine the inductees (at most three each year) based on both voting results and their discretion.

ISE Academy Committee:

An ISE Academy committee will be formed, with 3-year staggered terms, to guide the process of selecting new members of the academy.

The committee will consist of at least three faculty and one staff member.

The chair of the ISE Academy committee, elected by the committee, will be responsible for execution of the process, including the call for nominations, distribution of ballots, etc.

New Inductees:

Individuals who have been selected to join the academy will be inducted


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Facts & FIgures

The department serves approximately 200 undergraduate students, over five years. 

The department serves approximately 300 undergraduate students, over five years. There are also approximately 80 graduate students. This sizing allows for a rich learning environment that includes a significant amount of hands-on laboratory experience integrated with instruction and close student-faculty interaction.

The program is designed so that students are prepared for immediate entry into the workplace or graduate study. The program integrates academic terms with paid, cooperative education (co-op) terms over a five-year period to provide invaluable experience and enhance student learning. Co-op salaries average $17/hour, ranging from approximately $10/hour to over $36/hour as students gain more experience. Our students are highly sought after in today's competitive marketplace, and are earning salaries well above the national average. More than 1,300 companies come to RIT to recruit our graduates.

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Careers and Co-op

Industrial engineering is a dynamic field that allows professionals to work in almost any industry, including manufacturing, service, distribution, healthcare, banking, and entertainment.

Industrial engineering is a dynamic field that allows professionals to work in almost any industry, including manufacturing, service, distribution, healthcare, banking, and entertainment.

Some of the activities performed by industrial engineers include work measurement, operations research, applied statistics, human factors, plant layout, materials handling and design, production planning and control, manufacturing, management information systems, management consulting, logistics/distribution planning and design, and technical sales. Balance, rather than specialization, has allowed our graduates to pursue varied paths. A few examples of industrial engineering positions, that show the diversity of opportunities, are listed below:

Potential Co-op Employers

In manufacturing industries:

  • perform product life studies
  • lay out new or improve existing work areas
  • design and implement an information system
  • optimize production processes in a semi-conductor manufacturing plant
  • investigate and analyze the costs of purchasing new vs. repairing existing equipment
  • investigate waiting times in connection with a product line
  • investigate delivery of materials, including scheduling, route modification and material handling
  • assist in setting up a production control monitoring board
  • create computer programs for product pricing policies
  • perform downtime studies of various operations using time study and work sampling
  • develop and computerize a forecasting model
  • perform ergonomic studies and evaluations of workstations and product designs
  • participate in design process of new products and processes to ensure ease of manufacture
  • supervise daily operations of a manufacturing line

In service industries:

  • evaluate the ergonomics of workstation designs
  • design information systems
  • monitor safety and health programs
  • manage hazardous and toxic materials storage and disposal programs
  • do cost analyses of distribution procedures
  • schedule operations, information flow
  • design supply-ordering systems
  • manage operations services at hospitals
  • evaluate waiting time and space utilization in amusement parks




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Contact Us

The Industrial and Systems Engineering Department is located on the 1st Floor of the James E. Gleason Building.

The Industrial and Systems Engineering Department is located on the 1st Floor of the James E. Gleason Building.

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Mailing Address:

Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering
Kate Gleason College of Engineering
Rochester Institute of Technology
James E. Gleason Building
81 Lomb Memorial Drive
Rochester, NY 14623-5603


585-475-2598 (V)





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One Lomb Memorial Drive,
Rochester, NY 14623-5603
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