Industrial and Systems Engineering

Overview

Balance, Sustainable Design.
A holistic approach to people, materials, and technology.
These are the ideals of the industrial engineer.

Industrial engineers take a systems approach to integrating people, materials, and technology in the work place. They deal with the creation of products, procedures, and processes that are compatible with both the people who use them while being cognizant of the impact on our environment. Industrial engineers can shape global companies. They answer big picture design and engineering questions, such as: Can we remanufacture last year’s hard drives and monitors rather than junk them? Can we develop an optimum routing structure for our shipments? What can we do to simultaneously increase efficiency and quality? How can we reduce waiting time on amusement park rides?

Industrial engineers have a systems world view. They focus their efforts on increasing the productivity and efficiency. These are distinctive attributes of industrial engineering, and are key to the description of the field by the Institute of Industrial and Systems Engineers, the world’s largest professional society dedicated solely to the support of the industrial engineering profession and individuals involved with improving quality and productivity. As described by the IIE, industrial engineering is about choices. “Other engineering disciplines apply skills to very specific areas. Industrial engineering 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.”

Industrial engineers perform a wide variety of jobs in every kind of business and industry. Among their responsibilities: evaluate workstation designs, monitor safety programs, perform product life studies, schedule operations, develop computer forecasting models, and manage logistics and supply chains, to name a few. RIT’s industrial and systems engineering department recognizes that future industrial engineers will be successful if they are proficient in problem solving and communication, while possessing a blend of skills in engineering and management. To prepare our industrial engineering students for success, we provide state-of-the-art labs and current software used in industry to provide students with the opportunity to use the same tools professionals use on the job.

 

Mission, Vision, and Values

Mission: The department will provide an 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.

Vision: The 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.

Values: We impart important values to our students at all levels of their study, ensuring we graduate industrial engineers who are well rounded and prepared to make meaningful contributions to their field.

  • 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 cooperative education, 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.

 

Accreditation

The BS degree in industrial engineering is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET, www.abet.org. For Enrollment and Graduation, Program Educational Objectives, and Student Outcomes, please visit the college’s Accreditation page.

300

Undergraduate Students

4

Undergraduate degree options in ergonomics and human factors, manufacturing, Lean Six Sigma, and supply chain management.

6

BS/MS options

Latest News

  • March 6, 2019

    Faculty member and student hold petri dish

    RIT faculty-researcher creates 3D-printed platforms to produce bone and tissue replacements

    Iris Rivero, an engineering professor at RIT, has found that compatible combinations of polymers and biomaterials can be successfully used to fabricate “scaffolds,” 3D-printed structures that signal the body to begin its own tissue regrowth. This research moves a step closer to the possibility of “smart,” 3D-printed bone, skin and cartilage tissue replacement.

  • August 7, 2018

    A 3D printer at work, printing 10 blue, flat, circular objects.

    RIT students learn value of entrepreneurship

    Saunders Summer Startup Program encourages multidisciplinary student teams to jumpstart their ventures in hopes of kick starting real companies. It culminates with Investor Demo Night on Wednesday.
  • August 6, 2018

    A headshot of Iris Rivero.

    Iris Rivero named department head in KGCOE

    Iris Rivero, a faculty-researcher at Iowa State University and expert in additive and hybrid manufacturing, was recently named department head of industrial and systems engineering at RIT.

Advisory Board

The Industrial and Systems Engineering Advisory Board is comprised of successful engineers who work at various businesses throughout the United States. Together they review the industrial engineering curriculum at all levels to ensure that our programs remain up-to-date and respond to industry changes. The committee has annual meetings at the end of the academic year. Learn more about the professionals that comprise our advisory board.

Research

Advanced Manufacturing

Cooper Ink Adhesion Solutions – The successful application of conductive inks for printed electronics demands that metal nano-particle inks be printed on flexible substrates like polyethylene terphthalate (PET), polyimide (Kapton), and the like. The adoption by customers of these inks depends on the ability to print the inks onto the substrates, to cure (sinter) them without damaging the substrates and to produce printed tracks which have the requisite physical properties. Key among these properties is adhesion to the substrate. The present proposal addresses adhesion problems by mating a unique non-contact deposition technology which is tolerant of viscous fluids with a study of various substrates and adhesion promoting materials.

The deposition technology is the Optomec Aerosol Jet. It uses focused gas streams to entrain fluids and print through a nozzle. Unlike inkjet, this technique can be used for very viscous fluids, and unlike screen printing, it is a non-contact method. It is capable of printing very fine lines. We desire to print Intrinsiq prototype inks of various formulae onto a variety of flexible supports which may be acquired from vendors either in a treated or untreated form. We will sinter printed patterns by photonic curing and measure their adhesion to substrates by tape testing or more sophisticated means. It is anticipated that the best adhesion will require adhesion promoting materials which can either be added to the ink or pre-printed onto the substrate in an image-wise way using the Aerosol Jet. We will screen as large a sampling of these adhesion-promoting materials as possible and envision including materials like polyethylene imine, metal oxides, and phosphonic acid derivatives. Successful conclusion of the study enables a key customer attribute and helps drive customer acceptance of Intrinsiq conductive inks.

Evaluation of ink based printed electronic circuit components – This is an exploratory project to assess the suitability of different ink-substrate combinations for direct-write electronics. The inks will be deposited using direct-write processes, and they will then be photonically cured. Standard assessment techniques will be used to determine properties such as adhesion, conductivity, stiffness, etc., for each ink-substrate combination.

Low temperature photonic curing for ceramic coated heat exchangers – An innovative high power ultraviolet (UV) photonic sintering process is proposed for low temperature sintering of ceramic materials on metallic substrates. New high power ultraviolet (UV) flash lamps developed and integrated with a system that permits complex pulse forms in which pulse energy, duration, and frequency are controlled. By delivering a series of high energy flashes having durations as short as 30 microseconds, energy densities in excess of 100 kW/cm^2 can be produced with minimal heating of the underlying substrate. This technique has been used to sinter high temperature metals printed on polymer and paper without damage to the substrates. The innovation of new UV flash lamps will allow sintering of ceramic materials such as yttria-stabilized zirconia (YSZ) that have low absorption at longer wavelengths put out by currently available flash lamps. For demonstration of technical feasibility, the UV photonic sintering process will be applied to functionally graded coatings deposited via direct-write printing. Coatings consisting of a gradual transition from 316 stainless steel to ceramic YSZ will be printed on 316 SS substrates. The new UV photonic sintering process will then be applied. Coating quality will be characterized in terms of density, strain, and grain size reduction.

Partnerships for Innovation in printed devices and materials – This Partnerships for Innovation (PFI) proposal seeks to build innovation capacity pertaining to printed devices and materials (e.g., sensors, actuators, displays). The successful synthesis of devices for novel applications must consider interplay between the printing technologies used, the nano-ink materials, and low temperature curing/sintering technologies. These interactions are not trivial where multiple materials are involved. Issues such as adhesion, thermal expansion, galvanic reactions, and damage to low temperature materials during sintering of high temperature materials (to name a few) must be considered in the design of printed devices. Accordingly, this proposal involves a partnership between RIT researchers and three small business knowledge enhancement partners: Intrinsiq Materials (nano-inks), Optomec (printing technology), and NovaCentrix (sintering). Ink chemistries that are well suited for Aerosol Jet printing and subsequent photonic sintering will be developed. Furthermore, libraries of printed material compatibilities will be developed to enable the design of printed microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) devices. Lastly, novel multi-material printing techniques will be developed to enable synthesis of new organic photovoltaic (OPV) devices.

Engineering Education 

Relevant Education in Math and Science – The purpose of RIT’s Relevant Education in Math and Science Program is to use real-world problems to make math and science fun and meaningful for students in grades 5 through 12, including a significant number of girls and underserved students in urban public schools. The REMS Program grew out of a collaborative effort between two programs in Kate Gleason College of Engineering, the Toyota Production Systems Lab, and the Women in Engineering (WE@RIT) Program. Made possible through Toyota USA Foundation funding, the REMS Program serves public schools in the greater Rochester, NY, area, as well as a national audience of teachers and students through the creation of online learning modules. The REMS Program will develop learning modules based on concepts explored within the Toyota Production Systems Lab to promote math and science learning in grades 5 through 12. The resulting learning modules will be integrated within current WE@RIT outreach activities, refined through extensive beta testing, and disseminated as online learning modules to a national audience of teachers and students. During the development process, the REMS Program will engage secondary education teachers, engineering students, more than 1,500 students in grades 5 through 12 (including on-site participants and online module beta testers), and thousands more students via the online modules. The REMS Program has three goals: create effective math and science curriculum for grades 5 through 12 with a hands-on engineering focus, increase the number of math and science teachers in grades 5 through 12 who are using age-appropriate teaching modules linking math and science to real-world engineering challenges, and increase the number of students who have access to fun, age-appropriate hands-on activities that link math and science to real world problems.

Sustainable Engineering

Development of an Improved Arborloo to Promote Sanitation in Rural Environments – Every 20 seconds a child dies from a preventable illness caused by unsafe drinking water, poor hygiene and inadequate sanitation. Although the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) for water access have been met ahead of schedule, the world is not on track to meet goals for access to sanitation by 2015. Nearly half of the people living in developing regions still lack improved sanitation. Poor countries with large rural populations offer even less access to sanitation. For instance, in Haiti, sanitation coverage actually declined between 1990 and 2010 (from 24% to 17%) and only 10% of rural Haitians currently have any form of improved sanitation [4]. The goal of this project is to design, develop and evaluate a simple, inexpensive, and effective toilet that can be easily erected in remote locations and installed using local labor with few or no tools. The design must be capable of withstanding local climate extremes (strong winds and rains) without permanent damage while providing the user privacy and protection from the elements. Most importantly, the final design will be an affordable, marketable product intended to increase the comfort, convenience, and social status of its owner rather than a do-it-yourself project. The new toilet designs should help accelerate the toilet dissemination process using marketing strategies. Because the designs will be fabricated using as much local labor and materials as possible, their manufacture, marketing, sales, installation and maintenance may provide an entrepreneurial opportunity within the community.

Health Care Delivery Systems

Reducing a Wasteful Shuffle of Patients: An Optimization-Based Experiment to Mitigate the Effects of Controlling Hospital Acquired Infections in Bed Assignment Practices – We propose analyzing the effects that controlling hospital acquired infections has on the bed assignment practices of multiple hospital units in the Newark-Wayne Community Hospital in Newark, NY. We aim to adapt and evaluate the results of a seminal research previously performed by the PI and Co-PI on integrating HAS control and bed assignment in a pulmonary acute care unit of a large hospital in Rochester, NY. This project aims to understand if minimizing the impact of internal movements in bed assignment decisions is more effective when units coordinate their decisions or if the units act independently.

Optimization Based Dynamic Schedule of Training Rotation

This proposal requests funding to support an analytical study that aims to develop a computer program to facilitate the scheduling of clinical rotations for resident physicians during the course of their three year training program. The residency program at RGH will serve as a “laboratory” to develop a program that can be used by any residency program. We anticipate publication of the results of the study. Every year, Rochester General Hospital (RGH), like all sponsors of internal medicine residency programs, must determine how to schedule the rotation of its resident physicians across multiple clinical units. Developing this schedule is a complex task because training planners must ensure that: over three years, each resident rotates through all required training units; each resident spends time in each rotational unit between the minimum and maximum times required by the unit; at any given point in time, the number of resident doctors in each unit must satisfy its staffing needs and it must not exceed the maximum number of residents that the unit can handle; residents have two two-week periods of vacation per year, according to their preferences, and legal requirements; residents complete the required number of outpatient clinic assignments, minimizing absences mandated by night and ICU rotations and maximizing continuity with a specific panel of patients and preceptors; there is a minimum number of residents of years 1, 2, and 3 in each rotational unit to facilitate the instructional program; match clinical rotations with the skill levels acquired during the course of residency; the program is in compliance with regulations regarding work hours. Additionally, the rotational plan must ensure that the rotation of residents ensures continuity of care for an uncertain demand of patients. RGH currently develops their rotational schedule through a manually intensive process that requires significant administrative time from physicians and which does not ensure that the resulting schedules are the most beneficial to the hospital or to the residents. Furthermore, with the current scheduling process, the hospital is unable to evaluate how resident rotation can affect clinical care and quality of learning.

Degree Programs

Undergraduate Degrees

The industrial and systems engineering department offers an undergraduate degree in industrial engineering that stresses both technical engineering knowledge, business acumen, and communication skills. Graduates have used their degrees as a springboard to launch careers in engineering, management, consulting, manufacturing, sales, health care, law, and education.

Optimize, design, and manage the operational and manufacturing processes by which goods are made and distributed.

Learn More about Industrial Engineering BS 

Graduate Degrees

The industrial and systems engineering department offers graduate degrees that provide in-depth exploration of industrial and systems engineering and related fields such as manufacturing and sustainable engineering.

The engineering management curriculum is a combination of engineering courses from the industrial and systems engineering program and management courses from Saunders College of Business. The program combines technical expertise with managerial skills to focus on the management of engineering and technological enterprises. Students understand the technology involved in engineering projects and the management process through which the technology is applied. The objective is to provide a solid foundation in the areas commonly needed by managers who oversee engineers and engineering projects. In addition to industrial engineering expertise, students gain valuable knowledge in areas such as organizational behavior, finance, and accounting.

Learn More about Engineering Management ME 

The master of engineering in industrial and systems engineering focuses on the design, improvement, and installation of integrated systems of people, materials, information, equipment, and energy. The program emphasizes specialized knowledge and skills in the mathematical, physical, computer, and social sciences together with the principles and methods of engineering analysis and design. The overarching goal of industrial and systems engineering is the optimization of the system, regardless of whether the activity engaged in is a manufacturing, distribution, or a service-related capacity. Students graduate with a variety of skills in the areas of applied statistics/quality, ergonomics/human factors, operations research/simulation, manufacturing, and systems engineering.

Learn More about Industrial and Systems Engineering ME 

Focused on the design, improvement, and installation of integrated systems of people, materials, information, equipment, and energy, this master of science in industrial and systems engineering allows you to customize your course work while working closely with industrial and systems engineering faculty in a contemporary, applied research area. You will graduate with a variety of skills in the areas of contemporary manufacturing processes, product development, ergonomic analysis, logistics and supply chain management, and sustainable design and development.

Learn More about Industrial and Systems Engineering MS 

Sustainable engineering refers to the integration of social, environmental, and economic considerations into product, process, and energy system design methods. Additionally, sustainable engineering encourages the consideration of the complete product and process lifecycle during the design effort. The intent is to minimize environmental impacts across the entire lifecycle while simultaneously maximizing the benefits to social and economic stakeholders. The master of engineering in sustainable engineering is multidisciplinary and managed by the industrial and systems engineering department.

Learn More about Sustainable Engineering ME 

Sustainable engineering refers to the integration of social, environmental, and economic considerations into product, process, and energy system design methods. Additionally, sustainable engineering encourages the consideration of the complete product and process lifecycle during the design effort. The intent is to minimize environmental impacts across the entire lifecycle while simultaneously maximizing the benefits to social and economic stakeholders. 

Learn More about Sustainable Engineering MS 

Minors and Immersions

The minor in engineering management integrates technological and managerial expertise while focusing on the management of these areas. Engineering management is concerned with understanding the technology involved in an engineering project and the management process through which the technology is applied.

Learn More about Engineering Management Minor 

A minor in industrial engineering focuses on the design, improvement, and installation of integrated systems of people, materials, equipment, and energy. Students utilize skills in statistics, ergonomics, operations research, and manufacturing.

Learn More about Industrial Engineering Minor 

This multidisciplinary minor is for students interested in exploring issues associated with developing and delivering sustainable product systems. Courses enhance the understanding of the three dimensions of sustainability (economic, ethical, and environmental), develop awareness of the need for more sustainable approaches to product development, and explore strategies for developing and delivering sustainable product systems.

Learn More about Sustainable Product Development Minor 

Student Organizations

Engineers for a Sustainable World
Engineers for a Sustainable World is a non-profit network of students, university faculty, and professionals with the common goal of achieving a more sustainable world for current and future generations.

Institute of Industrial Engineers – Student Chapter
The Institute of Industrial Engineers is an international society for professionals and academics to further the industrial engineering profession. The RIT student chapter hosts numerous events each year, including tours of local businesses, panel discussions featuring program alumni working in area businesses, and networking opportunities with engineers through the local professional chapter.

Tau Beta Pi – Engineering Honor Society
This national engineering honor society was founded to honor students with distinguished scholarship and exemplary character as undergraduates in the field of engineering, or by their attainments as alumni in the field of engineering, and to foster a spirit of liberal culture in the engineering college. Election to Tau Beta Pi is one of the highest honors that can come to an engineering student from his or her peers. 

Industrial and Systems Engineering Academy

The Industrial and Systems Engineering Academy was established to recognize individuals who have made an impact on the field of industrial engineering and who have contributed to the success of the department and its students. Read more about our inductees and the criteria for induction.

Student Resources

The industrial and systems engineering department offers a variety of resources for our students that range from academic support to handbooks and more. Visit our Student Resources for more information.