Industrial engineering is concerned with the design, analysis, control, and enhancement of complex processes and systems used in a wide range of applications. The discipline is central manufacturing operations, but also a vital function in other fields.
Industrial engineers combine physical and social sciences with engineering principals to design, implement, manage, and enhance complicated organizational processes and systems that comprise people, materials, information, equipment, energy, and other components. They may work in manufacturing, distribution, transportation, service, and more, with responsibilities ranging from designing unit operations to controlling complete production and service systems.
An industrial engineering degree is one of the most flexible offered by the College of Engineering. This flexibility allows students to tailor their program of study to meet individual career goals. Graduates are well-positioned to make a major impact across many types of industrial, governmental, and service organizations.
A Minor in Industrial Engineering is available to non-IE majors who have previously taken at least one course in each of the following preparatory areas: linear algebra, statistics, engineering economy and computer programming. Courses for the minor in IE may be taken 100% on-campus or a combination of on campus and Ecampus.
Sample courses and curriculum
- Introduction to Quantitative Analysis of Industrial and Manufacturing Systems
- Process Data Analysis
- Statistical Quality Control
- Work Systems Engineering
- Facility Design and Operations Management
Because the Manufacturing Engineering and Industrial Engineering programs are closely related, many students elect to earn a dual major or double degree in these two disciplines.
In addition to their core coursework, industrial engineering students have an additional 22–26 credits of restricted electives that can be used to either focus on a particular area of industrial engineering or broaden their knowledge in other fields.
Students who are interested in applying industrial engineering concepts in business environments should consider using their restricted elective credits to complete the IE Business Engineering option, which includes courses in engineering project management, management systems engineering and advanced manufacturing costing techniques as well as several College of Business courses (see below).
The IE Business Engineering option currently requires four additional credits above the University’s required 180 to graduate, and students must declare the option early in their professional program in order to allow for prerequisites and sequencing.
Adding a Business Minor
Students completing the IE Business Engineering option often add a Business Minor to their program, as there is some overlap between requirements for the Option, and minors offered by the College of Business. Review https://business.oregonstate.edu/programs/undergraduate/minors to understand more about possible Business minors. Please also meet with a MIME advisor to discuss how the minor might fit into your academic plans.
Students who complete the Healthcare Systems Engineering Option will be prepared to apply industrial engineering principles and methods in healthcare systems.
Students who complete the Industrial Automation Engineering Option will be prepared to apply engineering principles to the digital transformation of organizations and the automation of industrial and manufacturing systems.
“It is our responsibility as engineers to remove obstacles for people. Industrial engineering is all about identifying ways to make things more effective, efficient, and best utilize the resources that we have around us.” – Sneha Sinha, B.S. industrial engineering ’20. Read about Sneha’s experience at Oregon State.
Roundabout flight plan leads to commission as second lieutenant
In 2018, Ellie Parker (B.S. industrial engineering ’20) landed an internship at NASA Ames Research Center in Mountain View, California. A rising junior at the time, she worked in the aeromechanics branch, helping to test Ingenuity, the Mars helicopter, in the world’s largest wind tunnel.
Katie Merrill: Council of Early Career Engineers - 2021
Katie Merrill (B.S. industrial engineering ’15) is a senior strategy consultant at Boeing. At Oregon State University, Katie attended an on-campus career fair and met a Boeing manager, which brought her to an internship on the company’s 787 program. Her enthusiasm for aerospace and engineering blossomed as she supported the mechanics in the Everett factory. This work experience led to two additional internships at Boeing and, after graduating from Oregon State, she was admitted into the two-year Business Career Foundation Program with rotations across finance, operations and strategy in Seattle and Washington, D.C.
To be eligible to earn a minor in Industrial Engineering students must have previously taken at least one course in each of the following preparatory areas: linear algebra, calculus-based statistics, engineering economy and computer programming. Courses for the minor in may be taken on 100 percent on campus or a combination of on campus and online.
The Master of Engineering degree in Industrial Engineering (MEng IE) offers students the opportunity to pursue advanced study in the fields of industrial and/or manufacturing engineering without also having to complete a research thesis or project. This coursework-only degree is concerned with the practical application of specialized, graduate-level engineering knowledge.
The Master of Science in Industrial Engineering degree is a research degree which requires students to complete required and elective coursework as well as a capstone thesis or non-thesis project.
MSIE thesis students conduct original industrial or manufacturing engineering research or apply existing industrial or manufacturing engineering knowledge to a practical problem. The research topic must be approved by the student's graduate committee, and their work will be supervised and evaluated by their major professor. Eventually, the student will register their thesis title with the Graduate School and submit their thesis manuscript to the Graduate School for review and approval. In addition to completing and submitting a thesis, the student will prepare an article that is based on their research and co-authored with their major professor and any other significant contributors to their work. This article must be suitable for publication in a refereed journal or conference proceedings.
Project (non-thesis) option
With the MSIE project option, you MSIE thesis students will fulfill the Graduate School’s research-in-lieu-of-thesis requirement by completing a project in which they apply industrial or manufacturing engineering knowledge and methods to a practical problem. The project must be approved by the student's graduate committee, and their work will be supervised and evaluated by their major professor. As with the thesis option, the student will document their project with a final report, but the report will not be registered with or reviewed by the Graduate School.
Bracing for the Next Surge
Researchers at Oregon State University, with colleagues at North Carolina
State University, are working to better understand the decision-making processes of hospital systems before, during, and after the COVID-19 pandemic.
Engineering a culture of problem solving
Javier Calvo-Amodio, Sage Kittelman, and Siqi Wang examine how teams and their communications function as systems within large, complex organizations. They are working with Boeing to understand how those systems can be improved to make manufacturing more efficient.
Joshua Hille: Council of Early Career Engineers – 2021
Joshua Hille’s (M.S. industrial engineering ’16) interest in engineering started at an early age when he looked up to both his grandfather and uncle (both engineers) who always seemed to be able to fix anything or answer any question. Josh participated in the Multiple Engineering Co-Op Program (MECOP) during his undergraduate studies, which led to an Intel Fellowship that funded his Master’s degree at Oregon State University.
Parth Nilesh Khimsaria: Council of Outstanding Early Career Engineers – 2022
Parth Nilesh Khimsaria was born and raised in Vadodara, India. He came to the U.S. for his undergraduate education at Oregon State where he received bachelor degrees in industrial engineering and mechanical engineering in 2016, and a master’s of industrial engineering in 2022. Khimsaria is a supply chain business manager for Lam Research. He feels fortunate to have worked in various roles and projects in manufacturing and supply chain operations, which have helped him become a better problem-solver.