Industrial engineering is a branch of engineering dealing with the optimization of complex processes or systems. Top Industrial Engineering schools are concerned with teaching the development, improvement, implementation and evaluation of integrated systems of people, money, knowledge, information, equipment, energy, materials, analysis and synthesis, as well as the mathematical, physical and social sciences together with the principles and methods of engineering design to specify, predict, and evaluate the results to be obtained from such systems or processes.
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Industrial engineering is about choices. Other engineering disciplines apply skills to very specific areas. IE gives practitioners the opportunity to work in a variety of businesses.
Many practitioners say that an industrial engineering education offers the best of both worlds: an education in both engineering and business.
The most distinctive aspect of industrial 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 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. 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 IEs employed in entertainment industries, shipping and logistics businesses, and health care organizations.
source: Institute of Industrial Engineers:http://www.iienet2.org/Details.aspx?id=716