industrial engineering

involves the development and improvement of systems of all types: manufacturing, commerce, logistics, health services, government, education, etc.


Background Information

Engineering: the application of science and mathematics to practical problems.

Industrial Engineering: the development and improvement of systems of all types.

There is a gap in the education of industrial engineers, which exists at the Associate of Applied Science degree level. The four-year, master, and doctoral programs are fulfilling the needs for top-level and managerial-type engineers while at the lower, practical level, the industrial engineering programs are languishing and are, in fact, decaying. There is still and will continue to be a demand for the plant-level, practical industrial engineering skills.

The curriculum proposed here is an attempt to illuminate the need and provide a large part of the solution.

Associate Degree: a two-year degree, usually offered by a two-year technical college or community college, but occasionally offered as an adjunct to a four-year, baccalaureate degree. Historically, the associate degree has been intended to provide terminal education.

Terminal education: an education which includes complete theoretical and practical preparation for a work position or paraprofessional job; i.e. no further education or training is required to successfully perform all duties of a given position. In most four-year colleges, the first two years of study includes the basic sciences, mathematics, communications, and other core courses which prepares the students to succeed in the junior- and senior-year courses.

Career(s): Most I.E. A.A.S. graduates end up on supervisory and management positions. This is characteristic of both the quality of personnel entering the program and of the program content. This is the conclusion of twenty-five years of managing an I.E. associate degree program. It is therefore worthwhile to emphasize continued education in management, after graduation.

Core course: A course of general education, mathematics, or science which prepares all students for any major in a particular college or department. In a technical discipline, e.g. civil, electrical, mechanical, industrial engineering at the associate degree level, the core courses would include algebra, physics, technical writing, written communication, speech, and introductory psychology.

Support course (a.k.a. technical support course): An intermediate course which provides supporting training or knowledge for an advanced course.    Examples would include: 

Trigonometry for the mechanical design and civil/structural technology students. Knowledge of trigonometry is necessary to succeed in Statics,  Design of Structures, and Machine Design courses.   Trigonometry would not be necessary for the industrial engineering students.

Statistics for the industrial engineering, industrial management, and logistics students. The mechanical design and civil/structural technology students would not need statistics as a requirement of a job nor as a support course.

These core courses are followed by and mixed with support courses which provide preparation for the advanced / professional preparation courses. A technical college or institute, offering an associate degree, provides the necessary science, mathematics, core-support courses, and general education as preparation for the core courses. The advanced courses are usually offered in the second and final year of study. However, selected advance courses have been offered in the first year and successfully due to the characteristics of the topics. As noted in the curriculum, a very limited command of mathematics is required to apply the great majority of industrial engineering disciplines.




Industrial Engineering Associate Degree Curriculum The New Model: the latest and most comprehensive curriculum for the two-year degree in industrial engineering (Technician): Explanations, Program layout, Course descriptions. 


Jan. '14