Industrial engineering is a broad-based and versatile discipline that involves the design, analysis, and improvement of systems and processes. Students build a foundation of science, mathematics, economics, and engineering principles that prepares them to take a systems point of view in solving a wide variety of problems. Industrial engineers are involved in the design, development, and improvement of systems and processes such as manufacturing, inventory control, quality control, facilities planning, and logistics. Industrial engineers also apply their skills and knowledge in fields such as health care, retail, utilities, information systems, financial, and other service industries. Industrial engineers continuously interact with people at all levels from process operators to senior management and so need to have excellent communication skills.
At Penn State Behrend, students learn to apply mathematical and engineering principles to develop systems and processes that are safe, reliable, efficient, and cost-effective in manufacturing products and delivering services. Studies include calculus, science, probability and statistics, engineering economics, product and manufacturing system design, information technology, ergonomics, and optimization. In their senior year, students work in small teams along with faculty advisors to complete capstone design projects. Most projects are sponsored by industry partners, giving students the opportunity to work on industry projects while completing their education.