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Industrial and Systems Engineering Research

Princeton University_081921A
[Princeton University]


- Industrial Engineering

Industrial engineering involves solving problems arising in systems management through the application of engineering science, product and process design, job analysis, human factors principles, and operations research principles.

Industrial engineering is a branch of engineering management concerned with how to make or do things better, crossing a range of disciplines associated with manufacturing industrial or consumer products. This may involve increasing efficiency, reducing production costs, improving quality control, ensuring the health and safety of employees, protecting the environment or complying with government regulations. 

Industrial Engineers apply scientific, mathematical, and engineering methods to complex systems integration and operations. Because these systems are so large and complex, Industrial engineers require knowledge and skills across a broad range of disciplines, the ability to work well with people, and a broad systems perspective. 

Industrial engineers use their knowledge and skills to improve system processes through the use of statistical analysis, interpersonal communication, design, planning, quality control, operations management, computer simulation, and problem solving.  

Please refer to CRC Press: Mathematics and Industrial Engineering for reference.


- Systems Engineering

Systems engineering is defined as a methodical, multi-disciplinary approach for the design, realization, technical management, operations, and retirement of a system. 

A “system” is the combination of elements that function together to produce the capability required to meet a need. The elements include all hardware, software, equipment, facilities, personnel, processes, and procedures needed for this purpose; that is, all things required to produce system-level results.

The results include system-level qualities, properties, characteristics, functions, behavior, and performance. The value added by the system as a whole, beyond that contributed independently by the parts, is primarily created by the relationship among the parts; that is, how they are interconnected. 

It is a way of looking at the “big picture” when making technical decisions. It is a way of achieving stakeholder functional, physical, and operational performance requirements in the intended use environment over the planned life of the system within cost, schedule, and other constraints. It is a methodology that supports the containment of the life cycle cost of a system. In other words, systems engineering is a logical way of thinking.


- Industrial Engineering vs. Systems Engineering

Industrial and systems engineering involves the design, improvement, and installation of integrated systems of people, materials, information, equipment, and energy. 

Systems engineers design and optimize complex systems. They work with many other technical professionals, including software engineers, hardware engineers, and programmers. 

Industrial engineers manage and improve manufacturing processes and service operations. Industrial engineers are primarily concerned with finding ways to better utilize machines, employees, and other assets that impact operations.


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