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What is ISE?

Making the making of goods and services better.

Industrial and systems engineering is concerned with the design of production systems. In "formal" language, the industrial engineer (IE) analyzes and specifies integrated components of people, machines and facilities to create efficient and effective systems that produce goods and services beneficial to mankind.

In simple terms, industrial engineers figure out how to do things better.

They focus on the "how": how a product is made, how a service is delivered. And they concentrate on systems design, rather than the design of one element or part of a process, looking for ways to improve productivity and quality.

Industrial and systems engineering can be broken down into four rough categories.

First is operations research, which provides methods for the general analysis and design of systems. Operations research includes optimization, decision analysis, stochastic processes and simulation.

Second is production, which generally includes topics such as economic analysis, production planning and control, quality control, facilities design, and other aspects of world-class manufacturing.

Third is manufacturing processes and systems. Manufacturing process deals directly with materials forming, cutting, shaping, planning, etc., and manufacturing systems is concerned with the integration of manufacturing process, usually through computer control and communications.

Fourth is ergonomics - the human equation. Physical ergonomics view the human as a biomechanical device while informational ergonomics examines the cognitive aspects of humans.