Industrial engineering is a very wide field that encompasses many skills that can be applied to many different industries. One of the best ways I ever read industrial engineering (IE) being described was that IE’s are “Into Everything.” Industrial engineering focuses on optimization and efficiency through different uses of probability and statistics, programming, traditional practices, and so much more. Here at Lehigh there are two tracks that you can center your coursework upon to better prepare yourself for life after school.
Industrial: In strictly industrial engineering, one would deal with plant processes and manufacturing related problems. To take this track, one needs to take MAT 033, which is a materials science class. This class is required to better understand the principles being applied to manufacturing certain products. Later courses could include facilities planning, manufacturing processes, and other classes that focus on optimizing processes within a physical plant or facility.
Systems: On the systems side of the major, one would deal with more computer programming and the behind the scenes factors that are within a company. This includes database design and analysis, financial optimization, data mining, and other courses that deal with using computer programs and applications to solve problems. I am in this track and am currently taking CSE 017, which deals with data structures and object-oriented programming.
Both of these focus areas deal with optimizing a specific process or function within the company, just through different mediums. Having both of these possibilities really gives students an opportunity to choose which skills they want to learn more about. Lehigh does an incredible job of laying out possible courses for its students in the ISE department, you just have to do some planning to make sure you are able to learn about the things you want!