EARLY ORIGINS OF INDUSTRIAL ENGINEERING
Before entering into the history of the profession, it is important to note that the birth and evolution of industrial engineering are analogous to those of its engineering predecessors. Even though there are centuries old examples of early engineering practice and accomplishments, such as the Pyramids, the Great Wall of China, and the Roman construction projects, it was not until the eighteenth century that the first engineering schools appeared in France. The need for greater efficiency in the design and analysis of bridges, roads, and buildings resulted in principles of early engineering concerned primarily with these topics being taught first in military academies (military engineering). The application of these principles to non-military or civilian endeavors led to the term civil engineering. Interrelated advancements in the fields of physics and mathematics laid the groundwork for the development and application of mechanical principles. The need for improvements in the design and analysis of materials and devices such as pumps and engines resulted in the emergence of mechanical engineering as a distinct field in the early nineteenth century. Similar circumstances, albeit for different technologies, can be ascribed to the emergence and development of electrical engineering and chemical engineering. As has been the case with all these fields, industrial engineering developed initially from empirical evidence and understanding and then from research to develop a more scientific base.