ORIGINS OF INDUSTRIAL AND SYSTEMS ENGINEERING (Part one)
Industrial engineering thrives on systems perspectives just as systems thrive on Industrial Engineering approaches. One cannot treat topics of Industrial Engineering without recognizing systems perspectives and vice versa. A generic definition of Industrial Engineering, adopted by the Institute of Industrial Engineers (IIE) states:
“Industrial Engineer – One who is concerned with the design, installation, and improvement of integrated systems of people, materials, information, equipment, and energy by drawing upon specialized knowledge and skills in the mathematical, physical, and social sciences, together with the principles and methods of engineering analysis and design to specify, predict, and evaluate the results to be obtained from such systems”.
The above definition embodies the various aspects of what an industrial engineer does. Although some practitioners find the definition to be too convoluted, it nonetheless describes an industrial engineer. As can be seen, the profession is very versatile, flexible, and diverse. It can also be seen from the definition that a systems orientation permeates the work of industrial engineers.