Industrial Engineering

Industrial Engineering (AEINDBASC)

Academic Advisor
Gayle Lesmond
Room MC109, Mechanical Engineering Building 

Industrial Engineering (IE) is a discipline that applies engineering principles to the design and operation of organizations. Industrial Engineering students learn to analyze, design, implement, control, evaluate and improve the performance of complex organizations, taking into consideration people, technology and information systems. Industrial engineers use operations research, information engineering and human factors tools and methods to improve and optimize systems operations and performance.

Industrial engineers share the common goal of increasing an organization’s efficiency, profitability and safety in a variety of industries including health care, finance, retail, entertainment, government, information technology, transportation, energy, manufacturing and consulting. Unlike traditional disciplines in engineering and the mathematical sciences, IE addresses the role of the human decision-maker as a key contributor to the inherent complexity of systems and the primary benefactor of the analyses.

Industrial Engineering bears a close resemblance to management science, management engineering, operations research, operations management and systems engineering.

The objective of the Industrial Engineering program curriculum is to educate engineers who:

  • Employ effective analysis and design tools.
  • Integrate perspectives into a systems view of the organization.
  • Understand both the theory and the practice of Industrial Engineering.

In the first two years of the curriculum, the emphasis is placed on fundamental principles of engineering and core industrial engineering concepts. Tools taught in second year include probability, psychology for engineers, fundamentals of object-oriented programming, engineering economics and accounting, operations research, differential equations, statistics, human-centered systems design and data modeling.

In third-year, students learn various perspectives on the operation of organizations, including productivity, information, ergonomics and economics. They also select technical electives allowing them to specialize in information engineering, operations research and human factors and investigate other IE areas such as business process engineering, design of information systems and data analytics. These same courses may be taken as fourth-year technical electives (schedule permitting). Therefore, students may use their fourth-year electives to pursue their specializations further in-depth or to investigate other IE areas.

In fourth-year, the central theme is the design and management of an organization as an integrated system. All students participate in an Integrated Systems Design course to design the business processes of an organization and a Capstone Design course that requires students to draw on knowledge from all years of the IE program to tackle a real-world project with an industry partner. There is also a research thesis option.

Job opportunities for IE graduates are diverse and offer challenging careers in a wide variety of industries, including consulting. Three prototypical jobs for new graduates include:

  • Manage an organizational supply chain to ensure new products can be successfully introduced into global sales channels.
  • Test the interaction features of a new software application.
  • Identify the increased capacity requirements necessary to accommodate the expected surgical volume of hospitals.


The Cross-Disciplinary Programs Office (CDP) offers a variety of minors and certificate programs that complement the Industrial Engineering curriculum. Students interested in pursuing an Engineering minor and/or certificate are encouraged to consult with the CDP. 

Graduate Studies in Industrial Engineering

The Department offers graduate studies and research opportunities in a wide range of fields within Industrial Engineering. These include human factors engineering, information engineering, management science, manufacturing, operations research, systems design and optimization, reliability and maintainability engineering. Subject areas include queuing theory, cognitive engineering, human-computer interaction and human factors in medicine. The programs available lead to MEng, MASc and PhD degrees. Evening courses are offered to accommodate participants who work full-time and are interested in pursuing M.Eng degrees. Additional information can be obtained from the Mechanical & Industrial Engineering Graduate Studies Office and