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Industrial and Systems Engineering

Industrial and Systems Engineers focus on improving operations within organizations, such as factories, hospitals, warehouses, and airports.  Industrial and Systems Engineers figure out how to do things better. They apply systems thinking and engineer processes and systems that improve quality and make operations more effective and efficient. They work to eliminate waste of time, money, materials, energy and other commodities. This is why many Industrial and Systems Engineers end up being promoted into management positions.

The course provides an understanding of the content, structure and learning activities within the Industrial and Systems Engineering (ISE) program.  This course also introduces the students to the different aspects of the practice of industrial and systems engineering including supply chain logistics, healthcare, manufacturing and service operations, which help students define a career path upon graduation.

Additionally, the students may hear seminars from several ISE faculty and alumni, as well as local plant, facility operations and laboratory tours to complement the overall learning experience.

Student Learning Outcomes

After completing this course, students will:

  • Define and explain common industrial and systems engineering terminology
  • Give examples of career opportunities in Industrial and Systems Engineering
  • Be aware of the development of industrial and systems engineering perspectives and initiatives to improve system performance

Course Requirements/Examinations

There will be one graded assignment each week (20 points each)

  1. Develop a Standardized Work Operating Procedure
  2. Identify and Eliminate Wastes in a Business Operation
  3. Identify Risks and Develop a Mitigation Plan
  4. Develop a Project Plan and Identify the Critical Path

Grade Weighting: Assignments 80%; Poster Presentation 20%

Late Work: Assignments are due at the start of class on the due date but will be accepted late (with a 30% penalty) until graded work is returned. Projects have a 25% penalty for each class day late.

Credit Hours: 3

Course Instructors

Gary Null, Course Director

Dr. Gary Null is an Assistant Professor of Practice in Industrial and Systems Engineering (ISE), following more than 30 years in leadership roles within the government and industry. He teaches ISE, Engineering Management, and the Heath Integrated Business and Engineering Program courses. Before joining the University of Tennessee, his leadership roles included serving as an officer in the US Navy, a civilian senior manager in the US Army, and most recently, as a senior manager with General Motors. He is a Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt and a Design Thinking facilitator and coach.

He received his Ph.D. in Systems and Engineering Management from Texas Tech University. He received his MS in Mechanical Engineering from the Naval Postgraduate School, his MBA from the University of Colorado, and his BS in Systems Engineering from the US Naval Academy.