About the department

We have a long history of helping our students achieve their educational and professional goals. Our personal approach to the entire university experience from admission to job placement is designed to provide students with the resources and support to become successful industrial engineers.


Why ISE at Wayne State?

A distinguished history

The first component of the modern Wayne State University was established in 1868 as the Detroit Medical College. In 1933, the Detroit Board of Education established six colleges, which included Engineering. In January 1934, the institution was officially named Wayne University. The Industrial Engineering Department appeared in the catalog in the University Bulletin of 1944-45 and the first IE degree was awarded in 1948, making our program one of the first IE programs in the nation. The department developed strong programs in traditional IE focus areas targeting manufacturing systems, human factors, operations management, quality management, and health care.

Program criteria

Our Industrial Engineering programs satisfy the following ABET's EAC criteria for Industrial Engineering Programs.

  1. Curriculum: The curriculum must prepare graduates to design, develop, implement, and improve integrated systems that include people, materials, information, equipment and energy. The curriculum must include in-depth instruction to accomplish the integration of systems using appropriate analytical, computational, and experimental practices. 
  2. Faculty: Evidence must be provided that the program faculty understand professional practice and maintain currency in their respective professional areas. Program faculty must have responsibility and sufficient authority to define, revise, implement, and achieve program objectives.



To develop and provide innovative and integrated global research and education to prepare engineering managers to meet the challenges and solve the problems of global complexity in technical organizations. Our primary focus is the global automotive industry.


Globalization is the dominant vision and driver of industry at the start of the new millennium. As fast as the changes have been in the last five years, this movement toward globalization can only accelerate. The information technology infrastructure needed to support globalization continues to grow and trade barriers are either falling, growing smaller or being negotiated away. Universities around the country and the world are rushing to develop research and education programs in their attempts to address this business need.

Despite this explosion in the growth of global research and education, we find that there is a major gap when it comes to managing the engineering and manufacturing functions in the global firm. The initial academic and business focus has been primarily strategic. However, today the focus is shifting to the implementation details of global strategies and this focus will become increasingly important in the future competitive success of global industry. Implementation is extremely complex in a global product development and manufacturing company as its products move along every step in the value chain from the lab to the customer; that is, from research to design to manufacturing to assembly to logistics and post-sales support for products in diverse markets. The automotive industry is the quintessential example of this complexity.

Multidisciplinary approach

These challenges cannot be addressed within one academic discipline within one university setting. Our department has a proven track in building multi-disciplinary teams that include: industrial engineers, business anthropologists, business school faculty, labor relations and automotive executives. We are also leading Wayne State University's efforts to develop formal partnerships with universities around the globe. 

We have four primary objectives:

  1. Conduct leading edge research in partnership with global firms in the automotive industry to address global technical management and operations.
  2. Extend the EMMP to offer advanced degrees in global engineering management that will enable the working technical manager to make decisions and manage processes that involve the complex interplay of technology, work and organization that is global in scope.
  3. Develop an undergraduate specialization within industrial engineering to prepare our graduates to better function and contribute immediately to global teams.
  4. Secure and expand funding for applied, global research that is sponsored by both industry and government.

Faculty expertise

Our department is home to 15 faculty  nationally recognized experts in a broad range of research areas. From emergency services to quality principles, cyber-physical systems, computer-integrated design and manufacturing, extended reality, and autonomous logistics, our faculty have published prized papers and textbooks and received major awards as recognition of their contributions to the profession. Our average research funding per professor ranks among the highest in the college, providing a testament to the value our professors and students bring in tackling tough, real-world problems at different organizations such as Ford Motor Company, Hikma, and Henry Ford Health System. Learn more about our faculty's expertise.

Teaching philosophy

Our teaching philosophy identifies the industrial engineer as a broadly-trained integration engineer, concerned with enabling complex systems to function effectively. The industrial engineer must understand the interaction of the components of a system, and coordinate the flow of materials and information to effectively manage the operation. As an industrial engineering professional, you'll play an important role in defining information needs and developing strategies for decision-making based on incomplete knowledge.

Drawing on this background, the skills of the industrial engineer have much greater application than simply traditional production environments. In a growing service sector economy including health care delivery, public safety, air transportation, and banking, for example, issues of resource management, scheduling, quality of service, and systems design are important. Our comprehensive education ensures you'll have exposure to all these areas through lectures, projects, case studies and outside speakers.

Experience outside the classroom

Beyond completing traditional coursework requirements, industrial engineering students are strongly encouraged to participate in professional organizations, internships and research projects sponsored by the department. We have worked hard to develop relationships with local companies for utilization by our students.

The flexibility offered through a degree in industrial engineering at Wayne State provides an attractive choice for potential employers. There will always be a need for increased efficiency and productivity in the workplace. This need guarantees a demand for highly compensated industrial engineers over the coming decades.

Our students have the opportunity to visit facilities in Detroit.

An accomplished alumni community

Our graduates hold a wide-variety of positions in numerous technical and service-based organizations. The department is actively seeking to expand and leverage these relationships on the domestic and international levels.

Recent employers of our graduates:

  • American Axle & Manufacturing, Inc.
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan
  • The Boeing Company
  • Chrysler, LLC
  • Delphi Automotive, LLC
  • Eli Lily and Company
  • Ford Motor Company
  • General Electric Company
  • General Dynamics Land Systems Corporation
  • General Motors Company, LLC
  • Henry Ford Health System
  • Visteon Corporation
  • BMW Group
  • Ferencia
  • Critteton Hospital Medical Center
  • Automotive Holdings Group
  • Raytheon Company

Modern facilities

Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering hosts computerized classrooms for distance learning education, teleconference facilities, and computer-based laboratories for simulation and manufacturing processes, including Cyber-Physical Systems, Extended Reality, Robotics, and Logistics laboratories. Learn more about our ongoing research.