Message from the chair

ISE department chair Ratna Chinnam
Ratna Babu Chinnam

Thank you for visiting the Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering website.

We are happy to report that the Industrial Engineering undergraduate program has been re-accredited by ABET and our graduate programs have successfully undergone their seven-year review in March 2020 by external reviewers. Overall, the department is recognized for its leadership in offering excellent academic programs and carrying out its mission of teaching, research, and service.

In spite of being a relatively small department, we offer a range of core IE programs at the undergraduate and graduate level. In addition, we have been creative and efficient in offering a number of unique graduate programs. 

The ISE Department provides its students with many academic opportunities and assists our students with finding the careers that make a difference in our surrounding world. With an outstanding faculty dedicated to research and lifelong learning, the department enjoys strong relationships across many industries including healthcare, automotive, manufacturing, military and more.

ISE undergraduate students have the potential to find interesting projects and internships through our Operations Management Leadership Program (OMLP), as well as our real-world applicable capstone courses.

Graduate students in our data science and business analytics MS program participate in challenging real-world data science and analytics projects sponsored by industry through the end of program Practicum projects. Learn more about this and sponsorship opportunities.

The faculty in the ISE Department have established research strengths in a variety of areas.

  • supply chain management
  • product development
  • intelligent manufacturing
  • operations management
  • end-of-life product value recovery
  • quality management
  • sustainability
  • business analytics and big data
  • healthcare systems engineering
  • smart engineering systems 

Our new faculty have allowed us to broaden our expertise into new domains.

  • autonomous and unmanned vehicle systems
  • cyber physical systems
  • augmented and mixed reality

The department is home to the National Science Foundation (NSF) Center for e-Design conducting research in fundamental science, mathematics, and engineering principles in the development of new products and systems. Our faculty are also affiliated with the NSF's Midwest Big Data Hub. Overall, ISE provides many research opportunities for our students across all degree programs.

Recently, the department has taken the lead in establishing IndustryX, a Center for Operational Excellence and Resilience with a focus on leveraging Industry 4.0 advanced technologies, data science, analytics, and AI to help regional businesses improve their efficiency, competitiveness, and agility. It is a partnership with technology companies, private sector, governmental agencies and working professionals. Visit the IndustryX website to learn more, become a member or a partner.

We have several new initiatives planned for the coming years. The department recently developed a new strategic plan to further enhance its programs, research impact, and reputation. In addition, we have three major initiatives for the coming years.

  • Double the enrollment of our undergraduate program by 2026. While the department has a healthy student enrollment, we are predominantly a graduate program. We would like to change that by also increasing the size of the undergraduate program to better serve the needs of our community. In this regard, we are transforming our undergraduate curricula, adding innovative courses, creating experiential learning programs (through Co-Op programs, internships and learning labs), and creating seminars and summer camps for K-12 communities to raise awareness for Industrial Engineering.
  • Develop AutoPOD Digital Capability Center. Industries are facing unprecedented challenges currently in coping with rapid technological advancements, shrinking product development cycles, and intense global competition. The department in collaboration with faculty from the College of Engineering as well as technology partners and other stake holders is currently working to establish an Autonomous Production, Operations and Distribution (AutoPOD) Digital Capability Center. It will be a digital and physical manifestation of a capability center that is connected, intelligent, reconfigurable, and highly autonomous to fundamentally advance R&D, innovation, and training in Industry 4.0 for manufacturing and service sectors (including healthcare, warehouses, apparel, packaging, and logistics).  Contact us to learn more.
  • Develop and offer a comprehensive set of industry facing short training programs. The target areas include Lean Manufacturing/Services, Six-Sigma, Value Engineering, Project Management, and Data Science, Big Data, AI & Analytics. The ISE Department has built strengths in these areas through teaching and research and will now offer these short programs to boost Michigan industry needs in transforming its workforce for the new digital economy.  

If you have an interest in helping us or collaborating with us in any of our initiatives, please contact me.

Ratna Babu Chinnam, Department Chair
Industrial & Systems Engineering
Wayne State University
Tel: 313-577-4846