INDUSTRIAL ENGINEERING AND ENGINEERING MANAGEMENT IN
by Professor John W H Price PhD, FIEAust
Mechanical Engineering Department,
Monash University, Australia.
Since 1998 Monash University has operated its degree of Bachelor of Engineering (Engineering
Management and Industrial Engineering). This is a degree targeting a critical area of
engineering employment which has been largely ignored by Engineering Faculties in Australia.
The challenge facing the BE(IE&EM) degree is that despite the fact that the degree concepts are
well known in other parts of the world, the subjects are not well known in Australia. Before
they will take up the degree, potential students need to be educated in the nature and importance
of engineering management and industrial engineering, they want to be sure that the core
subjects are interesting and challenging and they want to know what advantages the degree will
give them in the employment market.
INTRODUCTION critical in these management areas, but as
yet few Engineering Schools spend very
The degree is an amalgam of two different much time on them. The engineering focus
concepts - Engineering Management and in education continues to be very much at
Industrial Engineering. There are sound the nuts and bolts, even complete product
reasons why both of these concepts are but not at the totality of business level.
embodied in the degree.
Though this definition of engineering
management emphasises the physical assets
and products, these things cannot be
Management is a broad term involving a separated from the people who use them or
the financial issues. For this reason training
number of diverse disciplines such as the
management of people, finances, sales and in engineering management must
encompass a wide appreciation of many
marketing but it also involves the
management of the equipment and management areas, in particular personnel,
production and the design and development finance and marketing.
of products, processes and projects.
Because engineering is so important to
Engineering management is that business, a large proportion of engineers are
management which is focussed on the latter employed in the management area and this
proportion increases as engineer’s careers
area of management, the management of the
physical assets and activities of the business develop. Surveys of engineers (taken from
and the development of new processes. members surveys of the engineering
members of the professional association
This is an area which is not commonly dealt
with in great detail in management schools APESMA) indicate that 35% of engineers
and yet it is fundamental to all successful think of themselves as carrying out the
businesses. Engineering skills are clearly function of management. The proportion
changes with the age of the engineers present. BE(IE&EM) because of its high
interviewed. Soon after graduation the human factor focus contains more training
proportion is 15-20% rising to over 50% by for management and the Monash degree is
the age of 45 as shown in Figure 1. over 20% management. The BE(IE&EM)
degree seeks to be at the leading edge of
The role of management training in the management sciences and so there are
engineering course has been discussed substantial aspects of mathematics, such as
extensively in recent years . The IEAust operational research, statistics and systems
requires a 10% minimum course content at simulation.
Engineer's jobs by age, 1999 APESMA Survey
20 Project Study
20- 25- 30- 35- 40- 45- 50- 55- 60- 65+
24 29 34 39 44 49 54 59 64
Figure 1 How engineers tend to become managers.
comprehensively and who can design systems
which can increase productivity and make
Industrial Engineering is complimentary to products of higher quality. Industrial
engineering management and is clearly engineering is specifically aimed to be
training for such tasks.
defined independent branch of engineering
recognised by the major institutions.
An Industrial Engineering degree has been
A short definition of industrial engineering is offered by Monash since 1982 and several
“the design of productive processes”. This hundred of graduates are now working in
definition differentiates Industrial from other industry and business. The new degree
builds on the strengths of that degree while
branches of engineering which tend to
concentrate on the design of things, or on reorienting it to more recent changes in the
parts of a productive process. IE by contrast economy which require even further
considers the entire productive activity. management skills.
Table 1 gives an official definition from the
IEAust as reported in the National The Industrial Engineering and Engineering
Competency Standards for Professional Management disciplines have undergone
Engineers . vigorous development in the hundred years
since the concepts were first conceived over a
All businesses need high calibre people who hundred years ago . Many people
can consider the productive system associate the topics of work standards, time
Industrial Engineering is the technical and human aspects of quality and productivity
“Industrial engineering is the engineering discipline concerned with the planning, organising and
operation of industrial facilities and processes for the economic, safe and effective use of physical
and human resources. Industrial engineering is applied design for the integration of material,
human and financial resources, and of production sequences and methods, optimum flows and
layouts, and of work methods and procedures, labour organisation, and in economic evaluation of
facilities, processes or techniques. Specific expertise areas include:
Industrial engineering practices
Materials handling engineering
Safety and environmental engineering
Manufacturing process engineering
Quality assurance and control"
Table 1 Definition of Industrial Engineering and Specific Expertise Areas, IEAust.
Planning, Design and Control
Performance Measurement and control of Operation
Planning and Control
Quantitative methods for decision making
Probability Theory and Models
Statistics for Industrial Engineers
Table 2 Main Subject Areas in Salvendy’s Handbook of Industrial Engineering5
and motion study and related activities with THE NEED FOR THE DEGREE
Industrial Engineering. While they are
important, a modern view of Industrial Changes in the Australian economy.
Engineering such as exemplified in
Salvendy’s Handbook , these subjects of Figure 2 shows some of the changes in the
contribute only about 5 chapters out of 108 Australian economy which occurred in the
(the main chapter headings of this book are last decade. There are two issues of special
given on Table 2). In the Monash interest for the professional engineering
BE(IE&EM) course these topics occupy labour force.
perhaps 4-6 credit points out of 192 credit
points required for the degree.
Figure 2 GDP value in constant dollars for several major sectors of the Australian economy
Note substantial growth in all sectors but particularly in services areas. Communications also is
very strong in this period because of the introduction of mobile phones, Internet and cable.
1) Growth in services. The experience with Industrial Engineering
contrasts with this concept since many
Services are defined by the Australian Bureau Monash graduates are employed in just these
of Statistics (ABS) as those things which are growth sectors. There has been significant
not specifically primary production (mining uptake of graduates in particular by banks
and agriculture) and manufacturing. The and financial institutions, management
service sector has been on a continuous consulting firms (many of which had their
growth through out Australian history. The origins in the accounting profession), retail
change of proportion is mainly caused by and transport organisations.
growth in several sectors which when one
examines them do not include obvious large 1) Changing nature of traditional
opportunities for traditional engineering engineering areas.
Traditional areas for the employment of
• Financial services, engineers have been manufacturing, utilities
• Retail and wholesale trade, and construction. The general picture in
• Owning of dwellings, these areas is stability or retreat when
• Public sector, considered in terms of proportion of GDP.
• Recreation and As seen on in Figure 2, in terms of stable
• Transport and Distribution dollars, the growth in the traditional
engineering sectors is much smaller than the
This change in the Australian economy is service sector (with the exception of
affecting the attractiveness of traditional telecommunications which had a burst of
engineering careers such s mechanical, growth in the 1990s). Many of the businesses
electrical and civil engineering compared to involved in traditional engineering such as
career paths specifically oriented toward the electricity, railroads, telecommunications,
services sector such as retail, finance and have been changing dramatically. There has
management. been changing ownership and they are
entering significantly more competitive
environments including export areas. these improvements, especially in the
Efficiency and productivity are key issues in automotive manufacturing sector.
all these businesses and has affected the
nature of professional engineering The importance of this to Industrial
employment. Engineering is that all the factors discussed
above are just the areas in which Industrial
Many engineers in traditional engineering Engineers specialise.
employment now find themselves engaged in
seeking productivity improvements for these One thing to consider is to distinguish the
businesses. They carry out activities carrying contribution which can be made by Industrial
titles such as quality improvement, value Engineers from that which can be made by
analysis or business analysis. These are manufacturing and other “equipment
clearly roles for which Industrial Engineers oriented” engineers. This distinction was
are trained. defined most clearly recently when the
manufacturing manager of General Motors in
On the other hand, one view of service Melbourne stated that “The company has
businesses such as banks, transport realised that the emphasis placed on
companies and super market chains is that machinery by the hiring of large numbers of
they too are kinds of process industries. One Manufacturing Engineers has to be balanced
bank executive working with Monash by the work of Industrial Engineers - people
described her organisation as a “paper who are expert in the human factors of
factory”. It is a paper factory which demands production.”
100% accuracy. Essentially most businesses
handle information, services activities and
materials and even change materials from one
form to another. The success of these One of the key issues for any potential
businesses depends on the efficiency of these student considering taking up a degree is the
international recognition of that degree on
completion. Industrial engineering is an
Manufacturing, which has often received a important branch of engineering worldwide
bad press because of reduction in shop floor
and indeed is a much more common degree
employment, has actually grown considerably
in countries in Asia, North America and
when measured in terms of constant value Europe. The US situation is shown on Table
dollars. This can be seen clearly in Figure 2. 3. Not only is it the fourth largest branch of
Manufacturing growth has been achieved by engineering at 14% of 2000 employment it
great effort on part of Australian enterprises
has grown strongly since it was only 8.9% of
in the area of improvement of productivity the 1990 engineering work force. Table 3
and quality and this has been done in an
represents an interesting story in its own right
environment of increasing global since on this table is captured the 1990
competition. Some of this improvement is position and the projections of the US Bureau
achieved by factors such as automation and of Labor Statistics in an earlier paper56. The
equipment but substantial improvements are Bureau was very low in relation to Industrial
possible by reorganisation of the work Engineering in its 1990 predictions.
methods. These changes have tended to Industrial Engineering has grown strongly in
emphasise people of higher skills and there is
a total US engineering workforce which has
now a significant shortage of capable basically remained stable over the decade.
professionals throughout manufacturing in This thus opens the question whether its
Australia. Our graduates are now playing key
future conservative prediction is also
roles in many of the companies involved in incorrect.
US data 1990 and Electrical, Mechanic Civil Industria Environ Aeronaut Chemica Mining Materi All
2000 electronics, al l mental ical l Nuclear als
% 2000 24 15 16 14 4 3 2 2 2 100
1000s employed 2000 338 221 232 198 52 50 33 6.5+14+9 33 1500
1000s employed 1990 426 233 198 135 Nil 73 48 39 18 1500
US Bureau of Labor 571 289 257 160 Not 88 54 40 22 1900
Statistics 1990 include
Actual growth Lower Lower Lower Higher New Higher Lower Lower Higher Lower
compared to predicted
Current US BoLS Average Average Average Average Above Average Below Stationary Declin Below
predicted growth to below average average or Decline e average
Table 3 Engineering branches 2000 US employment and projections
US Bureau of Labor Statistics from web site http://www.bls.gov/oco.
The table also includes 1990 data and 1990 projection which shows that the Bureau has
significantly under predicted industrial engineering growth.
Industrial Engineering has a strong tradition In Victoria about 1600 students graduated in
in Germany, Scandinavia, Japan and most Engineering so the Monash BE(IE&EM)
industrialised nations. In Hong Kong the course will account for only about 1.5% of
new University of Science and Technology local graduates. This would appear to be
has established a large department in much lower than the potential needs of
Industrial Engineering and Engineering industry if measures such as the United States
Management. We also see Industrial situation are taken as a guide where 14% of
Engineering with strong roots in Taiwan, all engineers are classified as industrial
Thailand, Indonesia and the Gulf States and engineers (see Table 3).
we receive both undergraduate and post
graduate students from these areas. Our Job advertising for Industrial Engineers by
degree also is attractive to many students name is not high in Australia. There are only
from Singapore and Malaysia. a few such advertisements each month.
However there are a significant proportion of
employment advertisements which fall into
the category of engineering management. In
Matching training to needs
the second half of 1992 this proportion was
The subjects of an Industrial Engineering and over 21% (IEAust survey of metropolitan
Engineering Management degree are so newspapers).
important that they are often picked up by
engineers and other managers after they Numerous advertisements can be identified
graduate. In a Graduate Diploma in each week which our graduates could
management or a Masters of Business consider. These fall into categories such as
Administration there can be found subjects
which are included in the Monash IEEM Production, Manufacturing or Process
degree at an undergraduate level. MBAs and Engineering
Graduate Diplomas have achieved a high Quality Management/Control
level of participation in Australia because CAD/CAM, Automation
Health & Safety
engineers and other professionals find that in
the work place they are soon concerned with Scheduling and Planning
subjects such as quantitative decision Bank Analyst,
making, facilities and work design and Business systems analyst
quality management which were not covered Business re-engineering
in their original degree. Logistics Management, and
Industrial Engineering other workers is by knowing as much as
possible about the technicalities of work.
Many of these categories were identified as People of no technical background will
important growth employment areas in a receive little respect from shop floor people
survey of a wide range of Australian when they are faced with practical problems.
organisations7. Indeed businesses are often faced with the
complex multi disciplinary technical and
human problems which is the ideal
environment for the graduates of
Student demand for Industrial Engineering BE(IE&EM).
and Engineering Management as such is not
high because only very few high school The term "Industrial Engineering"
students have studied the engineering
profession adequately to know what an Monash has decided to use the term Industrial
IE&EM career involves. Indeed IE&EM is Engineering in the title of the BE(IE&EM)
significantly different in concept to the other because IE is an important international
branches of engineering, in its focus on discipline recognised by the important
processes rather than things, so it is not easy engineering institutions around the world
to stereotype with objects such as bridges, including the Institution of Engineers
aeroplanes and so on. Australia (IEAust). There are numerous
working professionals who have these words
Since it is a branch which deals with large on their testamurs and there are institutions
numbers of management concepts it is such as the Institute of Industrial Engineers
probably most attractive to students who may and journals which use the term in the title.
not think of doing engineering at all, even These facts mean that the term is well
though their entry scores are adequate in recognised by those who need to know, the
science and mathematics. These are students crucial managers and employers8.
who may choose management or business
degrees, computing or accounting. These The importance of the term worldwide can be
students would have interests such as how gained by a few minutes Internet searching on
organisations work, the relationships between the words “Industrial Engineering”.
people, multi disciplinary problem solving Immediately dozens of home pages from
and having a management career path. This distinguished institutions such as University
sort of interest profile suits industrial of California at Berkeley, Columbia
engineers as well. From our current University, Stanford, and Georgia Tech are
experience at Monash there is a relatively found. Georgia Tech has the largest
high proportion of female students who Industrial and Systems Engineering program
undertake IE&EM but there is scope for in the world with over 500 students entering
many more who may not presently be each year.
considering engineering careers.
ENTRY TO BE(IE&EM) AT MONASH
Industrial engineers can have significant
advantages over graduates of purely business Entry routes to the degree are very wide.
type degrees in industry, because they have a Basically students finishing any first or
thorough base in engineering. A BBus second year in Engineering in any discipline
(Manufacturing Management) course for can be considered for transfer to the
example has low levels of technical content BE(IE&EM). This permits people who may
and requires lower mathematical skills. have a special interest in another engineering
Experience of working in a manufacturing discipline to transfer to BE(IE&EM) with
environment suggests that the most effective that speciality.
way for a graduate to lead tradespeople and
The BE(IEEM) has a common first year with missed in levels one and two but there are
the all the other disciplines of Engineering at special arrangements for this to be done
Monash. Students who intend to do within the normal subject load.
BE(IE&EM) are encouraged to take a special
elective of Engineering Management in First Monash will also consider transfer from
Year. students finishing any first two years
Engineering at any recognised University for
In second year the set course has similarities transfer into BE(IE&EM) for levels 3 and 4.
to the Mechanical Engineering degree.
However four out of twelve subjects While all engineering courses are under
(Industrial Engineering, Engineering continuous revision because of technology
Management, Manufacturing Processes and change, BE(IE&EM) is probably more
Business Processes) are completely different, sensitive to changes in other areas such as
and the other eight are specially presented for economics, industrial relations, social
BE(IE&EM) students. This means of course sciences and business management. As a
that some subjects of the Level 2 Mechanical result course content of industrial engineering
Engineering degree are presented in a is in many ways changing more rapidly than
reduced form. other branches. Details of the course are
shown on the home page for the BE(IE&EM)
The final two years are basically unique to program.
BE(IE&EM). If students enter at level two or
three from some other engineering degree, A summary of the subject list of Levels 2 to 4
they will have to take the special subjects are given in Table 4
Table 4 SUBJECT LIST
Bachelor of Engineering (Industrial Engineering and Engineering Management)
Level 1 Engineering computations
The standard level 1 is taken. Students may choose to Engineering economy
do an elective (Engineering Management) which then Database management
allows them to do a different subject in level 2. Design for manufacture
Professional practice for engineers I
Level 2 (12 subjects)
Level 4 (8 subjects)
Industrial engineering Core subjects
Engineering management Engineering practice: project thesis A
Manufacturing Processes Engineering practice: project thesis B
Multivariable calculus for engineering Elective subjects (select six, of which at least four
Linear algebra and differential equations for must be chosen from subjects offered by the
engineering department of Mechanical Engineering) Example:
Engineering practices:- drafting
Engineering practices: design process Production planning and control
Fluids and energy Design of productive systems
Materials selection Computer integrated manufacturing
Systems engineering Systems modelling and simulation II
Computer programming Professional practice for engineers II
Those students who have done Engineering Systems reliability and maintenance
Management in Level 1 may choose to do Special Managing strategic change
project or Risk analysis
Level 3 (8 subjects)
Facilities planning and design
Systems modelling and simulation I
The paper outlines the degree and the
objectives of the Bachelor of Engineering 1 White S., “Engineers stand at the
(Industrial Engineering and Engineering crossroads”, The Age, Melbourne, 14
Management). The importance of the April 1986, p15.
degree to Australian business lies in the 2 National Competency Standards for
fact that the training relates well to the Professional Engineers, Institution of
major growth areas of the Australian Engineers, Australia, ACT, March
economy and the needs of individual 1993
businesses. The degree presents many 3 Turner W.C., J.H. Mize and K.E.
important subjects and forms of training Case, Introduction to Industrial and
not included in Business and Economics Systems Engineering, Prentice -Hall
degrees. Inc., New Jersey, 1987
4 Salvendy G., editor, Handbook of
The importance of the BE(IE&EM) to the Industrial Engineering, Institute of
engineering profession lies in the Industrial Engineers and John Wiley,
employment possibilities in sectors of the New York, 1992.
economy where engineers have not been 5 Price J.W.H., “Industrial engineering
well represented. There is also potentially in Australia”, Int. J of Engineering
a wider group of students who may Education, Vol. 10, No. 6, November
become interested in Engineering when 1994, pp 539-545.
they realise IE is a degree which gives 6 Price J.W.H., “Engineering
them permanent advantage in business Management in the Monash
employment. The attractiveness of the BE(Industrial Engineering And
degree and its employment opportunities Engineering Management)”,
for female candidates is also of Integrating Business with
importance. Engineering Conference, Melbourne,
The BE(IE&EM) degree is being offered 7 Bitcon J.G., The Future Employment
at Monash with a wide range of entry of Professional Engineers, a survey
options permitting students to enter at to assess niche areas for future
levels 1, 2 and 3 even from other degrees. professional engineer employment,
Project sponsor Department of
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS Employment, Education and
Training, Project Coordinator The
The data collected in this paper has been Institution of Engineers, Australia
found in many places and I acknowledge (Victoria Division), April, 1993.
the assistance of my colleagues, in 8 Bennet G.K. and L. Voller, “Industry
particular, Peter Gregory Paul Wellington and Academic White Paper”,
and Damian Kennedy, and staff of the International Industrial Engineering
IEAust and APESMA. Conference, Detroit 1991, Institute of
Industrial Engineers, Georgia , 1991.