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A Conceptual Model For Integrating And Synthesizing The Industrial Engineering Curriculum

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2004 Annual Conference


Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 20, 2004

Start Date

June 20, 2004

End Date

June 23, 2004



Conference Session

IE Accreditation and Program Issues

Page Count


Page Numbers

9.24.1 - 9.24.12



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Paper Authors

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Mary Besterfield-Sacre

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Jayant Rajgopal

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Bryan Norman

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Bopaya Bidanda

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Kim Needy

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 1657

A Conceptual Model for Integrating and Synthesizing the Industrial Engineering Curriculum Bryan A. Norman, Mary Besterfield-Sacre, Bopaya Bidanda, Kim LaScola Needy, Jayant Rajgopal University of Pittsburgh


The Department of Industrial Engineering at the University of Pittsburgh is addressing an important issue in IE education – how to develop a comprehensive, integrated curriculum that (1) thoroughly prepares graduating engineering students for industrial practice and graduate school, (2) is pedagogically sound, and (3) trains students to readily recognize and apply their engineering background to solve unstructured problems, both locally and beyond US borders. We present an innovative and unique approach to curriculum reform that contains four overarching objectives: (1) the integration of fundamental concepts across the curriculum; (2) teaching students to synthesize different concepts to solve unstructured problems; (3) providing problem solving methods and strategies within a societal framework that allows for their application in a local as well as a global context; and (4) creating a portable development methodology that can be readily adapted to other engineering disciplines. Our broad objective is to develop a technically sound undergraduate IE curriculum that will (a) be tightly integrated and allow for enhanced learning, (b) ensure that our graduates will have the life-long engineering proficiencies to successfully apply what they learn, (c) allow our graduates to appreciate the societal role of engineering, both locally and globally, and (d) serve as a model for incorporating these same objectives into curricula for other industrial engineering programs and potentially other engineering disciplines. This paper presents a conceptual model for achieving this objective and reports upon the progress that has been made thus far on this ongoing effort.

1. Introduction

We address a pressing issue in engineering education – how to develop a comprehensive, integrated industrial engineering curriculum that thoroughly prepares graduates not only for industrial practice or graduate school, but also trains students to readily recognize and apply their engineering background to solve problems, both locally and internationally.

Beginning in the early 1990’s, a series of reports emerged detailing serious deficiencies in engineering education and calling for major reforms. In short, these reports proclaimed that engineering education programs must teach not only the fundamentals of engineering theory, experimentation, and practice, but:

Proceedings of the 2004American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright  2004, American Society for Engineering Education

Besterfield-Sacre, M., & Rajgopal, J., & Norman, B., & Bidanda, B., & Needy, K. (2004, June), A Conceptual Model For Integrating And Synthesizing The Industrial Engineering Curriculum Paper presented at 2004 Annual Conference, Salt Lake City, Utah. 10.18260/1-2--13805

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