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An Integration Approach To Industrial Engineering Curriculum Design

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1996 Annual Conference


Washington, District of Columbia

Publication Date

June 23, 1996

Start Date

June 23, 1996

End Date

June 26, 1996



Page Count


Page Numbers

1.74.1 - 1.74.8



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Paper Authors

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John E. Shea

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Thomas M. West

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

Session 3257

An Integration Approach to Industrial Engineering Curriculum Design

John E. Shea, Tom M. West Oregon State University


Engineering curricula at most major research universities are driven, in part, by research and technology. Research directions are often defined by funding agencies and major corporations. Faculty learn, develop, and apply the technologies necessary to obtain external funding. This knowledge, combined with individual interests, eventually impacts the content and structure of the curricula. The advantages of this approach are that the technical components of the curriculum are continually updated, and, in many cases, additional instructional laboratory equipment is available following completion of research activity.

However, technical knowledge is only one of the factors to be considered when designing an engineering curriculum. First, the curriculum must satisfy university, college, ABET, and course sequence requirements. In addition, the curriculum must be designed such that graduates possess the knowledge and skills needed for success in the industrial sector, where the majority of graduates are employed.

The process of designing a curriculum is similar to engineering design with requirements that must be met, and objectives that must be optimized. From this came the idea for developing a linear, additive, multi- objective model that identifies the objectives that must be considered when designing a curriculum, and contains the mathematical relationships necessary to quantify the value of a specific curriculum. This paper presents the details of this curriculum evaluation model including the objectives, the mathematical equation for each objective, and the incorporation of these values into a computer program. The model can be used in the evaluation of various curricula alternatives, and to conduct sensitivity analysis to better understand their differences.


The first step in the process of developing a multi-objective model was the collection of data to determine the knowledge and skill set that Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering (IME) graduates need to possess. This was accomplished by the development and mailing of a twelve page questionnaire to a random

1996 ASEE Annual Conference Proceedings

Shea, J. E., & West, T. M. (1996, June), An Integration Approach To Industrial Engineering Curriculum Design Paper presented at 1996 Annual Conference, Washington, District of Columbia. 10.18260/1-2--6128

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