Asee peer logo

"Inviteful" Engineering: Student Perspectives On Ie

Download Paper |


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 Outreach and Advancement

Page Count


Page Numbers

9.2.1 - 9.2.11



Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors

author page

Sandra Moore Furneaux

author page

Randa Shehab

author page

M Jayne Fleener

author page

Kim Warram

author page

Elizabeth Kvach

author page

Betty Harris

author page

Anne Reynolds

author page

Teri Reed Rhoads

author page

Teri Murphy

author page

Deborah Trytten

Download Paper |

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


" Inviteful" Engineer ing: Student Per ceptions of Industr ial Engineer ing

Debor ah A. Tr ytten, Randa L. Shehab, Ter i Reed Rhoads, M. J ayne Fleener , Betty J . Har r is, Anne Reynolds, Susan E. Walden, Sandr a Kay Moor e- Fur neaux, Elizabeth Kvach, Kim R. War r am, Ter i J . Mur phy

Univer sity of Oklahoma

Abstract: Interviews of twenty-six Industrial Engineering students and graduates were conducted during the first year of a three year study of the unexpected attainment of gender parity in the School of Industrial Engineering at the University of Oklahoma (OU). An analysis of the pattern of participant responses gives insight into industrial engineering (IE) student perceptions of IE. The perceptions were grouped into three broad themes: Career Profile, Discipline Profile, and Discipline Meta-Profile. The Career Profile includes the availability of multiple career paths and flexible careers in this discipline in addition to the potential for the attainment of status through entry into management. People-oriented, broad, and systems-oriented are terms that were used to describe the Discipline Profile. Discipline Meta-Profile is used to describe the participant’s perception of other people’s perceptions of industrial engineering (i.e. what IE students think other people think). These participants felt that other engineers think of IE as easy, or "imaginary" engineering. The participants also thought that the discipline is invisible, even to other engineers. While the meta-perception of IE might seem to be problematic for the discipline, many of the participants reject the meta-perception. Some participants recognized that IE’s focus on people and systems is simply different than other engineering disciplines, not necessarily easier. Other participants felt the potential to enter into management outweighed the discipline meta-perception. One student summarized the response particularly well when he noted that IE is "inviteful" engineering.


IE: does it mean "Imaginary Engineering", "Imaginative Engineering?"1, or, as one of the participants in this study described it, “Inviteful Engineering?” The attitudes and behaviors expressed by students and faculty from both outside and within Industrial Engineering (IE) affect the perceptions that IE majors and potential majors have of IE as a discipline. In turn, this perception impacts the attractiveness of IE as a major and a career path.

The perception of IE surfaced in the context of a three-year study to examine reasons that the School of Industrial Engineering at the University of Oklahoma (OU) has achieved gender parity (award NSF-GDSE #0225228). The achievement of gender parity in this School was spontaneous, instead of being the result of a carefully-conceived and well-financed plan to Proceedings of the 2004 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright ©2004, American Society for Engineering Education

Moore Furneaux, S., & Shehab, R., & Fleener, M. J., & Warram, K., & Kvach, E., & Harris, B., & Reynolds, A., & Rhoads, T. R., & Walden, S., & Murphy, T., & Trytten, D. (2004, June), "Inviteful" Engineering: Student Perspectives On Ie Paper presented at 2004 Annual Conference, Salt Lake City, Utah. 10.18260/1-2--13830

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2004 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015