Industrial engineering major to be phased into mechanical engineering degree

February 24, 2009 | News
By Jon Strunk

Beginning in fall 2007, the Department of Mechanical, Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering (MIME) suspended admission of students into the bachelor of science in industrial engineering degree program.

“The number of undergraduate students majoring in industrial engineering has dwindled for quite some time and after unsuccessful recruiting efforts to increase enrollment, we decided it made the most sense to suspend the major and ensure our current industrial engineering students are able to earn their BS degrees,” said Dr. Brian Randolph, associate dean in the College of Engineering.

The vast majority of undergraduate students in the MIME Department are mechanical engineering majors and, according to Randolph, new students will still be able to take industrial engineering courses, creating a specialization in industrial engineering within their mechanical engineering major.

“We continue to have a strong industrial engineering master’s degree program that mechanical engineering graduates can pursue,” Randolph said. “In fact, many of our mechanical engineering graduates have careers in the industrial engineering sector and do very well.”

MIME Professor and Chair Dr. Abdollah Afjeh said that mechanical engineering and industrial engineering are very complementary in their application.

“Mechanical engineers are the ones who design a product or the machine that will create the product. Industrial engineers plan the layout of the plant and design the efficiencies of workflow and supply chains for the product,” Afjeh said.

“Both sets of skills are needed in the workplace and with the success of our mechanical engineering graduates in industrial engineering careers, I think it is clear this administrative change will not diminish in any way the career options for UT MIME students.”

Afjeh echoed Randolph in emphasizing a commitment to industrial engineering students that there would be no interruption or delay in their graduation as they pursue degrees.

Dr. Nagi Naganathan, dean of the College of Engineering, said the industrial engineering undergraduate degree suspension was an example of the flexibility needed for many organizations in changing times.

“There will always be a need for University of Toledo engineers, and as realities around us change, we will design programs that meet the evolving needs of our students and the economy they will enter upon graduation,” Naganathan said.

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