A conceptual model for integrating and synthesizing the industrial engineering curriculum

Bryan A. Norman, Mary Besterfield-Sacre, Bopaya Bidanda, Kim La Scola Needy, Jayant Rajgopal

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2261-2272
Number of pages12
JournalASEE Annual Conference Proceedings
StatePublished - 2004
EventASEE 2004 Annual Conference and Exposition, "Engineering Researchs New Heights" - Salt Lake City, UT, United States
Duration: Jun 20 2004Jun 23 2004


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