College of Engineering

Industrial and Systems Engineering

University Exemplary Department

G. Don Taylor, Jr., Head and Charles O. Gordon Professor
E.M. Van Aken, Associate Head and Undergraduate Program Director
C.P. Koelling, Assistant Head and Graduate Program Director
University Distinguished Professor and W. Thomas Rice Professor:
H.D. Sherali
John Grado Professor:
J.G. Casali
John W. Hancock, Jr. Chair: P.E. Torgersen
Paul T. Norton Professor: S.C. Sarin
Professors: B.M. Kleiner; M.A. Nussbaum; R. Sturges; K.P. Triantis
Associate Professors: E.K. Bish; K.P. Ellis; L.K. Harmon; C.P. Koelling;
T.E. Lockhart; J.A. Nachlas; J.P. Shewchuk; T. Smith-Jackson; M.R. Taaffe; E.M. Van Aken
Assistant Professors: M.J. Agnew; D.R. Bish; J.A. Camelio;
Y. Merzifonluoglu; R. Pasupathy; C. Wernz; W. W. Winchester, III
Faculty Affiliates1: D.Y. Gao; J. Terpenny; D. Young
Adjunct Faculty: B. Fraticelli; J. Godfrey; C. Martin; J. Meredith; L. Travis
Professors Emeritus: B.S. Blanchard; M.P. Deisenroth; W.J. Fabrycky; P.T. Kemmerling; K.H. E. Kroemer; H.A. Kurstedt; D. L. Price; J.W. Schmidt, Jr.; H.L. Snyder; W.G. Sullivan; W.W. Wierwille; R.C. Williges
Associate Professor Emeritus: P. Ghare; M.L. Spengler
Academic Advisor: J. Vest
1Faculty with regular appointments in other departments

ISE students
ISE studentsISE students


    The Grado Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering advances the discipline and imparts knowledge to students, peers and practitioners. In an environment that fosters leadership, achievement, and diversity, we:

  1. Prepare undergraduate and graduate students for life-long success and leadership in the profession, in industry, and in higher education;
  2. Conduct and disseminate research that promotes the economic prosperity and well-being of Virginia and the nation; and
  3. Provide valuable services to industry, society, and the ISE profession.

    Industrial and systems engineering is one of the most diverse fields in engineering. ISE is concerned with the design, improvement, and installation of integrated work systems of people, materials, equipment and technology, processes, information, and capital. The industrial engineer is concerned with creating value and improving performance of integrated systems, whether that involves improving quality and productivity, reducing costs and non-value adding activities, improving customer satisfaction, or improving worker safety.

    The applications for industrial engineering capabilities include industry, government, and service organizations. Graduates of the ISE program at Virginia Tech work in manufacturing facilities, distribution warehouses, hospitals, airlines, railroads, banks, amusement parks, the military, federal government, and management consulting firms, among others. The boundaries of where IEs make contributions are limitless.

    The mission of the ISE Undergraduate Program is to prepare industrial and systems engineering students to create value for organizations, the profession, and society. We achieve this mission by recruiting, retaining, and educating high quality and diverse students and by creating a rigorous and collegial environment enabling students to learn industrial engineering methods and tools, built upon a foundation of mathematical, physical, and engineering sciences, and to apply them in any global organizational setting. Students are able to achieve academic and professional success through opportunities to participate in various educational experiences, to develop capabilities as future leaders, and to embark on a lifelong journey of professional development and learning.

Program Educational Objectives and Program Outcomes

    The ISE faculty, with input from our external Advisory Board, employers, and students, have defined the following Program Educational Objectives (PEOs) and Program Outcomes for our Undergraduate Program . PEOs are statements that describe the expected accomplishments of ISE graduates within 3-5 years after graduation. Program Outcomes are statements that describe what students are expected to know and be able to do at the time of graduation.

    Program Educational Objectives: Within 3-5 years of graduation, ISE alumni will have:

    1. Created value by applying the appropriate industrial engineering tools to design/redesign integrated systems/processes, solve problems, and improve results.
    2. Provided formal and informal leadership to their respective organization.
    3. Stayed current by pursuing professional development through graduate study, professional certification, and continuing education.
    4. Communicated effectively using written, oral, and visual media adapted to different audiences and stakeholders.
    5. Worked effectively in cross-functional team environments comprised of members with varying organizational backgrounds, positions, and geographic locations.
    6. Served the profession, community, and society.

    Program Outcomes: At the time of graduation, ISE students will have the:

    1. Ability to apply computational and industrial engineering tools and techniques encompassing manufacturing systems, operations research, human factors and ergonomics, and management systems.
    2. Ability to apply knowledge of mathematics, statistics, and physical and social sciences to IE problems.
    3. Ability to identify, formulate, and solve structured and unstructured IE problems.
    4. Ability to model, analyze, and evaluate work systems and processes, using appropriate experimental design, measurement tools/techniques, and data.
    5. Ability to generate and evaluate alternatives to design an integrated work system or process through a systems perspective.
    6. Ability to evaluate the impact of IE solutions in the broader context of the organization and society, with an appreciation of different cultures and perspectives.
    7. Knowledge of the role of industrial engineers in contemporary issues.
    8. Ability to communicate effectively to a variety of audiences and using written, oral, and visual media.
    9. Understanding of professionalism, good citizenship, and ethical behavior.
    10. Ability to work collaboratively in multi-disciplinary teams.
    11. Understanding of the need for continued professional development and ability to engage in life-long learning.

    The Industrial and Systems Engineering program at Virginia Tech is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET, Inc., 111 Market Place, Suite 1050, Baltimore, MD 21202-4012 - telephone (410) 347-7700.


    The ISE curriculum explicitly encompasses coursework useful in addressing not only the technical elements of work systems, but also the organizational, economic, and human elements. Our aim is to provide graduates with the knowledge and capabilities to enable them to successfully pursue careers in industrial engineering or, if qualified, to continue on to graduate study.

    ISE emphasizes instruction in fundamental engineering principles based on the physical sciences, engineering sciences, mathematics, and statistics. These principles are applied in practical design experiences throughout the undergraduate curriculum.

    Course work in the physical and chemical sciences and mathematics provides a solid background for basic engineering science courses, which in turn support more focused courses in industrial engineering, covering topics in operations research, manufacturing systems, human factors engineering and ergonomics, and management systems. In all these areas, analysis and design activities are supported by modern computing and software tools taught in the curriculum.

    Students gain valuable hands-on, laboratory experience in manufacturing processes, work methods, computer simulation, and human factors engineering. State-of-the-art laboratory facilities associated with the undergraduate curriculum include the ISE Computer Laboratory, which contains computers and printers to support the needs and requirements of ISE students that are not available through access to personal computers or in other laboratories; the Senior Design Center, with computer support and other resource material for student design projects; the Manufacturing Systems Engineering Laboratories, which contain robotics and automation equipment, machining equipment, conventional and numerically controlled machine tools, and welding and foundry facilities; the Human Factors Work Measurement and Methods Engineering Laboratory, which is equipped and used for in-class exercises and experiments in work measurement, motion economy and time study, psychophysics, human audition and vision, and work station design.

    The capstone course in the ISE Undergraduate Program is a two-semester class, ISE 4005-6 Project Management & System Design (also referred to as “Senior Design”), where students work in project teams with an external company sponsor to solve a real-world problem. This experience provides ISE students with actual project experience that develops technical and professional skills, such as teamwork, communication, project management, and life-long learning skills, in addition to developing capabilities in applying IE tool and techniques. Student project teams present their project findings at our annual Senior Design Symposium attended by company sponsors and the ISE Advisory Board.

    The course work totals 136 hours and includes 21 credit hours of electives and 13 credit hours of Curriculum for Liberal Education Area electives, providing students with the opportunity to explore other areas of engineering, as well as cultural, societal and creative experiences, which makes for a well-rounded, diverse, and globally-aware engineer.

    The ISE program also provides students with the opportunity to pursue minors, such as a Business Minor, Green Engineering Minor or Math Minor. More specific information about minors available to ISE students can be found in the ISE Undergraduate Student Handbook, posted on the ISE web site. Students and employers alike are seeing the benefits of these minors for adding value to the ISE major.

    Many ISE students seek to participate in Undergraduate Research to satisfy elective requirements in the curriculum. The opportunity to work more closely, in some cases on a one-on-one basis, with our outstanding faculty can provide more in-depth development of ISE capabilities and a more enriching educational experience. Each year, about 15% of ISE students participate in Undergraduate Research, with almost one-third of students having participated in an Undergraduate Research experience by the time they graduate.

    The department participates in the Cooperative Education Program, in which qualified students may alternate semesters of study with semesters of professional co-op employment or internships. Students are encouraged to pursue these experiences before they graduate to make them more competitive in the work force. Students are also encouraged to participate in career fairs and job interviews on and off campus.

    The ISE department also provides students with many significant scholarship opportunities at the undergraduate and graduate levels to encourage and acknowledge high academic performance and achievements.

    Graduate programs leading to the M. Engr., M.S., and Ph.D. are offered (see Graduate Catalog). The graduate programs include concentrations in manufacturing systems, human factors engineering and ergonomics, operations research, management systems, and general IE. The ISE Department also coordinates on- and off-campus master's degree programs in systems engineering (M.S.) and engineering administration (M.E.A.).

Program Requirements

    The required classes for the ISE undergraduate degree are shown below for each year. These requirements are based on the ISE 2010 Checksheet for students graduating in 2010 and 2011. Students completing the BSISE curriculum prior to 2010 or after 2011 should consult the appropriate checksheet (available on the ISE web site or in the ISE Academic Advisor’s office).
First Year
First Semester
ENGL 1105: English I 3
CHEM 1035: General Chemistry for Engineers 3
CHEM 1045: General Chemistry Lab for Engineers 1
MATH 1114: Linear Algebra 2
MATH 1205: Calculus I 3
ENGE 1024: Engineering Exploration 2
Elective 3
Second Semester
ENGL 1106: English II 3
PHYS 2305: Foundations of Phys I w/lab 4
MATH 1206: Calculus II 3
MATH 1224 Vector Geometry 2
ENGE 1104: Exploration Digital Future
or ENGE 1114: Exploration Engineering Design
Elective(s) 3
Second Year
First Semester
PHYS 2306: Foundations of Phys II w/Lab 4
MATH 2224: Multivariable Calculus 3
ISE 2014: Engineering Economy 2
ENGE 2314: Eng. Problem Solving w/ C++ 2
ENGE 2344: Computer-Aided Drafting 1
ESM 2104: Statics 3
Second Semester
MATH 2214: Differential Equations 3
STAT 4105: Theoretical Statistics 3
ISE 2204: Manufacturing Processes 2
ISE 2214: Manufacturing Processes Lab 1
ISE 2404: Deterministic Operations Research 3
ESM 2304: Dynamics 3
MSE 2034: Materials Engineering 3
Third Year
First Semester
STAT 4706: Statistics for Engineers 3
ISE 3014: Work Measurement and Methods Engr 3
ISE 3414: Probabilistic Operations Research 3
ISE 3614: Intro to Human Factors Engineering 3
ECE 3054: Electrical Theory 3
Elective 1
Second Semester
ISE 3214: Facility Planning and Material Handling 3
ISE 3424: Discrete-Event Computer Simulation 3
ISE 3624: Industrial Ergonomics 3
ISE 3024: Data Mgt for Industrial Engineers 3
Electives 6
Fourth Year
First Semester
ISE 4005: Project Management and Sys. Design 3
ISE 4204: Prod. Planning and Inventory Control 3
ISE 4404: Statistical Quality Control 3
Electives 9
Second Semester
ISE 4006: Project Management and Sys. Design 2
ISE 4304: Global Issues in Indus. Mgt. 3
Electives 12

    a) These program requirements are based on the ISE 2010 Checksheet which is applicable for students graduating in 2010 and 2011; students graduating before 2010 or after 2011 should see the ISE Academic Advisor;
    b) A grade of C- or better must be obtained in core ISE, STAT, and MATH courses that are prerequisites for more advanced ISE courses (see Catalog descriptions for specific prerequisite requirements for each course);
    c) Electives must be taken to satisfy the 13 credit hours of Curriculum for Liberal Education Area requirements, 6 credit hours of Non-Technical Electives, 6 credit hours of Engineering Science Electives, 3 credit hours of Technical Electives, and 6 credit hours of ISE Technical Electives – students should refer to the ISE Undergraduate Student Handbook and ISE 2010 Checksheet for specific requirements in each Elective area;
    d) For more information about the ISE curriculum and requirements, contact the ISE Academic Advisor at 540/231-6388 or the ISE department at 540/231-6656.

Undergraduate Course Descriptions (ISE)

Concepts and techniques of analysis for evaluating the worth of products, systems, structures, and services in relation to their cost. Economic and cost concepts, calculating economic equivalence, comparison of alternatives, replacement economy, economic optimization in design and operations, and after-tax analysis. Pre: ENGE 1024. (3H,2C)

Survey of manufacturing processes, including casting, forming, machining, joining, and nontraditional processes such as laser and electrical discharge machining. Emphasis on process capabilities and limitations and design for manufacturability. Also includes topics in product design, material selection, process planning, and manufacturing automation. Pre: ENGE 1104 or ENGE 1114. (2H,2C) I,II.

Laboratory exercises and experimentation in manufacturing processes. Emphasis on metrology, casting and molding, forming, machining, welding and computer-aided manufacturing. Pre: ENGE 1104 or ENGE 1114. (3L,1C) I,II.

Deterministic operations research modeling concepts; linear programming modeling, assumptions and algorithms, duality and sensitivity analysis with economic interpretation; transportation and assignment problems; convexity issues, optimality conditions for continuous unconstrained and constrained nonlinear optimization problems, numerical optimization methods; and discrete optimization concepts. Co: MATH 2224. (3H,3C) II,III.

Variable credit course.

Variable credit course.

Fundamentals of general and cost accounting practices applied to manufacturing and service organizations. Cost accounting, standard cost determination, cost and budgetary control systems. A grade of C- or better required in prerequisite ISE 2014. Pre: 2014 or ME 2024. (4H,3C) II.

Survey of methods for assessing and improving performance of individuals and groups in organizations. Techniques include various basic industrial engineering tools, work analysis, data acquisition and application, performance evaluation and appraisal, and work measurement procedures. A grade of C- or better required in prerequisites ISE 2204 and 2214 and STAT 4105. Pre: (2204 or 2214), STAT 4105. (2H,3L,3C) I,III.

Investigation of data modeling, storage, acquisition, and utilization in Industrial Engineering via manual and computerized methods. Development of effective spreadsheet applications using Excel. Design and implementation of relational databases via E-R modeling, relational schema, normalization, SQL, and MS Access. Web-based database applications using HTML, JavaScript, and ASP. Interface design and the system development life cycle applied to data management applications. All topics covered within the context of typical Industrial Engineering problems. A grade of C- or better is required in ISE 2214. Pre: 2214, ENGE 2314. Co: 3214. (3H,3C)

Theory and concepts involved in model formulation for design and analysis of facility plans. Includes facility layout, facility location and material handling system design. Application of quantitative tools and techniques for flow analysis, layout planning, and automated material handling system design. A grade of C- or better required in ISE prerequisites 2014, 2404, and 3414. Pre: 2014, 2404, 3414, ENGE 2344. Co: 3424. (3H,3C) II,IV.

This course introduces probability models used to investigate the behavior of industrial systems. The major topics include conditioning, elementary counting processes and Markov chains. Emphasis is on the use of these tools to model queues, inventories, process behavior and equipment reliability. A grade of C- or better required in STAT 4105, MATH 2214 and MATH 2224. Pre: ENGE 2314, MATH 2214, MATH 2224, STAT 4105. (3H,3C) I,III.

Introduction to the analysis of systems through discrete simulation. Topics include an introduction to systems analysis and modeling, random variable generation, model development, and testing and problem analysis through simulation. A grade of C- or better required in ISE prerequisite 3414. Pre: 3414. Co: STAT 4706. (2H,3L,3C) II,IV.

Survey of human factors engineering emphasizing the systems approach to workplace and machine design. Discussion of basic human factors research and design methods, visual processes and design methods, selection of statistical techniques for application to human factors data, visual and auditory processes, display and control design and effects of environmental stressors on humans. A grade of C- or better required in STAT 4105. Pre: STAT 4105. (2H,3L,3C) I,IV.

Introduction to ergonomics with an emphasis on people at work. Discussion of ergonomic methods for measurement, assessment, and evaluation, with major topics including manual materials handling, cumulative trauma disorders, environmental stresses, safety, and legal issues. A grade of C- or better required in ISE prerequisite 3014. I,II. Pre: 3014, ESM 2104. (3H,3C)

A theory of cooperative behavior in formal organizations, including the structure and elements of formal organizations. The executive process and the nature of executive responsibility also are examined. I, II. (3H,3C)

The capstone design sequence for ISE majors. Survey of methods, tools and techniques used to plan, communicate, manage and control projects. Students work in teams to develop a proposal for and implement an industrial engineering design project for actual manufacturing or service industry clients. A grade of C- or better required in ISE prerequisites 3214, 3424, 3024 and 3614. Pre: 3024, 3214, 3424, 3614 for 4005; 4005 for 4006. Co: 4204, 3624 for 4005. 4005: (3H,3C) 4006: (2H,2C)

Systems approach to management, domains of responsibility, structured and synergistic management tools, management system model, contextual frameworks, information portrayal, automation objectives model, evaluation, shared information processing, information modeling. A management process for definition, measurement, evaluation and control, the organization as an information processor, corporate culture, scoping agreements, schemas and management elements, structured design. I (3H,3C)

Theory and concepts involved in model formulation for analysis and control of production processes. Systems for planning and controlling production and inventory including material requirements planning (MRP), just-in-time (JIT), and synchronous production systems. A grade of C- or better is required in prerequisite ISE 2404 and STAT 4706. I. Pre: 2404, STAT 4706. (3H,3C)

Lean Manufacturing principles, theory, methods, and techniques in modern manufacturing enterprises. Lean manufacturing philosophy and basic concepts, master production scheduling and production smoothing, assembly line sequencing, setup time reduction, U-shaped line balancing/operation, machine arrangement, kanban, autonomation, and quality control. Investigation and discussion of lean manufacturing case studies. Grade of C- or better required in ISE 4204 Pre: 4204. (3H,3C)

Modeling of industrial situations and introduction to the use of simulation languages. Several simulation languages commonly used for industrial engineering applications such as GPSS, SLAM, and SIMAN will be covered. A grade of C- or better required in prerequisite ISE 3424. Pre: 3424. (3H,3C)

Concepts and techniques for modeling, designing, and implementing Computer Integrated Manufacturing (CIM) systems. Emphasis on relational databases and communications networks and their use in modern manufacturing enterprises. Fundamentals and role of Computer Aided Design (CAD), Computer Aided Manufacturing (CAM), and Computer Aided Process Planning (CAPP) in CIM systems. A grade of C- or better required in ISE prerequisites 2204, 2214 and 4204. Pre: (2204 or 2214), (4204). (3H,3C)

A survey of the various technologies employed in industrial automation. This includes an emphasis on industrial applications of robotics, machine vision, and programmable controllers, as well as an investigation into problems in the area of CAD/CAM integration. Examination of the components commonly employed in automation systems, their aggregation and related production process design. Laboratory work is required. A grade of C- or better required in prerequisites ISE 2204 or 2214. Pre: 2204 or 2214. (2H,3L,3C)

Industrial management topics of current interest explored from a global perspective. Current domestic and international challenges resulting from a global marketplace and the proliferation of information and technology. Industrial management and organizational performance, total quality management, business process re-engineering, leadership, organizational change, role of communication and information, and ethics. Examination and comparison across international boundaries. (3H,3C) II.

Application of statistical methods and probability models to the monitoring and control of product quality. Techniques for acceptance sampling by variables and attributes are presented. Shewhart control charts for both classes of quality characteristics are examined in depth. The motivation for each method, its theoretical development, and its application are presented. The focus is upon developing an ability to design effective quality control procedures. A grade of C- or better required in ISE 3414, STAT 4105, and STAT 4706. Pre: 3414, STAT 4105, STAT 4706. (3H,3C) I.

Implementation of statistical quality control techniques in an industrial setting. Development and analysis of cost models for use in the design of optimal quality control plans. Also included are new techniques, advanced quality control models, and an examination of the role of industrial statistics in the overall product quality assurance function. A grade of C- or better required in prerequisite ISE 4404. Pre: 4404. (3H,3C)

Introduction to the key issues in the integrated support of a product of process. Synthesis of topics from earlier studies to provide a cohesive approach to their applications. Logistics engineering provides a survey of product support issues and methods of resolving them within the context of the overall production activity. A grade of C- or better required in prerequisite ISE 3414. Pre: 3414. (3H,3C)

Anthropometry, skeletal system, biomechanics, sensorimotor control, muscles, respiration, circulation, metabolism, climate. Ergonomic design of task, equipment, and environment. A grade of C- or better required in prerequisite ISE 3614. Pre: 3614. (3H,3C)

Survey of occupational safety. Topics include: history of occupational safety; hazard sources related to humans, environment, and machines; engineering management of hazards. A grade of C- or better required in prerequisite ISE 3614. Pre: 3614. (3H,3C) II.

Introduction to the foundations of the field of Industrial Hygiene, that discipline devoted to the anticipation, recognition, measurement, evaluation, and control of occupational health hazards. Includes biological (e.g. microbial agents, allergens), chemical (e.g. solvents, carcinogens, dusts), and physical (e.g. radiation, temperature) hazards. Overview of control of health hazards, such as personal protective equipment, administrative controls, and engineering controls. Will involve lecture and participatory "case-study" activities. Will provide ample opportunity for hands-on use of monitoring equipment, protective equipment and controls testing devices. II. (3H,3C)

Variable credit course.

Variable credit course.

Variable credit course.