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    University of Tennessee, Knoxville
    May 24, 2022  
2012-2013 Undergraduate Catalog 
2012-2013 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Industrial and Information Engineering

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Sawhney, R.S., PhD, Head
Jin, M., PhD, Associate Head

Garcia-Diaz, A., PhD - Illinois (Urbana-Champaign)
Sawhney, R.S., PhD - Tennessee

Associate Professors
Aikens III, C.H., PhD - Tennessee
Jin, M., PhD - Lehigh

Assistant Professors
Li, X., PhD - Arizona State
Ostrowski, J.A., PhD - Lehigh
Wilck IV, J.H., PhD - Penn State
Zhu, X., PhD - Texas A&M

Research Faculty and Staff
Blache, K., PhD - Wayne State
Dhingra, R., PhD - Tennessee
Fahey, M., PhD - Kentucky
Jensen, J., PhD - Georgia Institute of Technology
Keyser, R., PhD - Tennessee
Martin, H.L., PhD - Tennessee
Sedrick, G.A. (UTSI), PhD - Missouri (Rolla)
Simonton, J.L. (UTSI), PhD - Texas Tech
Stainback IV, J.R., PhD - Tennessee

Emeriti Faculty
Bontadelli, J.A., PhD - Ohio State
Claycombe, W., PhD - Virginia Polytechnic Institute
Garrison, G.W. (UTSI), PhD - North Carolina State
Hungerford, J.C., PhD - Ohio State
Kirby, K.E., PhD - Tennessee

Originally, the industrial engineering profession focused on manufacturing. Today’s industrial engineer will be involved in the design of systems and processes to produce and deliver goods and services not only in manufacturing, but also in the service industries and government sectors of the economy. Today’s industrial engineer is concerned with the design of integrated systems involving people, materials, finances, equipment, processes, energy, and information, so that the overall system functions efficiently and human needs are adequately met. Industrial engineering is distinctive in two respects – the industrial engineer typically works on problems or systems which include human beings as a major variable and the industrial engineer is by definition a systems engineer, whose unique combination of skills can be applied to many working environments.

It is this emphasis on people, science, and technology that distinguishes industrial engineering from the other engineering disciplines. The industrial engineer’s objective is to achieve the best possible results for the benefit of humankind in terms of safety, quality, and productivity. Industrial engineers create value through a total systems approach, scientific method, engineering design, and integration of new technologies. In common with all engineering disciplines, industrial engineering is based on mathematics and the physical sciences. However, industrial engineering also emphasizes the life sciences and social sciences. This concern for the human element leads to system designs that enhance the quality of life for all people, both as producers and consumers of products and services.

Career choices for industrial engineers range from retail distribution, banking, healthcare delivery, corporate management, municipal management, aerospace systems, research groups, government employment, as well as manufacturing. In all areas of manufacturing, service, and government, there is increasing emphasis on the goal of improving quality and productivity. Industrial engineers work closely with the top management in these sectors to achieve this goal.

Industrial engineering graduates possess the knowledge, technical skills, and professionalism for their entry into industry or graduate study. They are prepared for life-long learning and for service to society. Many will achieve prominent roles in management.

Students majoring in industrial engineering are eligible to participate in the Engineering Cooperative Program and other student activities in the College of Engineering. Industrial engineering majors interested in the Engineering Cooperative Program should visit Office of Cooperative Engineering or consult with their faculty advisor.


The goals of the industrial engineering undergraduate program are to prepare students to contribute to the profession of industrial engineering and to prepare them for further study, including professional and graduate education.


The program educational objectives of the industrial engineering program are to prepare our graduates to:

  • Objective 1: Our graduates will be able to think critically and to take a systems approach. They will be able to use modern tools of industrial engineering practice to collect, analyze, and use data in the design, evaluation, operation, and improvement of value-adding processes in for-profit organizations (e.g. manufacturing and service) and not-for-profit (e.g. government, healthcare, and education). They will possess the tools and insights necessary to attack unstructured, complex, and multi-dimensioned problems with a methodology that leads to practical, realistic, and implementable solutions.
  • Objective 2: Our graduates will be innovative thinkers, able to challenge tradition and create new ideas. Their approach to problem-solving and process improvement will be unfettered by status quo paradigms and will be champions for thinking outside-the-box – agents of change for their respective organizations. Our graduates will have strong interpersonal and teaming skills that will enable them to effectively lead problem-solving and quality improvement teams and build consensus in the development of new and better practices.
  • Objective 3: Our graduates will be continual learners, and have respect for the uniqueness of each problem encountered and an appreciation for the academic obsolescence brought on by changes in the environment in which they work (e.g. technology, economy, societal values. They will be able to recognize the shortcomings of their education and experience and be willing and able to acquire new knowledge as necessary to keep abreast of the dynamics of the workplace and the IE discipline.
  • Objective 4: Our graduates will be good communicators, and will be able to encourage and respect the opinions of others, even when such opinions constitute contrarian views. IE graduates will have good skills in listening, interviewing, presenting, report and letter writing, and an appreciation for the importance of empathy, succinctness, and clarity in the effective exchange of ideas.

This curriculum emphasizes the knowledge and skills necessary to design integrated systems of people, materials, equipment, and energy such that the overall systems function at an optimal level and such that the needs of human components of the system are met. The solid, broad base in engineering, combined with education in applying engineering methodology to traditionally non-engineering problem areas as provided through the industrial engineering curriculum, leads to participation by industrial engineers in an unlimited range of fields including retail distribution, banking, health care delivery, corporate management, municipal management, food industry, as well as traditional areas of manufacturing.


The eleven program outcomes listed in the College of Engineering section on National Accreditation are the accepted outcomes of the Industrial and Information Engineering Department.

Five-Year BS-MS Program

The department offers a 5-year BS-MS program with a major in industrial engineering for qualified students. The primary component of the program is a qualified student may take up to 9 hours of approved graduate courses for their senior undergraduate courses and have them count toward both the bachelor’s and master’s degrees at the University of Tennessee. This program is designed for students attending the University of Tennessee for their Master of Science degree because other universities may not accept these courses for graduate credit since they were used to satisfy requirements for the Bachelor of Science degree. The student may also take an additional 9 credit of courses, while working towards their bachelor’s, which will count only for the master’s degree. Qualifications for admission to the program are:

  • The student must have an earned minimum cumulative GPA of at least 3.4 to be considered for admission to the program. Conditional admission may be granted the student after completing 65 hours of the required course work.

  • Conditional admission must be obtained before taking a graduate course that is to be used to satisfy the requirements of both the bachelor’s and master’s degrees. Students admitted to the program must request permission from the Graduate School to take approved courses for graduate credit. Students admitted to the program must also follow the normal procedure for admission to the Graduate School.

  • Full admission may be granted after completing 96 hours of required course work and with a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.4 in the required course work.

  • Conditional and full admission of a student into this program must be approved by the Department of Industrial Engineering, the College of Engineering, and the Graduate School.

  • Full admission must be obtained before taking a graduate course that is to be used to satisfy the requirements only for the master’s degree. These courses must be identified in advance, with the proposed master’s advisor or the Industrial Engineering Graduate Program Coordinator.

  • Any course taken for graduate credit prior to satisfying all requirements for the bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering must be approved by the department head or designee and the Graduate School.

  • A student will not be eligible for a graduate assistantship until the student is enrolled as a graduate-level student in the Graduate School, has satisfied all of the requirements for the bachelor’s degree, or the student is in the final semester of the bachelor’s degree and has completed all undergraduate industrial engineering coursework.


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