Industrial Engineering is a branch of engineering which is concerned with the development, improvement, and implementation of integrated systems of people, money, knowledge, information, equipment, energy, materials, analysis and synthesis as well as the knowledge of mathematical, physical and social science together. Depending on the sub-specialties involved, industrial engineering may also be known as management science, operations research, systems engineering, management engineering, manufacturing engineering, ergonomics or human factors engineering based on the viewpoint of the users.

Industrial engineers are concerned with reducing production costs, increasing efficiency, improving the quality of products and services, ensuring worker health and safety, protecting the environment and complying with government regulations.They “work to eliminate waste of time, money, materials, energy and other commodities” according to the Institute of Industrial Engineers.

Industrial Engineer’s functional work areas:

1. Project management

2. Manufacturing, production & Distribution

3. Supply Chain Management

4. Productivity, Methods and Process Engineering

5. Quality Measurement and Improvement

6. Program Management

7. Ergonomics & Human Factors

8. Technology Development and Transfer

9. Strategic Planning

10. Management of Change

11. Financial Engineering

Industrial Engineers figure out ways to do things better. They develop systems that improve quality and productivity. They work to eliminate waste of time, money, materials, energy, and other commodities. Most important of all, IE saves company’s money.For doing above things, Industrial engineers use some techniques.


Some Techniques Utilized by IEs:

1. Bench Marking

2. Employee Involvement

3. Equipment Utilization

4. Lean Manufacturing

5. Flow Diagramming

6. Plant & Equipment Layout

7. Project Management

8. Simulation

9. Six Sigma Projects

10. Time Studies

11. Strategic Planning


Sectors of Industrial Engineering :

Industrial Engineers have a wide range of working sectors. The contribution of industrial engineers behind today’s highly developed world cannot be described in words. Industrial engineers have made their demand strong in various industries by dint of their hard work, excellence and perfection. Nowadays, Industrial Engineers are working in versatile sectors. As examples:

1. Aerospace

2. Steel

3. Banking

4. Glass & Ceramics

5. Garments

6. Media& Entertainment

7. Hospital Management

8. Plastics & Forming

9. Shipbuilding

10. Construction

11. Petroleum & Mining

12. Insurance

13. Pharmaceuticals

14. Leather & Footwear

15. Government


Industrial Engineer’s Post in Different Industries:

1. Industrial Engineer

2. Quality Engineer

3. Manufacturing Manager

4. Project Manager

5. Inventory Controller

6. Systems Consultant

7. Process Engineer /Manufacturing Engineer

8. Systems Analyst

9. Manufacturing Consultant

10. Production Supervisor

11. Consultant

12. Quality Control Supervisor


Essential skills of an Industrial Engineer include:

The concepts of Industrial Engineering require some personal skills for applying in practical purposes. So, an industrial engineer needs to acquire some individual skills to be a successful industrial engineer.

1. Negotiation skills

2. Inquisitive mind

3. Listening skills

4. Creative problem solving

5. Diplomacy

6. Patience

7. Ability to adapt to many environments and interact with a diverse group of individuals

8. Good common sense

9. Continuous desire to learn

10. Leadership skills

11. Good math skills

12. Strong time management skills

13. Mechanical aptitude

14. Excellent communication skills

15. Technical competency

16. Continuous drive for improvement

17. Passion for improvement


Some examples of the wide diversity of projects of Industrial Engineering:

  • Reducing waiting times for rides at an amusement park
  • Developing the conceptual layout of a dockyard and ship repair maintenance facility
  • Designing the admissions procedure at a hospital
  • Planning the flow of materials to the assembly line in an automobile factory
  • Discovering a new way to assemble a product that will prevent worker injury
  • Managing and tracking progress on the installation of a new baggage tracking system for an airline
  • Determining what are the most cost-effective precautions to reduce the occurrence and environmental impact of oil spills
  • Optimizing how can a dress manufacturer lay out its patterns to minimize wasted material
  • Deciding how many elevators should be installed in a new office building to minimize passengers waiting time
  • Assigning and scheduling doctors, nurses, and facilities in a hospital
  • Determine the best locations for building new fire and police stations
  • Planning how long should the warranty on an automobile or appliance run, what should it cover, and what will it cost the manufacturer
  • Adding a conveyor system to automate material handing in an electronics manufacturing facility
  • Creating an information system for tracking hazardous materials
  • Integrating systems for satellite tracking of shipments and trucks
  • Exploring the impact of adding robots to a manufacturing line
  • Developing a procedure for how workers will be evaluated
  • Converting a major production line to use a just-in-time or kanban inventory system

Some job overview of IE’s in renowned companies:

  • As an industrial engineer for United Airlines, you might use computer simulation to decide on the best way for passengers to board airplanes
  • As an ergonomist for John Deere, to reduce the risk of repetitive stress injuries, you may assess and change the tools that workers use or help redesign the tractor to safer and easier to use by the farmer
  • As a quality manager for Ford Motors, you may be responsible for supervising supplier’s quality by using acceptance sampling plans to monitor incoming shipments of materials
  • As a team manager for Hershey Foods, you may be in charge of inventory management,quality control, budgeting, and employee development, or may work to improve the product packaging to minimize candy breakage on it journey to the store
  • As a management consultant at Creighton University Hospital, you may help doctors and nurses make the best use of their time in treating patients. You may also design procedures for optimum use of medical facilities to help bringing down the cost of healthcare and make the hospital a safer and more pleasant place to be for the patients and their families.
  • As an operations analyst for American Airlines, you may design a bar coding system for identifying and transporting passenger luggage to ensure that it does not get lost
  • As a quality engineer for Omaha Public Power District (OPPD), you may improve customer satisfaction by designing a process to schedule service calls around the availability of the customer
  • As an inventory controller for Hallmark Cards, you may be responsible for forecastingales of cards and using those results to monitor card inventory levels and schedule card production
  • As a project engineering for Walt Disney Company, you may be involved in developing pick-up and drop-off schedules for trains and shuttle buses
  • As an industrial engineering for the US Postal Service, you may determine staffing requirements, create efficient mail flows, cost justify new equipment, and methods of improvement.

List of some world famous companies where IEs contribute:

  • Boeing
  • General Motors
  • Mercedes-Benz
  • Hewlett-Packard
  • Amway Corp.
  • Whirlpool
  • Coca-Cola
  • Intel Corp.
  • Microsoft
  • Amazon.com
  • Duracell
  • Wal-Mart Stores

The current status of Industrial Engineering in Bangladesh:

In Bangladesh the concepts and implementation of IPE is still passing it’s childish period but is a good sign that the demand of IPE is increasing day by day. Many national and international companies are now opened IE department or willing to launch IE department where they are recruiting INDUSTRIAL ENGINEERS. These types of work were done by other engineers in the past but now these works are performed efficiently by IEs. The garments sectors are now operated almost totally by IPE. IPE is also implemented in hospital management, leather, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, food & beverage, telecommunication, petroleum and many other industries also. Some renowned multinational companies such as Nestle, Unilever, Bangladesh Oxygen Corporation and Chevron Bangladesh Ltd. have already launched IE department where they are recruiting only industrial engineers. Besides IE have numerous job opportunities in various local, national and international companies. From these information one can easily forecast the future potentials of industrial engineers in Bangladesh.