KOREA UNIVERSITY School of Industrial Management Engineering

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About Industrial Management Engineering

What is Industrial Management Engineering?

Industrial management engineering is a discipline that orchestrates all fields pertaining to industrial systems. Industrial management engineering is the conductor over the orchestra that is the “industry,” the manager that decides the position and batting order of baseball players wearing the uniform that is the “industry,” the editor that edits and re-organizes articles written by reporters of the “Industry” Times, and the commander that leads the “industry” corps to victory.

These leaders do not play instruments, hit homeruns, write articles, or fire cannons, but they are responsible for creating a better performance, ensuring a victorious game, putting together a newspaper worth reading, and winning a battle.

Industrial management engineering is not directly involved in the creation or development of products and services, but it orchestrates processes behind-the-scenes to improve their quality. Those who regard products as mediocre may wish to challenge themselves by studying industrial management engineering and contributing to the betterment of society. In this context, industrial management engineering is the best choice for students interested in the design, management and continuous improvement of systems.

A discipline that sees both the forest and the trees

The industry is an organic, complex system involving people, resources, machines, capital and information. The elements constituting this system change rapidly with the development of technology, which causes the industry to change continually. The goal of industrial management engineering is to perform work using improved methods and to enable efficient system operations.

The School nurtures engineers who are capable of seeing both the forest and the trees. They possess knowledge of individual elements constituting a complex system, and integrate those elements to make optimal decisions. Industrial engineers help companies to save costs, and allow consumers to purchase high-quality yet affordable products.

There are two qualities that set industrial management engineering apart from other engineering fields. Most other fields of engineering are applicable only to that field, but industrial management engineering offers diverse options and optimizes different fields from a broader perspective.

This field also focuses on people and ensures that people benefit from system improvements. In other words, it places emphasis on improving people’s quality of life.

A discipline that leads all advanced fields

Industrial management engineering can be applied to various fields such as production, manufacturing, logistics, hospital management, the automobile industry, finance, wholesale and retail, information systems and communication systems. Other fields include consulting, urban planning and defense.

Industrial management engineers can work in not only manufacturing and service industries, but also marketing, finance and human resources management. Global brands that hire industrial engineers to improve their business processes include the Coca-Cola, UPS, Walt Disney, IBM, Nike, Intel, Microsoft, Motorola, and Boeing. [I1]

Industrial engineers can also be found in hospitals, airline carriers, banks and railway companies. According to a 1995[I2] article in Fortune, the starting salary for an industrial engineer with a bachelor’s degree was $35,224, higher than an engineer’s starting salary of $31,000. The average pay was $67,000, and those in senior positions earned as much as $215,000.

Topics covered under industrial management engineering

The topics covered under industrial management engineering can be largely divided into four areas. First, production systems control the efficiency of the overall production system and improve individual processes based on the analysis and design of manufacturing processes for household products and vehicles.

Second, information systems address the analysis, design and production technology of systems involving databases, communication networks, data communication and the internet, such as enterprise resource planning and electronic commerce.

Third, human-machine systems allow people to use machines and computers more easily and conveniently.

Fourth, system integration and analysis covers various theories of system analysis and design, as well as methodologies for the integration of individual systems.

More specifically, Optimization Theory selects the best alternative solution for the design and control of complex systems, while Probability and Statistics Theory is essential for system analysis. Logistics focuses on the smooth supply and distribution of resources and products, and Production Control is required for the analysis and improvement of production systems. Some other courses are Analysis and Design of Information Systems, Software Development Methodology, and Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP). Ergonomics helps to prevent workplace accidents, and Quality Control aims to maximize customer satisfaction through high-quality products. The curriculum is designed to nurture experts in the design, management and continuous improvement of systems.