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Up to date as of January 14, 2010

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Engineering is applied science to achieve an objective. The different engineering disciplines overlap their scopes. Thus, a mechanical engineer knows about electrical engineering and a civil engineer knows about mechanical and electrical engineering etc. The label comes from the emphasis.

Industrial engineering focuses on the design of manned systems called organisations. A system is a set of components that interact to achieve an objective. A system can be a set of equipment that interfaces with humans to produce a tangible good. This would be a factory. Another system can be medical equipment and trained personnel in the context of a suitable building to provide medical care. This would be a hospital. The same analysis tools can be used to design both systems. That is why an Industrial Engineer can be useful both in factories, hospitals, as well as in any other productive enterprise (i.e., insurance companies, recreational parks, factories, car rental companies).

In order to design systems that maximize profit an Industrial Engineer needs not only to have a good working knowledge of technology and engineering but also needs to have a strong foundation in accounting and financial analysis. Therefore the Industrial Engineering curriculum in most universities combine an assortment of engineering and business courses.

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