Welcome to the Industrial Engineering Website - The world, as we know, is evolving at a rate that most of us can hardly keep up with. Just look at what your cell phone can do -- the services it provides are mind-boggling. the line between products and services has blurred to a point where we can no longer consider one without the other. It is also a world on information overload. Where we previously focused on squeezing maximum information out of sparse data, we now need to be able to connect the right dots in a sea of dots. And the ever-evolving technology is forcing us to not only rethink how we do business, but also reinvent the very businesses themselves.
Purdue has played a critical role in the history of the industrial engineering profession. From fostering development of computer simulation methodology to intelligent manufacturing, we have been revolutionizing IE all along. The grand challenges facing society today are forcing us to once again look for new ways. The time has come to "Rethink IE".
What role will future industrial engineers play in sustaining the environment, delivering cleaner energy and improving health care? How we bring food and clean water to every corner of the world? Where do we fit into the changing needs of security and urban infrastructure?
At Purdue, we are already making headway. Key scientific advances in several critical areas are enabling us to address these problems. First, we are beginning to better understand the human brain. Reconciling normative behavioral and neurophysiological bases of human decision-making allow us to design effective socio-technical systems. Breakthroughs in bio-and nanosciences allow us to create structures one atom at a time. However, we need to scale up these processes -- to go from atoms to devices to enterprises -- in order to manufacture radically new products economically.
Another game-changing opportunity is at the intersection of algorithms, data and networks. Where we once built algorithms optimized for a single processor, we will soon design algorithms that work on millions of processors simultaneously. And as industrial engineers, we are in an ideal place to tackle the grand challenges facing society by figuring out how it all fits together by leveraging our understanding of complex systems.
I hope you enjoy the stories and updates -- I encourage you to share with me your thoughts on how you think we can better "Rethink IE".
James J. Solberg Head and Professor
School of Industrial Engineering