Beginning in the 2001/2002 academic year, an undergraduate degree program leading to the Bachelor of Engineering in Industrial and Systems Engineering, i.e. BEng (Industrial and Systems Engineering), is offered in the Faculty of Engineering. This new program is the only one of its kind in Singapore. The host Department, the Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering, was established in the Faculty of Engineering in 1972.


What is Unique about Industrial and Systems Engineering
The domain knowledge of Industrial and Systems Engineering (ISE) is derived from combinations of engineering, mathematics, statistics, computing and social sciences. The ISE discipline calls for the adoption of a holistic view in resolving problems encountered and developing opportunities presented, coupled with a strong emphasis on efficiency and productivity improvement. Such a perspective provides decision makers with the capacity for the identification, analysis and design of complex productive systems in the industrial and service sectors through an integrated approach.


Industrial and Systems Engineering is unique among the engineering disciplines in that it is built upon a collection of methodological tools and the application of these tools is not restricted to only specific technological or industrial problems. Its application can be found in a wide range of areas. Some examples are:


Manufacturing industry: Ensuring that the equipment, manpower and other resources in the manufacturing process are integrated in such a manner so as to maintain efficient operation and for continuous improvement.


Logistics industry: Management of supply chain systems (e.g. manufacturing facilities, transportation carriers, distribution hubs, and retailers) through integration and optimization with the goal of fulfilling customer orders in the most cost effective way.

Service industry: Provision of consultancies in areas related to organizational effectiveness, service quality, information systems, project management, banking service strategy, etc.


Defence industry: Tools to support the management of military assets and military operations in an effective and efficient manner.




Job Prospects
Industrial and Systems Engineering has been recognized as an important academic discipline and a profession with high economic values in many countries. Empirical evidence of the importance of the discipline comes from the employment statistics in the United States, as shown in Table 1, where ISE specialties make up 23% among the engineering-related occupations listed. As Singapore moves towards higher value-added activities and its economy becomes more globalised, the demand for greater depth of technical skills for efficiency and productivity improvement and breadth of integrative management, which are core ISE skills, will correspondingly increase.

Table 1. Employed US civilians by engineering-related occupation. The professional specialties of ISE graduates are classified under items 5 and 6.

Professional Specialty
2000 Civilians US Employment
(% of total)
1. Aerospace Engineers
2. Chemical Engineers
3. Civil Engineers
4. Electrical and Electronic Engineers
5. Industrial Engineers
6. Operations/ Systems Researchers and Analysts
7. Mechanical Engineers
Total above

Source: Statistical Abstract of the United States: 2001, p. 380 (


Typical job titles of ISE graduates include Industrial Engineer, Manufacturing Engineer, Logistics Engineer, Supply Chain Engineer, Quality Engineer, Systems Engineer, Operations Analyst, Management Engineer, and Management Consultant. Experiences in the United States, Japan and other countries show that a high proportion of ISE graduates work in consultancy firms or as independent consultants, helping companies to engineer processes and systems to improve productivity, effect efficient operation of complex systems, and manage and optimise these processes and systems. Versatility is a trait of ISE graduates.


Companies that Employ our MEng/PhD Graduates

The following are some organizations that employ recent MEng/PhD graduates of the ISE Department (graduated since 1994) and the positions held by these graduates. The list includes companies in the manufacturing, banking, consulting and other service industries, research institutes and public organizations. It gives an indication of the varied and challenging job opportunities that are open to the future BEng(ISE) graduates of the Department:

Chartered Semiconductor Manufacturing (Quality and Reliability Manager); Tech Semiconductor Manufacturing (Industrial Engineer); Honeywell Engines and Systems (Business Process Analyst/Lean Expert); Wyeth Pharmaceuticals (Associate Director - Manufacturing Operation and Facilities); Celestica Technology (Quality and Systems Manager); Ericsson Telecommunications (R & D Engineer).

Standard Chartered Bank (ScoreCard Project Manager); Citicorp Investment Bank (Assistant Vice President - Capital Markets Group); First USA Bank (Quantitative Business Analyst); DBS Bank (Associate); SingTel (Market Development Manager); Pec-Tech (Project Finance Manager); Juran Institute, Inc. (Senior Consultant); JD Power Asia Pacific (Market Research Manager); Man-Drapeau Research (Financial Engineer).

NUS - Design Technology Institute (Research Engineer); Productivity and Standards Board (Senior Officer); DSO National Laboratory (Analyst); Defence Science and Technology Agency (Engineer); Temasek Polytechnic (Lecturer)


Famous Industrial Engineers

USA: Henry Gantt - inventor of the Gantt chart, Lillian Gilbreth - co-inventor of time and motion studies, Lee Iacocca - former CEO, Chrysler.


Singapore: Mah Bow Tan - MP for Tampines GRC, Khaw Boon Wan - Minister for National Development, Philip Yeo – Special Advisor for Economic Development (Prime Minister's Office), Senior Advisory for Science and Technology(Ministry of Trade & Industry) and Chairman of SPRING Singapore.


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