Master of Science in Industrial Engineering and Operations Research

Course content

The master’s programme combines the disciplines of Industrial Engineering and Operations Research into a single study program. Industrial Engineering (IE) is an engineering domain that deals with analysing, designing and optimising complex operational systems, with the aim of improving their effectiveness and efficiency, and thus increasing their productivity. A unique feature of IE that distinguishes it from other engineering disciplines, is the explicit consideration of the human element as an essential and determining factor of these operational systems. For designing operational systems, an IE engineer often relies on mathematical models, both of deterministic and stochastic nature, that are then subjected to simulation and optimisation techniques. The whole of these mathematical tools is known under the term Operations Research (OR). They comprise mathematical programming, simulation, search algorithms and heuristics, dynamic programming, queueing theory, decision techniques, statistics, stochastic modelling, network analysis, etc. Since many years, the combination of both disciplines forms a crucial engineering domain for companies worldwide. This engineering profile is highly wanted in companies because of the positive impact it has on their operational and organisational structures. Internationally, it is one of the largest engineering domains that effectively prepares students for taking up leading roles and management responsibility by thoroughly training them in the organisational and technical principles of systems in manufacturing and service industries.

The Faculty of Engineering and Architecture (FEA) offers most of the Master’s programmes in Engineering in English. This underlines the international ambition of the faculty, as well as the importance of international education and multiple language skills for students.

Course structure

Becoming a master in IEOR involves two phases: the first three years of study lead to the degree of Bachelor in Engineering Sciences and in the next two years the degree of Master in Engineering Sciences is obtained. The master’s programme combines courses in the core disciplines of IE and OR, but also provides room for elective courses.

Career perspectives

The Master of Science in Industrial Engineering and Operation Research is geared towards training young engineers to become operational specialists in designing, installing and managing industrial production and service systems, taking into account scientific, technological, economical, organisational and human factors. It is clear that many companies, both small and large, are eager to recruit these engineers. Internationally, experience with master’s programmes in industrial engineering shows that graduates quickly grow towards responsible leadership functions, i.e., the company management. Furthermore, IEOR engineers are not only found in industry but also in many organisational systems of society such as government, health care and hospitals, public service, law enforcement, transport and traffic systems, et cetera. It is also a core discipline in less traditional engineering environments: consumer-directed service companies, supermarket chains, retail companies, health services, consulting, etc.

+++/---
IEOR engineers are often responsible for the operational aspects of organisations in functions like production manager, head of development, logistics manager … and are found in all levels of the management. They also function as specialists (‘methods engineer’) in supporting departments of large companies and international corporations. Notable examples of what IEOR has to offer in today’s society can be found on www.iienet.org, the web site of the Institute of Industrial Engineering (IIE) which is the international professional organisation of engineers in this discipline. The organisation of European students of Industrial Engineering and Managements (ESTIEM) can be found on www.estiem.org.