Master of Science in Industrial Engineering and Operations Research (Manufacturing and Supply Chain Engineering)
This Master programme combines the core disciplines of Industrial Engineering and Operational Research. Industrial Engineering is a branch of engineering that deals with analysing, designing and optimising complex operational systems. The set of the mathematical tools these engineers rely on for designing operational systems is known under the term Operations Research.
The master’s programme combines the disciplines of Industrial Engineering and Operations Research into a single study programme.
Industrial Engineering (IE) is the 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 in a sustainable manner. A unique feature of IE is the consideration of the human element as a crucial factor in these systems.
Operations Research (OR) is the domain that studies mathematical models, both deterministic and stochastic, and a wide range of simulation and optimisation techniques. For an IE engineer, these OR tools are essential in designing and managing operational systems.
The combination of Industrial Engineering and Operations Research thus creates an engineering profile that can play a key role in various industries. Some pertinent application domains include Industry 5.0, connected robotics, sustainable smart cities. The IE/OR programme effectively prepares students for taking up leading roles in manufacturing and service industries worldwide, by thoroughly training them in technical principles of the design, planning and control of systems.
The Faculty of Engineering and Architecture (FEA) offers most of its Master’s Programmes in Engineering in English. This underlines the faculty's international ambition, as well as the importance of international education and multiple language skills for students.
The admission requirements vary. Depending on your preliminary training, you are either able to enrol directly, or there are additional requirements.
The programme consists of a general module, main subject modules, elective courses, and a master dissertation. The general module contains 36 credits of courses that cover the core competences of Industrial Engineering and Operations Research.
Students choose among two main subject modules, with 30 credits of specialist courses in distinct application domains. The main subject Manufacturing & Supply Chain Engineering Engineering focuses on analysing, optimizing, and designing systems in production and logistics, e.g., from the detailed time and methods study of an operator at a semi-automated workstation in a plastic recycling facility to the strategic network study of a global supply chain chain of electrical cars assembled in Belgium using components sourced from 3 different continents. The main subject Transport & Mobility Engineering focuses on analysing, optimizing, and designing systems that move people and goods around, from the detailed analysis of road traffic at an intersection to the development of sustainable intermodal mobility services that integrate public and private transport.
Through 30 credits of elective courses, students can further deepen and/or broaden their knowledge and skills in technical and non-technical subjects. As part of the electives, students can obtain a minor in either Artificial Intelligence or Automotive Production Engineering, two domains closely related to Industrial Engineering and Operations Research.
In the Master Dissertation, covering the final 24 credits of the two-year programme, students perform academic research using OR tools to tackle challenging IE problems in manufacturing, supply chain, transport or mobility.
Companies in all branches of industry, public services, and scientific research are eager to recruit IE/OR engineers. They have the skills to lead the continuous day-to-day improvement of systems that create products and services, but also to innovate and develop new products and services. IE/OR engineers are typically recruited as production manager, business analyst, project manager, supply chain consultant, etc. and usually quickly grow into senior technically specialised roles, or management positions.
At Ghent University, we strive to educate people who dare to think about the challenges of tomorrow. For that purpose, we provide education that is embedded in six strategic objectives: Think Broadly, Keep Researching, Cultivate Talent, Contribute, Extend Horizons, Opt for Quality.
Ghent University continuously focuses on quality assurance and quality culture. The Ghent University's quality assurance system offers information on each study programme’s unique selling points, and on its strengths and weaknesses with regard to quality assurance.
Ghent University's Education Objectives
Unique Selling Points
- This is a broad engineering programme in which various aspects that are important in a business context are combined, i.e., scientific, technological, economical, organisational, and human factors. This master’s engineers are excellently prepared to face concrete challenges, to solve problems, and to take the lead in companies and organisations to strive for “operational excellence”.
- This engineering profile is much wanted in the business world resulting in many job opportunities in very diverse companies and sectors. The programme is also much appreciated by the students themselves.
- The programme strikes a balance between academic, research-related competences and professional, hands-on competences. Most teachers have close contacts with the business world, through their experience in national and international projects in cooperation with industry and/or based on their affiliation with e.g. Flanders Make or imec. During their classes and assignments, they share both their hands-on experience and their relevant research findings.
- Students have a certain freedom of choice to compose their study programme according to their interests. They can choose to subscribe to a mix of technical, managerial and social elective course units; they can select the subject of their master’s dissertation; and they can opt to subscribe to an (international) apprenticeship.
- Student association ORLean joins the students in various extracurricular activities, such as company visits, meetings with alumni, talks from industry representatives, etc. and helps the students to establish networks in doing so.
- In many course units assignments and group works are offered in which the theory needs to be tested by and applied in practical cases, which provides the students immediately with relevant business experience.
- The programme takes actively part in the development of new, activating methods in which classical lectures make way for methods in which the students seize the initiative. Various course units are switching over to forms of blended learning and online learning combined with Q&A, independent project work, and feedback sessions.
- Students become acquainted with state-of-the-art software tools and packages for various applications, such as data processing and management, optimisation, statistics, simulation, automatization and operations management (ERP).
- In addition to the formal student representation in the study Programme Committee, the students are also unofficially consulted to keep our fingers on the pulse. This decreases the distance between students and teachers, which facilitates the quick and open discussion of possible problems.
- The programme’s development and implementation is evaluated by the business world by means of the advisory board, whose members hold key positions in both large cooperations and innovative SMEs across different industries and application domains.
- We are attending to a better distribution of the project work across the different course units of the programme to avoid that many deadlines coincide or that too little time is left for certain courses (without project work).
- Many students conduct their master’s dissertations in a business context and gain their first hands-on experience that way, which is in theory a positive trend. However, in some cases this is at the expense of the scientific, academic quality of the work produced. We will keep a closer watch on this topic during the monitoring and evaluation.
- Since the IEOR master still has no specific preparatory bachelor programme, students are still insufficiently acquainted with the programme. That is why we intend to draw both students’ and companies’ attention by the programme’s profile and familiarity by means of a prominent presence on various information sessions and graduate fairs. In addition to these measures, we also strive to organise our own bachelor programme in due course.
Tailored coaching programme: As stipulated in the quality improvement plan, the study programme in liaison with the faculty and the Education Department, is set to eliminate the weaknesses within a reasonable time frame. The study programme delivers regular progress reports to the Education Quality Board.
This study programme is accredited by the Accreditation Organisation of the Netherlands and Flanders (Dutch: NVAO). Accreditation was extended following the positive outcome of the institutional review in 2017. Programme quality was validated by a quality review, i.e. a screening of the Education Monitor by the Education Quality Board. The Quality Assurance Resolution (in Dutch) can be found here.
This information was last updated on 14/02/2023.
In case of questions or suggestions with regard to the publicly available information, please contact the study programme.