January 1, 2012
A hearty welcome to the website of the Faculty of Industrial Engineering and Management (IE&M) at the Technion - Israel Institute of Technology. The concept of "IE&M" was first conceived by the founding fathers of our faculty in the mid-1950s. The founders, a mixed group of industrial engineers and operations researchers, identified a need to educate engineers who would have basic management education in addition to engineering skills and knowhow. This new breed of engineers became a great success story in Israel and similar programs were later opened in various universities and colleges. The demand to IE&M graduates is constantly on the rise and their impact is felt across all economic and industrial sectors.
Like all other engineering disciplines, IE&M is a dynamic entity. New areas of interest frequently appear while mature areas that were exhaustively investigated gradually give way. Thus, in the 1960s the faculty was the first to introduce behavioral sciences into the IE&M curricula in order to emphasize the human aspects in any work environment. Then, in the late 1960s and throughout the 1970 we were the first to introduce a heavy dose of economic courses into our program so as to ensure that our graduates would be able to evaluate the economic implications of their engineering designs. In the 1980s the faculty was the first to introduce information systems as a major component in IE&M education and in the late 1990s and throughout the first decade of the 21st century we were the first to focus on service science and service engineering as a complement to the historic emphasize on production and manufacturing.
We now face a new and exciting challenge. There is a growing realization that IE&M needs to expand its horizon and devote more attention towards educating future engineers who will be capable of conceptualizing, designing, planning, implementing and operating complex systems. Consequently, there are many voices that argue for dropping the "M" part in IE&M and replacing it with "S" (for "systems"). When IE&M was launched, there was a vacuum in management education in Israel.
The first full-fledged business school was opened in Tel Aviv University in the late 1960s and as time went by, more and more universities and colleges offered various management programs, particularly MBA programs. Presently, there are over 30 MBA programs in Israel and many believe that the "market" for these programs is fully saturated.
The common perception across many firms and organizations in Israel is that in order to assume a management position one has to have a diverse education background starting first with an undergraduate degree in some professional field and complementing it with an MBA degree at the graduate level.
Thus, there is no longer a need to "compress" management education into the undergraduate degree. Instead, there is a strong need to provide our students with the tools necessary in order to face the challenges that are posed by the ever-increasing presence of large and complex systems in every aspect of today's reality. This means a shift from IE&M towards I&SE = Industrial & Systems Engineering. Indeed, we have already taken the first steps to explore this new and exciting direction and are ready continue our tradition of leading the academic community in Israel and beyond towards the challenges that await us as we start to implement the necessary changes in our research and teaching focus.
I invite the readers of our website to take advantage of the vast knowledge stored in it. Viewers who are considering where to study are invited to apply to become students in our programs. Foreign viewers are invited to come and visit us as exchange students or scholars and every viewer, no matter what reason brought him or her to our website, is invited to comment or express an opinion on its content.
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