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Industrial engineering (IE) is about choices - it is the engineering discipline that offers the most wide-ranging array of opportunities in terms of employment, and it is distinguished by its flexibility. While other engineering disciplines tend to apply skills to very specific areas, Industrial Engineers may be found working everywhere: from traditional manufacturing companies to airlines, from distribution companies to financial institutions, from major medical establishments to consulting companies, from high-tech corporations to companies in the food industry. The BS in industrial engineering program is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET (http://www.abet.org). To learn more about Industrial Engineering’s Undergraduate Program ABET Accreditation, click here.  Our department is the proud home of Pitt's Center for Industry Studies, which supports multidisciplinary research that links scholars to some of the most important and challenging problems faced by modern industry.

A statement co-signed by department chair, Bopaya Bidanda, on diversity, equity, and conclusion.

Click here for the Fall (2211) term undergraduate schedule.

Click here for the Fall (2211) term graduate schedule.


Measuring Student Motivation and Stress During a Pandemic

Covid-19, Electrical & Computer, Industrial

PITTSBURGH (Sept. 17, 2020) … As universities continue to adapt to the evolving situation surrounding the coronavirus pandemic, researchers from the University of Pittsburgh want to understand how the ever-changing learning environment affects student motivation, stress, and valued experiences. Two Swanson School of Engineering faculty, Renee Clark and Samuel Dickerson, received an award from the National Science Foundation to lead a longitudinal study to determine the degree to which undergraduate engineering students are academically motivated several semesters after the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. The team believes that the new safety measures implemented on campus may affect “valued college experiences” that increase motivation and help students maintain a work-life balance. They will survey which university experiences students value most and examine how the pandemic has impacted those experiences. They will also study students’ perceived motivation and stress levels using validated instruments in the semesters following the COVID-19 rules and restrictions. “The scope of this project is only step one,” said Dickerson, assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering at Pitt. “We suspect that students are less motivated, but with this study, we can figure out what contributed to this and determine how to mitigate it in case we need to transition to a fully virtual experience again.” Conversely, the group also wants to know if some students prefer the self-paced, flexible nature of remote learning. They have created an online assessment tool with the help of Pitt undergraduate students. Participants will be able to choose up to five “valued college experiences” and then rate the degree to which COVID-19 has impacted those experiences. “College in and of itself is stressful, but I generally find what is offered on and around campus to really complete the college experience and give me the time to enjoy myself while on campus,” said Alexander Cohen, a junior history major at Pitt who is contributing to the project. “I believe that incorporating the undergraduate viewpoint on this project helps us consider what experiences are valued the most and keep us in a healthy frame of mind, both mentally and emotionally,” he continued. They will use the MUSIC Model of Motivation by Brett Jones, professor of educational psychology at Virginia Tech, and his colleagues to formally measure academic motivation. They will similarly assess stress with the Perceived Stress Scale, a well-known, established instrument by Sheldon Cohen, Robert E. Doherty Professor of Psychology at Carnegie Mellon University, and his colleagues. “This instrument measures students’ perceived stress and also will provide us with baseline data from college students who were previously studied,” said Clark, assistant professor of industrial engineering. “We can use these data to determine where our students’ stress level is in comparison and try to figure out the top stressors.” Given the unpredictable nature of the pandemic, Clark and Dickerson have created a flexible study that can adapt to the changing structure of higher education. “It’s more than just a survey,” said Dickerson. “We are collecting real data that we hope will reveal ways to improve the college experience and motivation and decrease stress for students who, unfortunately, found themselves in this unprecedented situation.” # # #


Insightin Health Works with University of Pittsburgh Students to Predict the Start of Flu Season

Industrial, Student Profiles

Insightin Health News Release BALTIMORE, MD (September 9, 2020) ... Insightin Health, provider of data-driven decision-making technology, is excited to join forces with a team of students from the University of Pittsburgh’s (Pitt) Swanson School of Engineering.  As part of their engineering curriculum, this joint effort will combine Insightin Health’s industry-leading knowledge with an engineering approach from top-of-class students. The Insightin Health data science team will be working with Pitt students to explore the hypothesis “can we predict the start of flu season.”  Insightin Health is excited to collaborate with Pitt students in solving the healthcare challenge of protecting vulnerable populations during the flu season through on-time vaccination. Hyo Kyung Lee and Caroline Kolman, faculty in the Swanson School’s Department of Industrial Engineering, will mentor the students. While it is recommended that the elderly population receives a flu vaccine each year, the degree of protection throughout the entirety of the year is greatly influenced by when the flu shot is administered. By predicting the start of the flu season, Insightin Health believes it can optimize flu shot timing and support healthier lives – especially for populations experiencing chronic conditions – and help to reduce healthcare costs. As the Pitt seniors’ comprehensive capstone course, the informal study connects the dots between the students’ education and the application of their knowledge to solve a real-world problem. As a result, Pitt students gain the opportunity to develop project management skills, experience team dynamics, and apply soft skills such as communication and professionalism, says Michael Sherwin, Assistant Professor of Industrial Engineering at Pitt. “This is a truly inspiring opportunity for these students to take the skills and know-how they have developed across their educational careers and leverage it to work-through a real-life challenge,” notes Sherwin, the Industrial Engineering capstone course coordinator. “We make it a responsibility to give back to the community. We are excited to collaborate with the passionate and exceptional students and top faculty at the University of Pittsburgh to protect vulnerable populations and reduce healthcare costs,” says Shufang Ci, Chief Data Scientist of Insightin Health. “We hope, that by creating this opportunity, the students can apply what they learn in the classroom to making an impact in healthcare.” ### About Insightin Health Insightin Health is the industry’s only single platform which provides a complete personalized member engagement for each step of the health care journey. The core platform combines medical, clinical, cognitive, and social determinants of health to recommend the Next Best Action (NBA) for each person. Health plans can improve quality measurements, gain higher member satisfaction, and increase member retention. The simple integration and easy to use platform creates an effective shift towards a healthier population for the health plans. For more information, visit http://insightinhealth.com. About University of Pittsburgh The University of Pittsburgh is a state-related research university, founded as the Pittsburgh Academy in 1787. Pitt is a member of the Association of American Universities (AAU), which comprises 63 preeminent doctorate-granting research institutions in North America. For more information, visit https://www.pitt.edu/. Since 1846, the University of Pittsburgh’s Swanson School of Engineering has developed innovative processes and designs that have shaped our state, our country, and our world. Swanson School faculty and students are on the forefront of developing solutions to create a better future and continue its founding commitment to industrial, electrical, and mining engineering, the fields the world relies on for its energy and raw materials. The Swanson School also focuses on our health, our planet, and the ingenuity that keeps us competitive with recognized programs in bioengineering, sustainability, and energy. Nanotechnology, manufacturing, and product innovation are also critical strategic initiatives.
Author: Shayna Etches, Insightin Health Marketing Manager

Pandemic shutdown sparks innovation at ISE schools

Covid-19, Industrial

As COVID-19 spread worldwide in early March, businesses shuttered, public places emptied and schools closed for weeks to enforce physical distancing restrictions.The impact was keenly felt by colleges and universities, where officials were quickly thrust into crisis mode. In mere days, they had to close campuses and adjust to online learning platforms while addressing the various needs of students and faculty.Mary Besterfield-Sacre was among those caught in the tempest. As University of Pittsburgh students left for spring break, officials at Pitt’s Swanson School of Engineering began planning how to react to the virus’ approach. By midweek, the decision was made to close the campus before students returned. “By that time, what I’d already started doing was rallying the troops,” Besterfield-Sacre, a professor of industrial engineering and associate dean for academic affairs, told ISE. “We said, ‘This is what we’ve got to do – we’ve got to get the entire school up and running in a remote mode.’ ... The goal was to do the best we could for the last five weeks, and get over the finish line.” In the blink of an eye, instructors scrambled to adopt remote teaching techniques while students tried to complete research projects and fulfill summer internships and postgraduate job options. Yet amid the chaos, industrial and systems engineering faculty devised solutions to deliver class material online and students found innovative ways to stay connected and maintain their academic standing. In doing so, everyone learned what worked and what didn’t, and sought to improve remote learning procedures as fall semester approached. Read the full story at ISE Magazine.
Author: Keith Albertson, managing editor of ISE magazine

In Memoriam: John C. "Jack" Mascaro BSCE ’66 MSCE ’80, 1944-2020

Bioengineering, Chemical & Petroleum, Civil & Environmental, Electrical & Computer, Industrial, MEMS, Student Profiles, Office of Development & Alumni Affairs

From James R. Martin II, U.S. Steel Dean of Engineering: It is with great sadness to inform you that Jack Mascaro BSCE ’66 MSCE ’80, one of our outstanding alumni, volunteers, advocates, and benefactors, passed away this weekend after a hard-fought battle with illness. On behalf of our Swanson School community, I extend our deep condolences to his family, friends, and colleagues.Jack was a creative, caring juggernaut of ideas and inspiration, and his passing leaves an emptiness in our hearts and minds. It was an incredible honor and privilege to work with him during my short tenure as dean thus far, but I know those of you who have a long history with Jack and his family experienced a deep connection and now share a tremendous loss. I hope your memories of his lighthearted spirit, curious intellect, and enthusiasm for our students and programs provide solace and smiles.As one of our Distinguished Alumni, Jack was lauded by the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and the School for his contributions to Pitt, the region, and the profession, and was also honored by the University with the Chancellor’s Medallion. Thanks to his beneficence, the Mascaro Center for Sustainable Innovation and our focus on sustainability will continue his legacy for generations. Most importantly, it was his passion for sustainability, and what he saw as its inexorable link to engineering, that will forever inform our mission to create new knowledge for the benefit of the human condition. He truly was an engineer’s engineer, and we can never thank him and his family enough for his generosity of mind and spirit. Please join me in expressing our sympathies to the Mascaro Family, and to thank them for Jack’s impact on our students, alumni, and entire Swanson School community. Visitation will be held this Thursday in McMurray and you may leave thoughts for the family at his obituary page. Sincerely,Jimmy Other Remembrances Some Random and Personal Observations. Jeffrey Burd, Tall Timber Group & Breaking Ground Magazine (7-21-20). Jack Mascaro, founder of one of Pittsburgh's largest construction firms, dies at 76. Tim Schooley, Pittsburgh Business Times (7-22-20). Pittsburgh builder and sustainability pioneer Jack Mascaro dies after long illness. Paul Guggenheimer, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review (7-23-20). John C. 'Jack' Mascaro / Builder of Heinz Field, science center embraced 'green' construction. Janice Crompton, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (7-27-20). Founder of Mascaro Construction, Heinz Field builder, dies at age 75. Harry Funk, Washington Observer-Reporter (8-1-20).


Making a Sustainable Impact Throughout Pitt and Our Communities

All SSoE News, Bioengineering, Chemical & Petroleum, Civil & Environmental, Electrical & Computer, Industrial, MEMS, Student Profiles, Office of Development & Alumni Affairs

"MCSI remains committed to addressing global sustainability issues, connecting our domestic and international pursuits to create synergies locally, nationally, and internationally. We hope you enjoy this summary of the past year’s impacts, and we'd be happy to answer any questions you might have about the report's contents and MCSI's programs."

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