Introduction to Industrial Engineering
By Jane M. Fraser
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8.2 Education and life long learning
As I mentioned in Chapter 2,
many students have read and have recommended very strongly
The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, by Stephen Covey. Those seven habits are:
- Be proactive.
- Begin with the end in mind.
- Put first things first.
- Think win/win.
- Seek first to understand, then to be understood.
- Sharpen the saw.
"Sharpen the say" reminds you to continually refresh and add to your knowledge and skills."
To practice as a physician in the United States, a person must earn an
undergraduate degree, earn a graduate medical degree, pass the United
States Medical Licensing Examination, and be approved by the state
licensing board where the physician will practice. In most states and for
most specialities, physicians are required to complete a minimum number of
credits in continuing medical education each year to maintain a license. To
practice as an attorney in the United States, a person must earn an
undergraduate degree, earn a graduate law degree, pass a bar exam, and
be licensed by the jurisdiction in which the lawyer will practice. In
most states, attorneys are required to complete a minimum number of credits
in continuing legal education each year to maintain a license.
Engineering, like medicine and the law, is considered a profession, but to
practice as an engineer in the United States a person needs only to earn an
undergraduate degree and need not be licensed. However, to be a principal in
an engineering firm (for example, if you want to open your own firm as an engineer) or to
approve engineering plans and drawings, you must be a licensed professional
engineer (PE). Among all the types of engineering, licensure is
most important for civil engineers, and probably least important for industrial engineers.
As with physicians and attorneys,
becoming licensed requires passing exams and being licensed by a state.
Thirty states require continuing engineering education to remain licensed;
Colorado does not. If you become a licensed PE in one
state, most other states will have a process by which you can also be
licensed in that state.
In Colorado, the
Board of Licensure for Professional Engineers and Land
Surveyors controls the
licensure of engineers. In most states (including Colorado) the steps to
becoming a licensed Professional Engineer are:
- While a senior in an ABET accredited engineering program, pass the
Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) exam. You are then an Engineer in Training
- Graduate from an ABET accredited engineering program.
- Have 8 years of "progressive engineering experience of which education is
- Pass the Principles and Practice exam.
The FE and PE exams are administered by the
National Council of Examiners
for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES). The FE exam is an
8 hour exam, given on a Saturday, in Denver. The morning session is 4 hours
long, has 120 multiple choice questions in 12 topic areas, is the same for
everyone, and has the following content (with approximate percent of the
- Mathematics 10%: Analytic geometry, Integral calculus, Matrix
operations, Roots of equations, Vector analysis, Differential equations,
- Engineering Probability and Statistics 7%: Measures of central
tendencies and dispersions (e.g., mean, mode, standard deviation),
Probability distributions (e.g., discrete, continuous, normal, binomial),
Conditional probabilities, Estimation (e.g.., point, confidence intervals)
for a single mean, Regression and curve fitting, Expected value (weighted
average) in decision-making, Hypothesis testing
- Chemistry 9%: Nomenclature, oxidation and reduction, periodic table,
states of matter, acids and bases, equations (e.g., stoichiometry),
equilibrium, metals and nonmetals,
- Computers 7%: terminology (e.g., memory types, CPU, baud rates,
Internet), spreadsheets (e.g., addresses, interpretation, what if, copying
formulas), structured programming (e.g., assignment statements, loops and
branches, function calls),
- Ethics and Business Practices 7%: code of ethics (professional and
technical societies), agreements and contracts, ethical versus legal,
professional liability, public protection issues (e.g., licensing boards)
- Engineering Economics 8%: discounted cash flow (e.g., equivalence, PW,
equivalent annual FW,
rate of return), cost (e.g., incremental, average, sunk, estimating),
analyses (e.g., breakeven, benefit-cost), uncertainty (e.g., expected value
- Engineering Mechanics (Statics and Dynamics) 10%: resultants of force
systems, centroid of area, concurrent force systems, equilibrium of rigid
bodies, frames and trusses, area moments of inertia, linear motion (e.g.,
force, mass, acceleration, momentum), angular motion (e.g., torque, inertia,
acceleration, momentum), friction, mass moments of inertia, impulse and
momentum applied to particles and to rigid bodies, work, energy, and power
as applied to particles and to rigid bodies.
- Strength of Materials 7%; shear and moment diagrams, stress types
(e.g., normal, shear, bending, torsion), stress strain caused by axial
loads, bending loads, torsion, and shear, deformations (e.g., axial,
bending, torsion), combined stresses, columns, indeterminant analysis,
plastic versus elastic deformation.
- Material Properties 7%; properties including chemical, electrical,
mechanical, and physical properties, corrosion mechanisms and control,
materials including engineered materials, ferrous metals, and nonferrous
- Fluid Mechanics 7%; flow measurement, fluid properties, fluid statics,
energy, impulse, and momentum equations, pipe and other internal flow.
- Electricity and Magnetism 9%; charge, energy, current, voltage, and
power, work done in moving a charge in an electric field (relationship
between voltage and work), force between charges, current and voltage laws
(Kirchhoff, Ohm), equivalent circuits (series, parallel), capacitance and
inductance, reactance and impedance, susceptance and admittance, AC
circuits, basic complex algebra.
- Thermodynamics 7%; thermodynamic laws (e.g., 1st Law, 2nd Law),
energy, heat, and work, availability and reversibility, cycles, ideal gases,
mixture of gases, phase changes, heat transfer, and properties of enthalpy
In the afternoon, each student takes a test on the student's engineering
major. The afternoon session is 4 hours long; the industrial engineering
section has 60 multiple choice questions in 8 topic areas (with approximate
percent of the questions):
- Engineering Economics 15%; discounted cash flows (equivalence, PW, EAC,
FW, IRR, loan amortization), types and breakdown of costs (e.g., fixed,
variable, direct and indirect labor, material, capitalized), analyses (e.g.,
benefit-cost, breakeven, minimum cost, overhead, risk, incremental, life
cycle), Accounting (financial statements and overhead cost allocation), cost
estimating, depreciation and taxes, capital budgeting,
- Probability and Statistics 15%; combinatorics (e.g., combinations,
permutations), probability distributions (e.g., normal, binomial,
empirical), conditional probabilities, sampling distributions, sample sizes,
and statistics (e.g., central tendency, dispersion), estimation (point
estimates, confidence intervals), hypothesis testing, regression (linear,
multiple), system reliability (single components, parallel and series
systems), and design of experiments (e.g., ANOVA, factorial designs).
- Modeling and Computation 12%; algorithm and logic development (e.g.,
flow charts, pseudo-code), spreadsheets, databases (e.g., types, information
content, relational), decision theory (e.g., uncertainty, risk, utility,
decision trees), optimization modeling (decision variables, objective
functions, and constraints), linear programming (e.g., formulation, primal,
dual, graphical solution), math programming (network, integer, dynamic,
transportation, assignment), stochastic models (e.g., queuing, Markov,
reliability), and simulation (e.g., event, process, Monte Carlo sampling,
random number generation, steady-state vs. transient).
- Industrial Management 10%; principles (e.g., planning, organizing) and
tools of management (e.g., MBO, re-engineering), organizational structure
(e.g., functional, matrix, line/staff), motivation theories (e.g., Maslow,
Theory X, Theory Y), job evaluation and compensation, and project management
(scheduling, PERT, CPM).
- Manufacturing and Production Systems 13%; manufacturing systems (e.g.,
cellular, group technology, flexible, lean), process design (e.g., number of
machines/people, equipment selection, and
line balancing), inventory analysis (e.g., EOQ, safety stock), forecasting,
scheduling (e.g., sequencing, cycle time, material control), aggregate
planning (e.g., JIT, MRP, MRPII, ERP), concurrent engineering and design for
manufacturing, automation concepts (e.g., robotics, CIM), and economics
(e.g., profits and costs under various demand rates, machine selection).
- Facilities and Logistics 12%; flow measurements and analysis (e.g.,
from/to charts, flow planning), layouts (e.g., types, distance metrics,
planning, evaluation), location analysis (e.g., single facility location,
multiple facility location, storage location within a facility), process
capacity analysis (e.g., number of machines/people, trade-offs), material
handling capacity analysis (storage & transport), and supply chain design
(e.g., warehousing, transportation, inventories).
- Human Factors, Productivity, Ergonomics, and Work Design 12%; methods
analysis (e.g., improvement, charting) and task analysis (e.g., MTM, MOST),
time study (e.g., time standards, allowances), workstation design, work
sampling, learning curves, productivity measures, risk factor
identification, safety, toxicology, material safety data sheets (MSDS),
environmental stress assessment (e.g., noise, vibrations, heat,
computer-related), design of tasks, tools, displays, controls, user
interfaces, etc., and anthropometry, biomechanics, and lifting.
- Quality 11%; total quality management theory (e.g., Deming, Juran)
and application, management and planning tools (e.g., fishbone, Pareto,
quality function deployment, scatter diagrams), control charts, process
capability and specifications, sampling plans, design of experiments for
quality improvement, and auditing, ISO certification, and the Baldridge
The exam is hard because a great deal of material is covered and you have a
limited time to answer a lot of questions. If you can answer more than half
the questions correctly, you have a good chance of passing, so use
your time wisely to focus first on the questions you know you can answer and then on
the ones that you think you can answer; in the unlikely situation that you
have extra time, then try the questions you don't think you can answer.
Also, since the
exam starts at 8 am and you must be in the room by 7:30 am, most CSU-Pueblo
students stay overnight in the Denver area on the Friday before the exam.
The exam is closed book, but you are allowed to use the
Supplied Reference Handbook.
You should become familiar with
this Handbook before the exam because you may be able to answer quite a few
questions by knowing where to find the necessary formulas in the Handbook.
In fact, the Handbook is a good summary for you to use while you take many
You are allowed to bring into the room and use only a calculator from a very
limited list of calculators.
The Department of Engineering at CSU-Pueblo requires all seniors to take the
FE as a requirement for graduation; we do not require you to pass the exam,
but we reimburse you for the cost (which is close to $200) if you pass. As
long as we are making you take the exam, you should take the time to study by reviewing
your courses and reviewing the Supplied Reference Handbook, make sure you are well rested on
the day of the exam, and give it your best effort. Some of our graduates
have obtained jobs because they were able to list Engineer in Training on
their resumes. Many employers respect the accomplishment represented by that
label and want to hire people with the knowledge, drive, and concentration
required to pass the FE.
Principles and Practice Exam in
Industrial Engineering is also an all
day exam, with two 4-hour sessions. The test is open book and the examinee
is responsible for bringing any material that will be needed. There are
forty multiple choice sections in each half of the exam.
Joining and participating in professional organizations can help you stay current in industrial engineering.
You can join these organizations as a student at a much reduced rate.
For IEs, the following organizations are helpful:
While the organizations listed above are open and helpful to students, our students and graduates often join and
participate in the following organizations, which are open to
all students and are very oriented to students:
- The Society of Mexican
American Engineers and Scientists (MAES) "was founded in 1974 to increase
the number of Mexican Americans and other Hispanics in the technical and scientific fields."
- The Society of Women Engineers (SWE)
seeks to "Stimulate women to achieve full potential in careers as engineers and leaders,
expand the image of the engineering profession as a positive force in improving
the quality of life, [and] demonstrate the value of diversity." You receive the
National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) was founded in 1975
"to increase the number of culturally responsible Black engineers who excel academically,
succeed professionally and positively impact the community."
Your receive the
Each of the organizations in these two lists has a useful web site, publishes a magazine or other publications,
holds an annual conference,
and has groups, based on interest or geography, where you can interact with other members.