The industrial engineering faculty is highly engaged in research and all of the faculty members have active research programs: STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) education, human engineering, and economic development. Along with department growth, these research areas continue to broaden and expand, providing a rich opportunity for graduate students and undergraduate research.
When it comes to student engagement and curricular innovation, the industrial engineering faculty is in a class by itself. With nationally recognized experts in engineering education and transformative curriculum, the department supports a variety of educational environments that produce outstanding graduates who meet or exceed the National Academy of Engineering’s “Attributes of the Engineer of 2020.” Key initiatives include support for Native American students, diversity, and intellectual growth.
A new program, Student Enterprise for Creative Design, nurtures student creativity and innovation and supports students interested in entrepreneurship and enterprise management. In addition to significant scholarship support, initiatives in STEM Education provide a number of research opportunities for both graduate and undergraduate students.
Virtually every company we know, whether it be mining, manufacturing, construction, or other related industry, safety is paramount. Department faculty members have active research programs in safety, industrial hygiene, and ergonomics.
At the request of area mining and manufacturing, the department is investing heavily in the Human Engineering Laboratory and that investment is paying off. Not only does the department support a variety of industry-sponsored human engineering design projects, but we support a growing number of graduate and undergraduate students in sponsored research projects. In addition, regardless of major, students can participate in an occupational safety minor.
Economic Development and Entrepreneurship
In addition to safety, industry is placing a growing emphasize on lean systems and sustainable operations. Lean enterprises and sustainability are at the core of the industrial engineering and engineering management program; and we support a variety of research and design projects each year that help area industry prosper and grow. But perhaps even importantly is the notion of engineering innovation and commercialization through entrepreneurship. Department faculty members have conducted award-winning research that is helping to reshape how universities view and support their role in economic development. Faculty members serve on a number of boards, including the advisory board for South Dakota’s Manufacturing Extension Program and the international strategic planning process for the Research Administrators Conference.
At the undergraduate level, the department supports the oldest entrepreneurship program in the state, a Student Innovators for Free Enterprise (SIFE) chapter, and a new laboratory to support the Student Enterprise for Creative Design program.