© 2024 WNIJ and WNIU
Northern Public Radio
801 N 1st St.
DeKalb, IL 60115
Northern Public Radio
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

The Sound of Science - 'Industrial Engineering'

Dr. Brynteson: Welcome WNIJ listeners, I'm Dr. Kristin Brynteson, director of NIU STEAM. Today, I have Dr. Muthuswamy, associate professor in the College of Engineering and Engineering Technology joining me in the studio.

Dr. Muthuswamy: Hello, Kristin.

Dr. B: So you and I both come from an industrial engineering and systems background, and I don't know about you, but I'm always asked "what do industrial engineers do?"

Dr. M: Well, they say engineers make things, and industrial engineers make things better. And it's so true! You can take anything, for example, you go to Walmart. How do you decide where the Walmart is going to be? Where do I have to locate it so that it can cater to as many people?

Salting the streets - how do you prioritize salting the streets? Firefighting - that is so important right? Where do you locate your next fire station so they can reach the community within X number of minutes to save lives? That is industrial engineering for you.

Amazon - you order something and you want it in the next two hours or the next day. How do they route it? All the routing problems, those are industrial engineering problems.

COVID - how do you decide how many nurses they need to vaccinate? That is an industrial engineering problem for you. 

Organ transplant - you would never think of that, right? Some organs can stay out for only a certain number of hours. How do you ensure it reaches a patient who desperately needs that? There are models that help with that.

How many tickets did you overbook in a flight? Industrial engineering problem for you! So any walk of life, industrial engineers play a key role to make life easier.

Dr. B: We look at systems and make systems better. Thank you for listening to The Sound of Science on WNIJ. Where you learn something new everyday.

Related Stories