Tuesday, February 28, 2012

College of Engineering adopts new name to reflect expanding program

Xiaoquan Wang, Campus Reporter
Feb. 23, 2012; OU Daily

Leaders within the School of Industrial Engineering are changing its name to better reflect the expanding skills of its students, according to officials.

The school, part of the College of Engineering, is now the School of Industrial and Systems Engineering. Systems engineering focuses on complex projects over a span of time and involves coordination among many teams.

“Today, systems are more complex and larger scale, and our graduates work in a very broad range of environments...,” Director Randa Shehab said. “Bringing the word systems into our school name better reflects our broad perspective on engineering problem solving.”

OU graduates are working in fields from government agencies to health care companies to oil and gas manufacturing and processing, Shehab said.

As part of the name change and new focus, the college has added courses to teach students more about decision making and critical thinking with systems, Shehab said. The college also offers graduate courses in systems engineering to teach a systems perspective to students with other undergraduate degrees. It has a master’s program with Tinker Air Force Base to teach airmen about systems techniques.

The department works to use materials, people, information and technology to solve modern engineering problems, Shehab said.

This is one of the few departments of its kind in the U.S. and should attract more attention to OU, College Dean Thomas Landers said. “The new name is an efficient way to let others know what we are doing well,” Landers said. “In the coming years, [the department] will actively recruit, develop and retain talents with the passion to bring out a new breed of engineers who posses the ... skill to deal with problems holistically.”

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