University of Wisconsin Madison College of Engineering
Five visitors to a computer-generated kitchen.

Visitors use virtual-reality controllers and 3D eyeglasses to experience a computer-generated kitchen in the Cave Automatic Virtual Environment (CAVE), where scientists study how patients care for themselves at home. Photo: Jeff Miller. More »

Research areas


Decision science/operations research


The research and teaching program in decision science/operations research aims to improve the quality of decisions about managing scarce and valuable resources. Such resources include not only financial resources but also issues related to the quality of human life, medical treatment, the environment and many other important issues.



Health systems


In the health systems program, MSIE students learn to apply ISyE tools and approaches to specific health care problems. PhD students are trained to develop innovative transportable solutions to critical health care problems while contributing to advancements in decision science, decision support systems and quality research fields.



Human factors and ergonomics


Today, both workers and management are concerned about the quality of work lives, ergonomics and occupational safety and health. New developments such as information and communication technologies and specialized work requiring repetitive tasks add up to a need for human factors engineering. By examining, designing, testing and evaluating the workplace and how people interact in it, human factors engineers can create productive, safe and satisfying work environments.



Manufacturing and production systems


The U.S. manufacturing industry today faces high levels of local and international competition. Several factors help define a manufacturing company's competitiveness including new product development time, production lead time, flexibility in responding to changes in demand volume and variety, quality, price, responsiveness to customer delivery requirements, and use of state-of-the-art materials, processes and technologies. In every case, the company's ability to respond to these factors depends critically on the capability of its manufacturing organization.



Quality engineering


Ever increasing international and domestic competition has sparked renewed interest in quality improvement of products and services. This, in conjunction with the greater complexity of modern production and service systems, has created a demand for engineers who can master the technical and managerial tools and concepts needed for the economic implementation of quality systems. To meet this demand, the industrial engineering department developed a new graduate program specialization in quality engineering in September 1991. Today it has more than 25 graduate students involved in classes and research leading to MSIE and PhD degrees in industrial engineering.