University of Wisconsin Madison College of Engineering




Create, acquire, assimilate, apply, and transfer knowledge for the design, analysis, improvement and implementation of complex systems that include humans, materials, equipment and other resources — the essence of industrial and systems engineering.



To be a top-ranked industrial and systems engineering department recognized for our:

  • Innovative educational curricula and learning experiences
  • Strong, balanced research program
  • Positive and diverse learning environment
  • Beneficial outreach/technology transfer activities
  • Leadership in the industrial and systems engineering profession



  • Support and reward excellence and innovation.
  • Create competencies for life-long learning.
  • Foster environments for teamwork, diversity, and good university citizenship.
  • Create partnerships with industry, government, and alumni.
  • Act with professional and ethical responsibility.
  • Advance the reputation of the industrial and systems engineering profession, the ISyE department, and the university.



  • Reinventing manufacturing
  • Reengineering healthcare
  • Inventing new industrial-engineering methods



Strategic Initiatives for 2012-13


1. Continue to improve the curriculum through educational innovation.
Goals: Redesign our design courses and curriculum to improve transfer of skills from one class to another, and increase the amount of time available to spend on hands-on activities, through the use of online modules that can be used or reviewed in multiple classes. Have lecture and course materials available online in 75% of core courses within 5 years. Evaluate pros and cons of consolidating to a single option for senior design.
Resources: Peer mentoring by ISyE and other instructors who have experience with online learning; College facilities for lecture capture and collaborative education; Engineering beyond Boundaries; limited investments in required software and hardware.


2. Explore and evaluate approaches to strengthen our research portfolio.
Goals: Identify and invest in strategic areas of potential R&D growth, including both federal and non-federal funding sources. Continue to refine and promote the idea for the Wisconsin Institute of Manufacturing Innovation. Seek industry and/or donor funding for research and graduate education in healthcare. Resources: Collaboration with other units on campus; support from the Dean; UW Foundation.


3. Recruit world-class faculty members.
: Recruit two faculty members in 2012-13, ideally in health care (top priority) and manufacturing. Follow up with two additional hires in the next two years, with at least one hire in human factors, possibly a second hire in health systems or operations research.
Resources: Department search committee.


4. Enhance alumni engagement.
: Increase the number of interactions with alumni each year through website, digital communication, conference calls, etc. Hold at least one face-to-face alumni event per year. Begin planning for department’s 50th anniversary in 2016.
Resources: Student and alumni-affairs cluster; UW Foundation; Engineering External Relations; planning committee for the 50th anniversary.


5. Increase fundraising.
: Establish and publicize one or more funds to support the department’s work in health systems. Increase corporate fundraising. Work with the UW Foundation to achieve other fundraising goals (e.g., achieve 100% participation by the Industrial Advisory Board, double donations to our discretionary fund through a combination of increased participation and increased donation amounts).
Resources: UW Foundation; Engineering External Relations; department chair.