From two great traditions, one bold future.
From two great traditions, one bold future.

Department History

The undergraduate curriculum in General Engineering was conceived in 1922 as a special program in the College of Engineering. In 1952, the program was merged into the Department of General Engineering Drawing which was renamed the Department of General Engineering. In 1954 – just two years later – the Industrial Engineering program was added to the College of Engineering.

In the spring of 2006, the College decided to combine the Industrial Engineering and General Engineering programs, creating the Department of Industrial and Enterprise Systems Engineering. The department offers undergraduate degrees in Systems Engineering and Design and Industrial Engineering as well as graduate degrees in Industrial Engineering, Systems and Entrepreneurial Engineering, and Financial Engineering.


The Department has over 500 undergraduate students. At the graduate level it has over 120 students enrolled in the master's and Ph.D. programs.

There are 28 tenured and tenure-track faculty members in the Department. Their backgrounds and research interests are varied, reflecting the goal of the Department to offer a comprehensive, cross-disciplinary program of teaching and research. To support this activity, a number of teaching and research laboratories have been developed.

The Senior Engineering Project is an important part of every Systems Engineering and Industrial Engineering undergraduate student's education. We have been hosting Senior Engineering Projects since 1961, and believe we are one of the first engineering departments to offer this opportunity. This highly successful activity features industrially sponsored projects that are approached by three- or four-member student teams under the guidance of a faculty member. Its hallmarks are a well-conceived course plan and the involvement of the entire faculty in the Department as advisors or evaluators. 

Building History

Transportation Building detail
Transportation Building detail

Constructed of brick trimmed with Bedford limestone, the three-story building consists of a main portion adjoined to two end pavilions. On each floor all rooms are united by a central corridor placed slightly behind the longitudinal centerline of the building and terminating halfway into each end pavilion. Originally, the corridors stretched to the end of both pavilions to terminate in large windows. The smaller rooms on the rear half of the central portion are used as offices while the deeper front half and the jutting pavilions provide classroom and laboratory space. Today additional offices occupy the basement and attic.

Designed by W. C. Zimmerman, state architect and designer of the Armory, the Transportation Building was built in two stages between 1912 and 1921. The land on which the north pavilion would sit was part of a parcel known as the Conkle estate, tied up in litigation with no settlement in sight at the time of construction. Because the need for classroom space was pressing, the architect gave approval to construct the building omitting the north pavilion until the land could be obtained, at which time construction would be completed as planned. In May 1912 the contract was awarded to low bidder V. Jobst and Sons for construction of the first stage omitting the north pavilion. The work was completed in four months at a cost of $86,000 and was open in time for registration on September 16-17, 1912.

Jerry Dobrovolny's History of the Department of General Engineering 1868-1995 (facsimile PDF / searchable PDF)

For the archive of General Engineering Alumni Newsletters.