Big M Manufacturing: Challenges and Opportunities for Industrial Engineering

Presenter: Ben Wang, Ph.D., executive director, Georgia Tech Manufacturing Institute

Join us for this preview of a unique forum for IE practitioners, administrators and researchers that will take place at the 2014 IIE Annual Conference and Expo for identifying opportunities to participate in an emerging manufacturing renaissance.

What is happening in the U.S. industrial sector is nothing short of the genesis of a domestic manufacturing renaissance. Manufacturers are boosting output, building new facilities, increasing exports, and creating jobs that require new skills and knowledge. According to a recent Information Technology and Innovation Foundation report, the manufacturing industries have created more than 500,000 jobs since 2010. The U.S. government has begun creating National Network of Manufacturing Innovation institutes, but NNMI is only one example of a host of challenges and opportunities for the science and technology community – practitioners, researchers, faculty, administrators and students. Almost all federal funding agencies and private companies are expanding their advanced manufacturing R&D portfolios and funding to create new knowledge and rapidly turn new knowledge into financial and societal impact.

As the industrial sector transforms itself from mass production to mass customization, a wide range of challenges and opportunities are emerging. Therefore, industrial engineering should not sit on the sidelines. In fact, industrial engineering should be at the forefront of answering the challenges of new knowledge, technologies and systems, talent and workforce development, cyber and physical infrastructures, policies and regulations, and outreach and engagement.

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