photo of manufacturing plant

AU launching new academic program in industrial and systems engineering

Published on April 24, 2023
College of Business and Economics

ASHLAND, Ohio – Ashland University is launching a new academic program—industrial and systems engineering—which will be housed in the Dauch College of Business and Economics. The bachelor’s program has been in development for almost two years and is enrolling students for this fall after recently being approved by both the Higher Learning Commission and the Ohio Department of Higher Education.

“We are grateful to Bob and Jan Archer for helping us launch this new degree, and to the faculty who moved the curriculum forward,” stated AU President Carlos Campo. “This new degree expands our academic offerings and gives us the opportunity to consider related degrees in the future as well.

“This is very exciting. We’ve never had an engineering degree at Ashland. We can now reach students that probably wouldn’t even consider us in the past,” remarked Dan Fox, dean of the College of Business and Economics and a member of the AU faculty since 2004. “Probably more important is the market really needs industrial and systems engineers.”

The demand for industrial and systems engineers has been growing. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of industrial engineers is projected to grow 10 percent from 2021 to 2031, faster than the average for all occupations. About 22,400 openings for industrial engineers are projected each year, on average, over the decade.

Fox believes this trend will continue well into the future, especially in Ohio where the addition of the mega Intel plant in Licking County and other manufacturing initiatives are taking place. Companies across a wide range of industries need these types of engineers, from manufacturing to energy, healthcare, military, technology and transportation. “Really any organization that needs a process improvement. It’s all about increasing efficiency and speed,” said Fox.

Students who enroll in the program this fall as part of the first cohort will take core curriculum and prerequisite math and science courses, then engineering classes in future years, which is typical for engineering programs. Fox noted that Ashland is pursuing future internship partners, as well as accreditation from ABET, the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology, which will be retroactive to all graduates of the program.

Ashland offers academic programs in supply chain management, manufacturing management and business analytics, so the addition of industrial and systems engineering is a natural fit. It also gives business students who are undecided on a major another option. “Maybe (students) come here with an interest in supply chain, but then they really get interested in industrial engineering … or the other way around,” noted Fox.

Another advantage Ashland provides, compared to its peer industrial and systems engineering programs at larger universities in the region, is individualized attention from faculty members. As with all of its academics, Ashland promises a high quality and transformational education experience, as well as a commitment to a stimulating and supportive environment in every respect.

For more information, contact Mark Sindelar, assistant professor of industrial engineering and supply chain management, at or 419-289-5223.

Ashland University is a mid-sized, private university conveniently located a short distance from Akron, Cleveland and Columbus, Ohio. Ashland University ( values the individual student and offers a unique educational experience that combines the challenge of strong applied academic programs with a faculty and staff who build nurturing relationships with their students.