some of the first industrial engineering students at Penn State

Department History

Home of the world’s first industrial engineering program (established in 1908), the Harold and Inge Marcus Department of Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering (IME) at Penn State has upheld a tradition of hands-on education, influential research, and the production of well-rounded industrial engineering graduates. The department’s rich history is unparalleled and includes many "firsts" in the field of industrial engineering. Some historical highlights of the department include:

1908 – The industrial engineering program at Penn State is founded by Hugo Diemer, a pioneer in the field. Diemer coined the term “industrial engineering” in 1900 to describe the fusion of engineering and business disciplines. Diemer is named the first head of the department.

1909 – The Department of Industrial Engineering is officially established.

1910 – The department graduates its first two industrial engineering students.

1919 – Edward Kunze becomes head of the department.

1921 – J. Orvise Keller is named head of the department.

1926 – Charles William Beeese is named head of the department.

1930 – Clarence E. Bullinger is named head of the department.

1934 – Assistant Professor Amos Neyhart establishes the first driver’s education courses in the United States. Neyhart received both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in the industrial engineering department.

1937 – The department receives the first ever accreditation for industrial engineering education by The Engineers’ Council for Professional Development.

1941 – The department begins training civilians and officers for World War II as part of the Engineering, Science, and Management Defense Training Program.

1955 – A $50,000 grant from the state legislature enables the department to build the world’s first academic automation laboratory. Professor Chet Linsky, director of the lab, travels the world providing conferences and hands-on training in automation.

1955 – Benjamin Niebel is appointed department head. Neibel is honored by the then-Institute of Industrial Engineers (IIE) with the prestigious Frank and Lillian Gilbreth Award, the highest honor from IIE that recognizes individuals for their contributions to the welfare of mankind in the field of industrial engineering.

1963 – Professor Inyong Ham returns to Penn State from Korea and becomes a pioneer in group technology. During his 37-year career with the department, he received international and national acclaim for his discoveries.

1964 – Industrial engineering pioneer Lillian Gilbreth presents a series of lectures at Penn State. Her speaking engagements were so important and well attended that they were held in Schwab Auditorium.

1967 – The doctoral program is permanently established in the department.

1973 – The department is renamed the Department of Industrial and Management Systems Engineering to reflect the increased offerings in management science and operations research.

1979 – William Biles is named head of the department.

1981 – Alan Soyster is named head of the department.

1986 – Penn State is the first and only industrial engineering department in the United States to install a full-scale automated Flexible Manufacturing System.

1992 – Funding from the Ben Franklin Partnership leads to the development of the Metal Casting Center of Excellence. Directed by Professor Robert Voigt, the center was a multi-year collaboration between the IME department, the civil engineering department, and forty-five Pennsylvania foundries.

1997 – A. Ravi Ravindran is named the department head.

1999 – The department receives a $5 million gift from Harold and Inge Marcus and to express their gratitute to the department. At this time, the department is renamed the Harold and Inge Marcus Department of Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering.

1999 – The state-of-the-art Leonhard Building was completed and became the new home of the IME department. Foseco, Inc., donated a cast of the Liberty Bell to the department to put on display in the lobby of the building as a symbol of the importance of metalcasting in manufacturing processes.

2000 – Leading machine tool builder, Haas Automation, partners with the department to establish the largest Haas technical center in existence. Located in the Factory for Advanced Manufacturing Education Lab, the Haas technical center contains eleven CNC machining centers and turning centers for teaching and research.

2001 – Richard Koubek is named head of the deparment.

2007 – The department receives a $3 million gift from Peter and Angela Dal Pezzo, and the Peter and Angela Department Chair and Department Head position is established.

2007 – The Center for Service Enterprise Engineering is created due in part from a $1 million gift from Harold and Inge Marcus. The center, directed by Professor Terry Friesz, is the first U.S. academic center devoted solely to the study and practice of service engineering.

2009 – The department celebrates its centennial and 100 years of continuing innovation in industrial engineering.

2009 – Paul Griffin is named the Peter and Angela Dal Pezzo Chair and Head of the Department.

2009 – Penn State becomes a member of the NSF I/UCRC Center of Health Organization Transformation, focused on solving the problems of access and quality in healthcare.

2010The Global Learning Lab is established though a generous gift from Peter and Angela Dal Pezzo. The lab is a modern 1,000-square-foot facility that allows Penn State students and faculty to have access to colleagues, partners and corporate sponsors worldwide through the use of advanced video and teleconferencing technology.

2013 – Alumnus Tom Lucas and wife Nicki establish the Tom and Nicki Lucas Professorship with a $2.9 million endowment.

2013 – Alumnus Gary Bello and wife Sheila establish the Gary and Sheila Bello Chair with a $2.5 million endowment.

2013 – Charles Schneider and his wife Enid give $1 million for an initiative to increase the department's educational and research work in service engineering.

2014 – Industrial engineering alumnus Greg Lucier and his wife Marilena make a gift commitment of up to $2 million to the department.

2014 – A $1 million gift from William B. and Wendy Korb creates three early career professorships in industrial engineering at Penn State.

2015 – Janis Terpenny is appointed the Peter and Angela Dal Pezzo Chair and Head of the department.

2017 – Penn State joins and then assumes national leadership of the NSF I/UCRC: Center for e-Design.

2017 – The department benefits from a $4.92 million gift from CSL Behring to create the multidisciplinary Center of Excellence in Biotechnology, and to revitalize the Shared Fermentation Facility, an engine for collaboration and innovation in biological training and research on the University Park campus.

Exact replica of the Liberty Bell contact us


Home of the first established industrial engineering program in the world, the Harold and Inge Marcus Department of Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering (IME) at Penn State has made a name for itself in the engineering industry through its storied tradition of unparalleled excellence and innovation in research, education, and outreach.

We are Innovators. We are Makers. We are Excellence in Engineering. We are Penn State IME.

The Harold and Inge Marcus Department of
Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering

310 Leonhard Building

The Pennsylvania State University

University Park, PA 16802-4400

Phone: 814-865-7601

FAX: 814-863-4745