Layout of departmental and college strategic planning documents

Strategic Plan


The engineering departments, school and centers of the College of Engineering at Penn State have developed robust and forwardlooking strategic plans over the past year. Since the strategic planning effort was initiated, there have been considerable developments at the University on strategic planning. A new University-wide plan is currently under development, the latest graphical representation of which is included in the appendix. There is also a desire to establish institutional priorities at the College of Engineering where focus is placed on creating new opportunities for education and research that are aligned with global challenges and mesh with University priorities. It is equally important to maintain the flexibility of supporting individual and small group initiatives as the College has done in the past.


  • Integrity
    We are honest and ethical.
  • Student-Centered
    We provide relevant, experiential education and service to our students.
  • Community
    We nourish a spirit of community among our students, alumni, staff, and faculty.
  • Diversity
    We respect diversity in our students, faculty, and staff.
  • Excellence in Research
    We sustain an environment that promotes high-quality, relevant interdisciplinary interaction and scholarship.
  • Continuous Innovation
    We innovate and continuously improve all aspects of our academic and research programs, administrative support, and environment.
  • Leadership
    We lead the profession by our participation in academic and professional societies, conduct important and meaningful research, and deliver innovative curricula.
  • Accountability
    We are diligent stewards of the public’s trust and funds.
  • Sustainability
    We work to reduce our footprint on the environment.


To be an international leader in industrial engineering education, research, and outreach for innovation and improvement in the design, production, delivery, and sustainability of products and services.


To prepare students to be international leaders while conducting research of global significance. This will be accomplished by:

  • Conducting research of global significance and leveraging expertise with industry, other engineering departments, colleges, and universities
  • Providing our students with a distinctive, intellectually stimulating, and innovative academic environment that prepares them to be international leaders
  • Recruiting, developing, and retaining the highest quality faculty
  • Recruiting the highest quality graduate students and providing support through fellowships and funded research
  • Providing outstanding service to our key constituents including industry, government, academic professions, and alumni
  • Communicating the accomplishments of faculty, staff and students, as well as promoting Department projects, centers and major research findings

Strategic Objectives


Deliver undergraduate and graduate curricula that respond to current and emerging global needs of society, including industry, government and academe.


Undertake and advocate for research that develops basic knowledge and enable technologies that serve society and address the most pressing global challenges for enhancement of the quality of life.


Contribute to and provide leadership in professional organizations that impact the profession and engineering education.

Institutional Governance

Create and nurture structures and procedures that balance due process and agility, to achieve financial stability and shared governance, leading to the enhancement of the sense of community and institutional investment among staff and faculty, as well as achieving flexibility and efficiency, leading to enhanced response to ever-changing regional, national and international operational conditions.

Strategic Goals

In Education

Strategic goals in education include i) delivering a curriculum that meets the current and future needs of the global market, ii) better preparing our undergraduate students interested in graduate school, iii) recruiting and retaining top graduate students, iv) developing innovative online learning experiences for our undergraduate and graduate students, and v) improving our placement of PhD students upon graduation.

These goals will be achieved by taking the following actions:

  1. Update and implement our manufacturing and lab-based offerings; include more service engineering content and sustainability by 2017.
  2. Increase the number of global capstone projects with international universities.
  3. Identify new international partners.
  4. Institute and promote a research experience for undergraduates that leverages the College initiative in this area.
  5. Develop significant PhD curricula that is distinct from MS curricula that grooms interested PhD students for academic positions.
  6. Develop a market-based online MS and 1-Year MS program by 2017.
  7. Expand the opportunities for recruiting highly-qualified graduate students through participating in the College’s initiatives in awarding multi-year fellowships and in the graduate teaching fellowships.

In Research

Strategic goals in research include i) increasing the level of sponsored research in the department, ii) increasing the percentage of funded graduate students, iii) recruiting and retaining a diverse faculty of the highest scholarship, iv) better communicating the research accomplishments.

These goals will be achieved by taking the following actions:

  1. Significantly increase our involvement (including co-hires) with the Penn State Institutes; in particular the Institute for CyberScience, Institute of Energy and the Environment, Institute for Natural Gas Research, and the Clinical and Translational Science Institute.
  2. Develop and implement a faculty workload model that better matches research efforts.
  3. Increase incentives such as seed funding, faculty release time, and professional development funds to encourage the development of novel proposals, in particular large collaborative and center proposals.
  4. Solicit endowments and gifts through development to support an infrastructure for innovation, chaired professorships, and leadership in industrial engineering research.
  5. Expand new domain expertise through mechanisms such as the research acceleration professorship and professor of the practice.

In Service

Strategic goals in service to the technical community and society aim to i) increase international engagement, and ii) increase engagement with professional societies.

The following actions support the accomplishments of our service strategic goals:

  1. Increase innovative educational and research partnerships with a few targeted, highly-regarded international universities.
  2. Increase student and faculty social and professional interaction, particularly through professional student organizations.
  3. Encourage faculty to take leadership roles in the activities of professional societies including editorial work, conference organization, and society board membership.
  4. Promote our faculty, staff, students, and alumni for society awards.

In Governance

Strategic goals in institutional governance help to create organizational structures and management procedures that combine due process, achieve efficiency and agility to respond to ever-changing operational conditions, promote fiscal responsibility, ensure financial stability, encourage shared governance, further the careers of the staff, and enhance the sense of community and investment.

These goals will be achieved by taking the following actions:

  1. Develop future leaders in the faculty and staff for administrative positions, ABET, research/center directors, etc.
  2. Take into account the impact of resource investment on educational and discovery outcomes.
  3. Improve and expand the role of faculty mentoring for both assistant and associate professors.
  4. Solicit and support ideas for continuous improvement from staff, students, and faculty.
  5. Increase the percentage of women and underrepresented minorities in our student and faculty populations through increased emphasis in recruiting activities.

The above 21 actions for advancing the department in education, research, governance, and service form the basis of the implementation plan that will be developed in the next phase of strategic planning.

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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