The Oakland Post

Oakland University to offer Master’s in Systems Engineering Degree

courtesy of Oakland University

courtesy of Oakland University

Falin Hakeem, Staff Intern

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The industrial and systems engineering (ISE) department at Oakland University is now offering a Master’s in Systems Engineering program.

According to Boston University, systems engineering enables building, analyzing and managing a system – be it electrical, mechanical, chemical, biological or one involving business processes and logistics.

“The demand for systems engineering has always been there, it’s only that experience has been substituting for theoretical knowledge in systems engineering,” said Vijit Pandey, an assistant professor in the ISE department. “Graduates with a fundamental understanding of systems engineering will have a definite advantage in their careers, many local companies have shown interest in hiring systems engineers and we are routinely contacted by students interested in joining the program.”

Robert Van Til, chair and professor in the ISE department, said anybody who connects to the internet of things needs to start worrying about system level design.

“The program focuses on people who design products, what we call component level design,” Van Til added. “This degree is aimed more at design tools that focus on the system level integration of the various components.”

According to The Business Journals, OU was ranked No. five on a list of top ten universities that self-driving vehicle job workers attended.

“We want to keep the connective car industry in Michigan, all of our resources are here,” Van Til said. “This is important to help the automakers transition and keep the expertise here in southeast Michigan.”

The new systems engineering program is open to engineers with any degree in engineering, including mechanical, electrical and computer engineering.

The course requirements are broken down into five areas; Foundations of Systems Engineering I, Foundations of Systems Engineering II, Engineering Project Management, Product Lifecycle Management and Engineering Decision Analysis.

“This opens up our program to a whole new audience of engineers,” Van Til said. “We always had a very strong systems focus in our program, our undergraduate program is credited in both industrial and systems engineering. We’re one of five programs in the U.S. that have that duel accreditation.”

Students may enter the program at any time of the year and begin their classes in September, January or May due to the flexibility in course requirements.

“Modern engineering systems are extremely complex and their realization entails a confluence of many disciplines,” Pandey said. “A systems engineering program will enable our students to become the engineers of tomorrow. They will understand how to incorporate end-user requirements into the design of these complex systems with considerations of optimality and reliability.”

Pandey said his favorite part about teaching systems engineering is showing students deep connections between different fields that do not seem obvious at the onset.

“It’s fun showing them how concepts from fields such as decision analysis, mathematics and demand modeling underpin most engineering endeavors,” he said.

For more information about the program, visit the Master’s in engineering page on Oakland’s website.

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