Industrial Engineers in Healthcare

A recent article in The Shorthorn cited a study from Georgetown University which claimed that degrees in healthcare were among the top college degrees to have due to the low unemployment rates in that field. It’s no wonder that healthcare is a growing field. With our aging society and the Affordable Care Act in place, more Americans will be seeking medical care in the near future.

So, what does a job in healthcare have to do with a blog about industrial engineering? As an industrial engineer, you can seek employment in a variety of industries, businesses, or institutions, including areas such as manufacturing, retail, banking, government, and healthcare. As the healthcare field grows, hospitals and other healthcare-related businesses will be seeking ways to optimize the efficiency of their workplaces.

Industrial Engineering in Healthcare //photo credit:
Industrial Engineering in Healthcare //photo credit:

As an industrial engineer, your skills can be utilized to design systems that will merge people, information, materials, and equipment to provide the most efficient, productive, and safest methods. Industrial engineering has been called the people-oriented engineering profession. What better way is there than to apply your skills to the healthcare industry to better the lives of the doctors, nurses, staff, and patients?

In fact, the IMSE department’s Center on Stochastic Modeling, Optimization, and Statistics (COSMOS) is currently working on several projects in the healthcare field such as nurse planning, nurse triage services, adaptive pain management, and biomaterial fabrication. The healthcare industry is just one of the many areas that utilize the versatile skills of industrial engineers.

Guest Post: Nadia Martinez, IMSE Doctoral Student

My name is Nadia Martinez and I am an international student at the University of Texas at Arlington. I came to the United States on January 2007 to enrich my education by accomplishing a master’s degree and pursuing a doctorate degree program. I obtained my master’s degree in fall 2008 and am currently working on my Ph.D. at the Industrial and Manufacturing Systems Engineering Department.

I belong to the Center On Stochastic, Modeling, Optimization, and Statistics (COSMOS) where the main objective is to design and model complex real-world systems. My research is focused on developing a deterministic global optimization method based on mixed integer linear programming to solve a piecewise linear function generated by a flexible statistical model subject to constraints that include both linear regression models and piecewise linear models. One of the main applications of this method is on the safety system design of automotive vehicles, with a special interest in crash-worthiness. This type of systems is considered computationally complex. I have also worked as a Graduate Research Assistant (GRA) at TMAC, which is a research center of the College of Engineering at UTA, where I have participated in different projects related to my Industrial Engineering career. The opportunity I have had of being a GRA has definitely increased my vision about how to deal with real-life problems.

Through my experiences at UTA, I have learned and realized that I was not only fulfilling a dream but I was also becoming part of a big and great family. Although being away from your beloved ones is not an easy thing, being around with such an amazing people like students, professors, co-workers and friends have made of this experience an amazing journey. Sharing cultures, beliefs and ways of life is an incredible opportunity to mature and expand your horizons.

Written By Nadia Martinez, IMSE Doctoral Student