Inside Rensselaer
DSES Renamed Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering
The Department of Decision Sciences and Engineering Systems (DSES) has been renamed the Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering (ISE). The change, effective immediately, was approved recently by the Board of Trustees upon recommendation of the department and the dean, and with the support of the provost and the president.

“This transition represents a shift in strategic focus, and sets the department on a trajectory for future growth,” said President Jackson. “The new departmental identity reinforces the position of Rensselaer as a global pioneer in engineering research and education, and places the Institute among a small, top-tier core of nationally ranked Industrial and Systems Engineering programs.”

“The new departmental identity reinforces the position of Rensselaer as a global pioneer in engineering research and education, and places the Institute among a small, top-tier core of nationally ranked Industrial and Systems Engineering programs.”

“Transitioning DSES into ISE places the department within the traditional engineering discipline where its revised core strengths will be best recognized and appreciated,” said Provost Robert Palazzo. “The change also sharpens the focus and centrality of the role of the department within the School of Engineering.”

“Renaming and refocusing DSES into ISE will help us continue attracting the best graduate students and faculty, driving undergraduate admissions to our unique Industrial and Management Engineering program, and boosting the national departmental and school rankings,” said Dean of Engineering David Rosowsky.

The renaming and refocusing of ISE is supported by the faculty. In October 2009, faculty members in the department voted overwhelmingly to support a proposal to rename DSES as ISE. The name change will result in no immediate changes to degree programs or course offerings for current or future Rensselaer students.

DSES was established at Rensselaer in 1988 as a multidisciplinary, interschool department with five degree programs organized around the broad concept of decision making in business, science, and engineering. As part of The Rensselaer Plan, the department underwent a rigorous external review by a panel of National Academy of Engineering members in February 2007, which resulted in the development of a five-year plan to reinvent the department and refocus its research and academic programs within the field of Industrial and Systems Engineering.

In response, DSES consolidated its academic programs, redirected its scholarship and research activities, and recruited new faculty members to reinforce core intellectual strengths in Industrial and Systems Engineering. Key successes include:

  • A significant spike in research expenditures in 2008 and 2009, with faculty members participating as the principal investigator (PI) or co-PI on more than $20 million in new research proposal submissions;
  • Increased enrollments in the undergraduate program in Industrial and Management Engineering, with the number of students growing from a low of 71 in 2005 to an all-time high of 140 in 2010;
  • Revised graduate programs, now streamlined around a single core concentration in Industrial and Systems Engineering, which replaced 15 named concentration areas available as recently as 2008;
  • Improved U.S. News and World Report graduate rankings, up to 21 in 2009 and;
  • An overhaul of courses — replacing, revising, or deleting 40 of the department’s courses within the past two years.
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Inside Rensselaer, Strategic Communications and External Relations
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Inside Rensselaer
Volume 4, Number 2, February 5, 2010
©2010 Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
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