ISE 75th Anniversary

ISE 75th Anniversary.

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Celebrating 75 Years

  • Dr. Froman.

    June 16, 1940: Lewis A. Froman, Business Administration and Dean of Millard Fillmore Colleges announces during an engineering advisory committee meeting that a program in industrial engineering would be worthwhile to students and industry.

    1944: Committee accepts the proposal.  The Mechanical and Industrial Technology Program is established.

  • Fredrick Thomas.

    1946: The School of Engineering was established. Paul E. Mohn becomes the school’s first dean.

    July 1946: The Industrial Engineering Department was founded. Dean Mohn appoints Professor Frederick H. Thomas as its first Chair.

  • Kar Parker Hall.

    October 1946: Karr Parker Hall is dedicated.

    February 1947. Karr Parker hall is completed and is home to the School of Engineering, including the Industrial Engineering Department. 

  • Trico Products.

    First B.S. degrees in Industrial Technology : One each in 1943 and 1944, four in June 1948 and one in February 1949.

    Chancellor Capen in spring 1947, to replace industrial technology by industrial engineering as a curricular choice

    September 1947 : Students who entered the University prior to September 1947 in industrial technology could complete that option. Industrial engineering was recommended and would be the accepted program after September 1947.


  • Engineering Open House.

    1950-1951 AY: Department sponsors its first conference on statistical quality control.

    1951-1952 AY:  Department sponsors its first conference on material handling. It participates in the 25th Anniversary of the School of Business Administration.

    Several plants in the Buffalo area made their facilities available for undergraduate and graduate industrial engineering students to perform field work.

    1959:  Fredrick H. Thomas, Chair of Industrial Engineering, serves as Acting Dean of the School of Engineering.

  • Dr. Wayland Smith.

    1963: The Department of Industrial Engineering is awarded a grant of $6500 by the American Society of Tool & Manufacturing Engineering to design and develop a manufacturing system simulator and to complete the construction of the man-machine systems laboratory. 

    1964: Department organizes departmental faculty into three strength areas: Human Factors (or Applied Behavioral and Life Sciences), Man-Machine Systems Analysis and Design, and Applied Mathematics and Operations Research.

    1965: Graduate student internship program is started via sponsorship of organizations including Cornell Aeronautical Laboratory (Calspan) and E.J. Meyer Memorial Hospital (later known as ECMC).

  • Ridge Lea Campus.

    1965: Department is accredited by the Engineering Council for Professional Development (later known as ABET). 

    1965: Department holds a strategic planning symposium for it’s programs. Leaders in the field and faculty participate.

    1966: NSTSP honors department’s man-made machine systems design institute.

    1966: First Ph.D degree awarded.

    1967: Ridge Lea Campus Opened and becomes new temporary home to the Industrial Engineering Department.

  • Ken Laughery.

    1968: Department focuses in new emerging research areas including transportation, healthcare, criminology, education and the postal system in addition to traditional areas of industrial engineering.

    1968: First Industrial Engineering Ph.D. granted.

  • Dr. warren Thomas.

    1970: Department starts the industrial senior internship program. Students gain experience from organizations such as Union Carbide, Western New York Hospital Association and Fischer Price Toys.

    Early 1970s: Department plans for New Building on Amherst Campus.


  • Bell Hall.

    December 1974: Bell Hall construction completed.

    1975: Bell Hall becomes the new home of the department equipped with state-of-the-art computing facilities, a simulated manufacturing lab, audiometric chambers, environmental chambers, and a fully functional apartment for research involving human participants.

    1975: Colin Drury receives SUNY Chancellors Award for Excellence in Teaching.


  • Colin Drury.

    1986: The Center for Industrial Effectiveness by Dr. Colin Drury with assistance from Brian Kleiner as a result of a project contacted at TRW Bearings in Jamestown, NY. The project helped the company to stay in business and was heralded as a model for economic outreach to regional industry.

    1988: Dr. Ben Wang is awarded a $275,000 equipment grant for CAD/CAM/CIM classes and high level image processing research. He also develops an early course on artificial intelligence in manufacturing

    Colin Drury recognized as Fellow of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society (HFES) (1980) and the Ergonomic Society (1986).

  • Mark Karwan.

    The Department achieves unprecedented growth in its research programs.  Faculty are awarded significant grants from government agencies including the FAA, NIA, U.S. Army, National Center for Geographic Information and Analysis, NSF, NASA, NIJ, NIOSH and ONR, and private industry including American Precision Industries, Buffalo Wireworks, Clearing Niagara, Leica and Praxair.

    Colin Drury receives HFES Paul M. Fitts Education Award (1992) and is named Institute of Industrial Engineers (IIE) Fellow (1993).

    1991: UB Establishes the nation’s first construction safety and health initiative under the leadership of Dr. Martin Helander, co-principle investigator of the project.

    1992: Colin Drury serves as North American Editor of Applied Ergonomics (1992-2007)

    1994: Mark Karwan serves as Acting Dean, Interim Dean (1995) and Dean (1996), School of Engineering and Applied Sciences from 2004 until 2006.

    1996: The Center for Multisource Information Fusion is established under the leadership of Dr. James Llinas, an international recognized expert on data fusion.

  • class of 2000.

    2005: The name of the department is officially changed from “Industrial Engineering” to “Industrial and Systems Engineering”.

    2006: Ann Bisantz serves as Scientific Editor of Applied Ergonomics (2006-2012).

    The Center for Multisource Information Fusion is a leading university center with $1mil funding per year. Dr. Moises Sudit is named director (2004). Other research expenditures continue to via grants from AHRQ, NIH, NSF, NIOSH, ONR, and private industry.

    Colin Drury named UB Distinguished Professor (2002) and SUNY Distinguished Professor (2007).  

    Faculty receive numerous prestigious awards from UB, SUNY, IIE and NSF (Read More).

  • Dr. Amy Bisantz.

    2010: Rajan Batta named Acting Dean of the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (2010-2011, 2019-2020)

    2011: Department establishes its Departmental Advisory Board to assist with strategic research and educational program development.

    2011: Victor Paquet serves as Scientific Editor of Applied Ergonomics (2011-2015).

    2018: Ann Bisantz is named UB Dean of Undergraduate Education.

  • ISE Faculty.

    Department formally defines 4 reputational strength areas that have contributed to its strong reputation: Security and Defense, Health and Health Systems, Transportation and Logistics, and Advanced and Sustainable Manufacturing Design. Research expenditures consistently exceed $2.8 mil per year.

    Department experiences unprecedented faculty growth, almost doubling in size between 2010 and 2019, from 12 to 23 faculty, with hiring to support research strengths. Learn More.

    Large renovations projects are completed on the ISE Experientially Learning Laboratory (formally Manufacturing Systems Laboratory), ISE Student Collaboration Laboratory and many research laboratory spaces. Learn More.

    Faculty are recognized for significant achievements. Mark Karwan is named SUNY Distinguished Teaching Professor (2010), Rajan Batta is named SUNY Distinguished Professor (2013), and other departmental faculty receive an unprecedented number SUNY, university and professional society awards for outstanding research, education and service. Read More. 

    ISE students and club Student Chapters of IISE, HFES and Informs are consistently recognized for outstanding achievements in scholarship and service. Read More.

  • Dr. Rajan Batta.

    2020: Rajan Batta is named Chief Editor of the Socio-Economic Planning Sciences Journal. Learn More.

    2020: Construction of Structure for Outdoor Autonomy Research (SOAR) completed. Learn More. 

ISE Chairs

  • Dr. Fredrick Thomas.

    Mr. Fredrick (Fred) H. Thomas

  • Dr. Wayland Smith.

     Dr. Wayland (Pat) P. Smith

  • Dr. Ken Laughery.

    Dr. Kenneth (Ken) Laughery

  • Dr. Warren Thomas.

    Dr. Warren Thomas

  • Dr. Mark Karwan.

     Dr. Mark Karwan

  • Dr. Rajan Batta.

    Dr. Rajan Batta (Interim 1992-1994)

  • Dr. Colin Drury.

    Dr. Colin G. Drury

  • Dr. Nagi.

     Dr. Rakesh Nagi

  • Dr. Amy Bisantz.

    Dr. Ann (Amy) Bisantz

  • Dr. Victor Paquet.

    Dr. Victor (Vic) Paquet