Click here for ISE's full department history.
2009 and forward
ISE celebrates 60 years of the department and the renovation of the Robotics Lab into a state-of-the-art computer lab. The ISE department continues to provide high quality academic instruction in industrial engineering through research, technology and accredited faculty.
- August 2008: Tamás Terlaky named Department Chair.
- September 2007: IE alums Daniel Smith, '71 was named President and Dennis E. Singleton, III, '66 was named the Co-Vice Chair of the Lehigh University Board of Trustees.
- August 2005: Joseph C. Hartman named Department Chair.
- September 2004: the Computational Optimization Research Lab at Lehigh (COR@L) was founded.
- August 2002: Information and Systems Engineering established as a new degree program.
- December 2002: the Center for Value Chain Research (CVCR) was established.
- August 2001: the department's name was changed from Industrial and Manufacturing Systems Engineering to Industrial and Systems Engineering to reflect a broadening scope of the departmental activities in the past decade and to further develop research and education.
- 1994: The Industrial Engineering Department's name was changed to Industrial & Manufacturing Systems Engineering to encompass the new programs that were being added.
- Long-distance satellite-based degree program and the M.S. degree in Quality Engineering were established.
- The department's name was changed from Industrial Engineering to Industrial and Manufacturing Systems Engineering.
- Louis A. Martin-Vega becomes department chair in 1994, and S. David Wu succeeds him in 1998.
- In January 1988, the department moved to the Harold S. Mohler Laboratory from Packard Laboratory. The building was named after Harold S. Mohler, '48, former President, CEO and Chairman of the Hershey Foods.
- Marlin U. Thomas becomes department chair in 1988.
- Computer technology drives changes in curriculum, with courses in CAD/CAM, robotics and automation, and computer information systems becoming a vital part of the program.
- Curriculum further expanded to include computer integration technology, artificial intelligence, expert systems, and neural network methods.
- IE alum Lido (Lee) Iacocca, '45, was named President of the Chrysler Corporation in 1978. He is credited with saving the company from bankruptcy by championing the development of Chrysler's K-car series and the world's first minivan.
- George E. Kane becomes department chair in 1974.
- The starting seeds of the Enterprise System Center (ESC) were formed in 1973.
- The field of Information Systems becomes an important part of department.
- Coursework in computer-aided manufacturing and automation was added.
- Three new laboratories began operations:
1. Computer-Aided Manufacturing Lab
2. Information Systems Lab, and
3. Work Systems Lab
- The department initiated a Ph.D. program and the first two Ph.D.'s were awarded in October 1969.
- Lehigh's computer center becomes a university-managed operation in 1968.
- Coursework was added to the curriculum to cover new concepts in the evolution of Industrial Engineering such as operations research, statistics, and data processing.
- Research becomes a significant part of the department's operations.
- In 1957, the Manufacturing Processes Laboratory was started to provide a more experimental approach to the instruction of production methods.
- Thomas Holme was designated as first department head in 1950, with Arthur F. Gould taking over in 1952.
- Curriculum was heavily oriented towards work measurement, motion analysis, incentives, and production methods, which were important topics in industrial engineering at the time.
- First digital computer installed at Lehigh, and the IE department administered the university's computer center.
1940's, 1930's, 1920's
- In the 1948-1949 academic school year, Industrial Engineering Department was established.
- Graduate program begins with the awarding of first Master's degree in 1935.
- First undergraduate degrees in Industrial Engineering were offered by Lehigh University in 1927.
- IE curriculum administered by Mechanical Engineering Department.
In 1986, the university purchased and renovated the former B’rith Shalom synagogue on the corner of Packer and Brodhead Avenues to house the department of Industrial and Systems Engineering and other technological programs. The Board of Trustees dedicated this “facility for the future” in Hal’s name out of appreciation for his leadership and support, and the building is now known as Mohler Laboratory.
The four-story building serves as the central hub of the department, with the departmental office located on the 4th floor, faculty offices located on both the 3rd and 4th floors, and the graduate student office on the 3rd floor.
The majority of the ISE classes are held in various classrooms throughout the building, including a wireless classroom on the 3rd floor. Students have access to two computer labs on both the 2nd and 4th floors.
Mohler Lab also houses seven technology centers, each contributing to the research efforts of the department.
The department has guest speakers and seminars on a regular basis throughout the academic year, usually held in Mohler Lab.
Harold S. Mohler
Known throughout his corporate life as “the candy man,” the former chairman of the Hershey Foods Corporation, Hal Mohler knew that his company’s chocolate and the satisfaction he derived from charitable service were equally sweet.
A 1948 graduate of Lehigh University, Mohler received his B.S. in Industrial Engineering and began his distinguished career at Hershey Foods. From his initial position as an engineer, he rose through the ranks as assistant to the president, vice president, and, eventually, president and chairman of the board. His ascension path was similar at Lehigh, where he made his way from volunteer solicitor to president of the Lehigh Club of Central Pennsylvania.
In 1970, he was elected president of the Alumni Association and in 1973 he began a 12-year term on the Board of Trustees, where he earned the role of chairman. Mohler was awarded an honorary degree in 1975 for his outstanding contributions to the university. During the presentation of the degree, university president Deming Lewis remarked, “There are many today who want to tell a president how to run a university; you have achieved not only the wisdom but the right to do so.”
Two years later, the Lehigh Club of New York honored him with their distinguished L-in-Life Award.
Harold Mohler died in 1988, but his legacy lives on at Lehigh through the scholarship fund he established with his wife and high school sweetheart, Melda. She continues to support the fund and she visits campus annually to meet its young recipients.