Click here for ISE's full department history. 

2009 and forward

Lehigh University ISE - PresentationCelebrating 60 years of the department and renovations 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 credited faculty.


  • August 2008 Tamás Terlaky named Department Chair.Lehigh University ISE - Industrial Systems Engineering Graduates
  • 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 in September 2007.
  • Joseph C. Hartman becomes department chair in 2005 The Computational Optimization Research Lab at Lehigh (COR@L) was founded in September 2004.
  • Information and Systems Engineering established as a new degree program in Fall 2002.
  • The Center for Value Chain Research (CVCR) was established in December 2002.
  • In August 2001, the department named changed again to its current title to reflect a broadening scope of the departmental activities in the past decade and to further develop research and education. Department name changes from Industrial and Manufacturing Systems Engineering to Industrial and Systems Engineering.


  • The Industrial Engineering Department's name was changed to Industrial & Manufacturing Systems Engineering, in 1994 to encompass the new programs that were being added.
  • Implementation of long-distance satellite-based degree program, M.S. in Quality Engineering
  • Department name changes from Industrial Engineering to Industrial and Manufacturing Systems Engineering (1994)
  • Louis A. Martin-Vega becomes department chair in 1994, and S. David Wu succeeds him in 1998


  • Lehigh University ISE - Professor and studentsIn January 1988, the department moves 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 a vital part of the program
  • Curriculum further expanded to include computer integration technology, artificial intelligence, expert systems, and neural network methods.


  • Lehigh University ISE - Lido (Lee) IacoccaIE 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 also formed in the 1973.
  • Field of Information Systems had become important part of department
  • Coursework in computer-aided manufacturing and automation were 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 (1968)
  • Coursework 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.Lehigh University ISE - Manufacturing Processes Laboratory

  • Manufacturing Processes Laboratory established to provide a more experimental approach to instruction in production methods (1957)
  • Thomas Holme designated as first department head (1950), with Arthur F. Gould taking over in 1952
  • Curriculum heavily oriented towards work measurement, motion analysis, incentives, and production methods - - 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

  • Lehigh University ISE - First Industrial Engineering graduates at Lehigh UniversityIn the 1948-1949 academic school year, Industrial Engineering Department was established.
  • Graduate program begins with the awarding of first Master's degree (1935)
  • First undergraduate degrees in Industrial Engineering offered by Lehigh University (1927)
  • IE curriculum administered by Mechanical Engineering Department


Mohler Laboratory

Lehigh University ISE - Harold S. Mohler Lab

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 the various classrooms throughout the building including a wireless classroom on the 3rd floor, and students have access to two computer labs on both the 2nd and 4th floors.

Mohler Lab also houses seven different 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, and these are usually held in Mohler Lab as well.

Harold S. MohlerLehigh University ISE - 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 the 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.