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CECS to Offer First Online Doctoral Degree in Industrial Engineering

By: Marisa Ramiccio | June 26, 2024

The UCF College of Engineering and Computer Science has pioneered several academic firsts, from the first Master of Science in Travel Technology and Analytics to the first Smart Cities track for the Master of Science in Civil Engineering. CECS is ready to launch another notable academic program – the first fully online Ph.D. in Industrial Engineering in the State of Florida.

This non-residential option of the degree program will launch this fall, making it the first online doctoral degree offered within CECS.

“UCF, and CECS in particular, has origins in strategically aligning its academic programs to the contemporary needs of the industry,” says Ali Gordon, the CECS associate dean for graduate affairs.  “Moreso than any other university in the State of Florida, we’ve been a vanguard of tailoring graduate-level programs, course content and associated delivery systems to industrial professionals.”

Waldemar Karwowski, the chair of the Department of Industrial Engineering and Management Systems, says the program provides the unique advantage of combing academic rigor with flexible learning.

“Students can benefit from UCF’s cutting-edge research while tailoring their schedule around professional and personal commitments,” Karwowski says. “This program is particularly beneficial for those seeking to advance their careers without pausing their current professional endeavors, providing them with the opportunity to apply theoretical knowledge to practical challenges.”

Industrial engineers use their expertise to make service, manufacturing and logistics processes more efficient and productive. Their goal is eliminate wasted time, money, and manpower by integrating systems of people, machines, hardware and software. The doctoral degree, already offered through the in-person modality on the UCF main campus, allows students to conduct research in areas such as systems simulation and modeling, interactive simulation and training systems, operations, data analytics, artificial intelligence, network science, human factors and ergonomics, safety and much more.

The online option will allow students outside of Florida and across the globe to access the program, which is only one of five virtual doctoral degrees in industrial engineering offered in the U.S. Students can enter the program with either a bachelor’s degree or a master’s degree in industrial engineering or a closely related discipline.

“With the non-residential option for this degree, we can tap into the population who desires to pursue a Ph.D. but can’t physically be in Florida because of professional and personal commitments,” says Associate Professor Mansooreh Mollaghasemi, the industrial engineering program director. “The online doctoral program will break geographical barriers, allowing our department to attract students from around the world who may not be able to relocate for their studies. This can increase the diversity and size of the student body.”