Macademics: Industrial Engineering

Hello again! This week, I've decided to talk about Industrial Engineering. Not sure what that is? Read my interview with another one of my friends, Joy Frazier.

What is Industrial Engineering?

Industrial engineering is examining a process that involves people, goods, systems, or even other to develop ways to improve the efficiency, cost effectiveness, and ease using scientific and mathematical principles.

Did you always want to be an Industrial Engineer? What ultimately led you to the decision of becoming an Engineer?​

I actually wanted to be a professional clarinetist, however, I always had a knack for for math and science so I went to a science and technology high school. I was going back and forth with whether to be an engineer or a musician up until it was time to apply to college. I had developed a condition in my joints that no longer allowed me to play the clarinet.

Can you give a real-world example where Industrial Engineers are utilized?


  • It is generally set up so you walk directly into a single queue (which is the most efficient way to serve a line and encourages you to buy things)

  • There are huge signs that allow you to see what is on the menu and encourage to know what you want to order (human factors)

  • There are standard sizes and processes to make each drink (standardization)

  • Your name is written on the cup once you order (standardization and human factors)

These are all things an Industrial Engineer would work on standardizing to make sure that the customers are served efficiently, to minimize error when serving drinks, and ensuring that quality policies are met.

What were some of your favorite classes in college, and why?

My two favorite classes were Human factors engineering and Product Analysis. Both of these classes were focused on looking at real life situations and using industrial engineering principles to solve them. These were my most applicable classes to my current job and I still use many of the things that I learned in my daily life.

What other things did you get involved with while at school? How do you feel that it helped you professionally, personally, and academically?

I was involved with NSBE on a collegiate and regional level which helped me grow my leadership skills and gave me purpose to my education. I was in Pitt Excel which gave me mentorship, family, and fun. I also worked as a University Center for Social and Urban research telemarketer which taught me how to communicate and accept rejection with a smile.

What was one of your biggest obstacles? How did you overcome it?

My biggest obstacle was self-doubt but my friends and family were always encouraging and saw the fruits of my labor.

Do you feel that you faced any issues being a minority in your field? How have you worked to move past them?

Definitely. My senior design group was very hostile towards me. They would have meetings without me, discourage me from speaking during group presentations, and I had no support from my advisor at the time. You never really move past it, you just learn to manage it and use it to your advantage. In this case, I took it as a lesson in learning to work on difficult teams and cite it as an example when interviewing.

What is one great piece of advice that a mentor or professor has told you during your college career?

"Opportunities are usually disguised as hard work, so most people don't recognize them"

What are you doing post-graduation? How do you feel you’re degree is helping you?

I am currently working for Eaton as a Technical Sales Engineer. My degree taught me to how to learn fast and work with people and also to be process orientated and always keep in mind the big picture.

Do you have any advice for our readers interested in pursuing Industrial Engineering or Engineering in general?

"You are your greatest obstacle; once you overcome that nothing can stop you"

Thanks Joy for allowing me to feature you on the blog! Can't wait to see how you take the world on by a storm!

Check out my previous Macademics Posts!

#IndustrialEngineering #PittEngineering #BlackGirlMagic #BlackWomenInSTEM #BlackWomenEngineers #Swans #SwansonSchoolofEngineering


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