Four IIE presidents expressed their opinions on issues related to IE in an article in Industrial Engineer magazine "A meeting of IIE's leadership minds", (January 2009, pp. 56-58).
Louis Martin Vega, North Carolina State University
We need to be focused on the word engineering. We need to play a strong role in the world of bio-, nano- and information technology.
He also added, "I really have a problem with this whole message of, "We don't make things. We just make things better." We make things, too, and we need to be recognized for that."
Authors comment: Yes industrial engineers can make things. Then can invent various devices in the field of human effort engineering. They can invent devices or artifacts that improve efficiency of systems. Gantt chart is an example. Gantt charts made planning efficient. There is nothing wrong in division of labor to take up a profession that concentrates on improving existing systems or systems designed by some functional specialists from efficiency perspective.
It's very difficult to expect that you can go forward and take the leadership roles we think we should take in the future without a basic understanding of the science backgrounds. To determine what is a failure in nanotechnology, you need some knowledge that isn't available in our current core. I think our greatest challenge is going to be to alter that if we want leadership role in new sciences and technologies
Authors comment: As new domains or sectors in economy and sciences emerge, industrial engineers who want to contribute in that sector have to learn the basics of that sector. Some industrial engineering institutes have to take the lead and incorporate a basic subject in that sector in their curriculum
I think industrial engineering needs a clear vision that people can attach to and believe in.
I've always been jealous of (other professional groups) and have had these pangs of envy as to how they can have these visions and IEs can't.