During a visit of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers to Germany in 1910, Professor Bursley made the acquaintance of the Gilbreths and other leaders in the field of what was then known as "scientific management."
From 1913 to 1915 Bursley made a study of the applications of scientific management in manufacturing plants with the intention of introducing training in this field in the College of Engineering. A course was established in 1915 under the title Mechanical Engineering 35 — Scientific Shop Management. During World War I this instruction was expanded to include two courses in the preliminary training of officers for the Ordnance Department of the Army. This was the first work of the kind offered by an American college, and it formed the pattern for such instruction in other institutions.
In 1921, when Bursley became Dean of Students, Charles Burton Gordy (Pennsylvania '17, Ph.D. Michigan '29) was appointed Assistant Professor to carry on the instruction. Dean Cooley appointed a committee at this time to consider education in engineering administration. This committee reported favorably. A sequence of elective courses in engineering administration was to be given without interfering with any of the fundamental engineering subjects. A series of courses was suggested, and a budget of $14,500 was proposed. In October, 1921, the Dean appointed a committee consisting of Bursley, Airey, and Gordy to recommend a program of studies for work then known as production or industrial engineering. Airey was Superintendent of the shops until 1924, when he was succeeded by Boston. This committee recommended that "a separate department, to be known as the Department of Industrial Engineering, be established." The proposed curriculum included five new courses in industrial engineering and eighteen hours of electives.
No action was taken on these recommendations until 1923-24, when E. E. Day, chairman of the Department of Economics, expressed an interest in combining work in economics and engineering in preparation for the field of production. In 1924 H. C. Anderson, chairman of the Department of Mechanical Engineering, appointed a committee consisting of Fessenden, Myron Louis Begeman ('15e [M.E.], M.S.E. '22) and Gordy to combine suggestions made by Day with the reports of the two Cooley committees. This committee recommended that a five-year course in mechanical and industrial engineering be established, with a curriculum of 173 hours of work recommended, and the proposal was adopted in May, 1924. The degree of bachelor of science in engineering (industrial engineering) was first awarded in 1926 to William Alden Capen, who later became superintendent of the Keeler Brass Company in Grand Rapids.
By 1932 only fourteen students had been graduated, for a graduate of this program after five years of work received the same degree granted for four years of work in other curriculums. A new program was adopted by the Board of Regents in 1934, by which a bachelor's degree in engineering (mechanical engineering) was awarded at the end of the fourth year, and, upon completion of a year in the Graduate School, a master's degree in industrial engineering was granted.
No substantial change was made in industrial engineering until 1946, when the degree designation of bachelor of science in engineering (industrial-mechanical) Page 1268was initiated. Thus, for the first time the term "industrial" was added to the degree awarded at the end of four years of work.
In 1950 the curriculum in industrial (mechanical) engineering was accredited by the Engineering Council for Professional Development, with the suggestion that greater provision be made for courses in the area of industrial engineering. In the following year the Board of Regents approved a program leading to the bachelor's degree in engineering (industrial engineering), and in 1952 approved a change in name of the department to Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering. In the spring of 1952, 98 students were enrolled in the industrial engineering curriculum.
In addition to Professor Gordy as program adviser, Associate Professor Quentin C. Vines (Illinois '29e [E.E.], M.E. ibid. '50), Assistant Professor Wilbert Steffy ('37e [Mech. Ind.]), and Instructor Edward Lupton Page ('40e [M.E.], M.S.E. '53) taught the courses in 1952. In December, 1951, the titles of these men were changed from Mechanical to Industrial Engineering. Thus, Gordy became the first Professor of Industrial Engineering at the University.
The program in industrial engineering includes two options. Option A is concerned with the development of standards for operation and the analysis and comparison of results of actual operation with norms previously established. It includes the analysis of a product as to methods of manufacture, layout of facilities, materials handling, production and inventory control, quality control, production standards and motion study, job evaluation and incentive methods of wage payment, organization, and personnel practices and policies.
Option B is intended to meet the needs of those students primarily interested in the methods and operations of manufacture. It includes the development, operation, and control of such processes as casting, forging, rolling, die-casting, stamping, molding, machining, and such functions as production planning, factory layout, routing and methods of manufacture, jigs, fixture, tool, and die design, technical estimating, and inspection. The objective is to acquaint engineering students with principles and methods of fabricating materials. Boston is program adviser, and all of the special work is offered in the Production Engineering Department. The two options follow a common program for the first two years, but differ thereafter.