Director of degree programme: Assistant Professor Jens Schmidt

Degree: Master of Science (Technology), 120 ECTS

Abbreviation: IEM

Industrial engineering and management as a field

The Master’s Degree programme in Industrial Engineering and Management (IEM) educates engineers who are capable of developing and leading technology-based businesses with an entrepreneurial mindset. The programme equips students with a systemic, solution oriented engineering mindset. The distinctive feature of IEM at Aalto University is that it combines classical industrial engineering, which emphasizes understanding and developing operational processes and complex systems, with a focus on strategic and entrepreneurial leadership. During the program students develop an integrative understanding of technology and business, a combination of theoretical understanding and a pragmatic can-do attitude, analytical capabilities to solve complex real life problems using data, people skills to build and lead organizations, diverse knowledge and experience from startups to largest corporations, and a global orientation and ambition level.

Alumni of the programme have taken expert and leadership positions in a number of different types of companies, ranging from start-ups to large multinational companies, as well as public and non-profit organizations. They have co-founded a several startups (including some of the fastest-growing companies in Europe) and have been involved in and supported some of the major strategic decisions taken by a number of multinational companies. There is an active community of alumni that is closely involved with the current generation of students and actively participates in events jointly organized by alumni, students and faculty.

Learning outcomes

An expert in the field of industrial engineering and management needs to understand the engineering processes, the technical systems and the underlying technologies and to be able to apply this understanding within the context of technology-based businesses. The skills and in-depth knowledge acquired in the programme overall and the field of the chosen major in particular combined with technical expertise acquired in the minor enable graduates to understand, develop and lead technology-based businesses. Additionally, graduates must be able to follow and critically analyze the development as well as to independently conduct scientific research in the field of the chosen major and/or a field of engineering or technology.

The overall objectives and targeted learning outcomes of the programme are as follows:

  • Provide students with an integrative understanding of technology and business which combines a strong theoretical foundation with applicable skills and a pragmatic can-do attitude to enable them to develop and lead technology-based businesses.
  • Provide students with in-depth knowledge of the field of the major, which provides a particular perspective on developing and leading technology-based businesses.
  • Provide students with the knowledge and skills needed to follow the scientific development within the field of the chosen major and/or minor as well as to apply scientific knowledge and scientific methods independently, which also provide a solid basis for scientific postgraduate education.

The more detailed learning objectives concerning the field of major and minor are described separately for each major and minor as well as for each course that is part of the chosen major or minor.

The knowledge and skills needed to apply scientific knowledge and scientific methods independently are mainly acquired in the major studies. The research assignment and the master’s thesis have a central role in developing the knowledge and skills needed to engage in scientific postgraduate education.

Degree structure

The Master’s Programme in Industrial Engineering and Management offers three majors:

  • Operations and Service Management
  • Organization Design and Leadership
  • Strategy and Venturing.

The degree includes a technical minor, chosen from an appropriate field of engineering. Each of these elements are described in detail in this guide. 

Planning and scheduling of the studies

Each student's major and minor are confirmed in the Personal Study Plan.

In order to support graduation in 2 years, it is important to recognize the critical path. Students are encouraged to choose their major before the 1st year starts. Thereby, the first autumn emphasizes the compulsory courses of the major enabling the research assignment already in the first spring (or the 2nd autumn). The research assignment is a prerequisite for starting the master’s thesis. Although the intensive work takes place in the 2nd spring, preparations for the master’s thesis should gradually start in the beginning of the second year. The choice and timing of the optional and integrative courses of the major should support the progress in the critical path.

During the 1st autumn, students should choose their minor (whether the choice is restricted of free). In the planning and scheduling of studies, students should take into consideration quotas, prerequisite knowledge and the suggested sequence for the courses in the minor. The sooner the choice of the minor is made; the more possibilities a student has to level the overall workload without delaying the graduation. Likewise, planning of a semester in a foreign university becomes easier.

The last element in making the personal study plan is choosing the electives.