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The Faculty of Industrial Engineering and Management at the Technion is celebrating an anniversary

The event to mark the date took place last week in Tel Aviv with the participation of hundreds of its graduates who hold key positions in the economy * The dean of the faculty defines the industrial and management engineer as the CEO's operations officer

Dalia Vali Horvitz with Dr. Yossi Vardi.
Dalia Vali Horvitz with Dr. Yossi Vardi.

The Faculty of Industrial Engineering and Management at the Technion celebrated its anniversary this week at the Tel Aviv Museum, with the participation of hundreds of its graduates who hold key positions in the Israeli economy.

At the same time, the dean of the faculty, Professor Boaz Golani, revealed that "Dr. Yossi Vardi will be Dr. Bariwa this summer - he will receive an honorary doctorate from the Technion." The main speaker at the event was the chairman of "Teva" company, Eli Horvitz, who said that the current economic crisis is also a crisis of values ​​and many managers see only the next quarter before their eyes.

A few months ago I interviewed Prof. Golani for the magazine Industries.

Director's Operations Officer

Next year, the Faculty of Industrial Engineering and Management at the Technion will celebrate its anniversary. The faculty and its approximately 6,000 graduates were one of the cornerstones of the Israeli industry, renewing itself over time, and developing in new directions dictated by the global and flat world in which we find ourselves today. Thomas Friedman, the reporter for the New York Times, detailed the ten processes flattening the world, including the rise of China and India, which removed bureaucratic barriers regarding the opening of companies, a phenomenon driven by the fall of the Soviet Union at the time, as well as the development of the media, several revolutions in the field of computing, and more. The bottom line is that every factory operates today within the framework of a global supply chain where every factory can produce every component for every product for companies anywhere in the world, and who are the most prepared people for this - the industrial engineers and management.

In a special interview with "Industries" Prof. Golani says that today we are talking about a holistic, comprehensive approach in which industrial and management engineers take care of complex systems, built in three main dimensions - the physical dimension, the system itself - machines, equipment, inventory, etc.; The virtual dimension - the information. This dimension itself is divided into three components: data (DATA), information (Information) and knowledge (Knowledge) in ascending order of the hierarchy of importance; And the third dimension - the human factor that admires, manages and controls the other two systems. The combination of these three dimensions in a way that will lead to the achievement of the goals of organizations and companies is the main goal of industrial and management engineers."

Golani therefore defines the industrial and management engineer as the manager's operations officer according to which he will launch anything in the organization because he sits at a critical intersection of decision-making and information that combines the data from the three sub-systems and has the tools and skills to make integrative decisions for all three systems. It is impossible to isolate a decision solely in the field of the information system - for example ERP, CRM without considering at the same time (that's why I used the term holistic), the consequential effects on the other two subsystems of the human factor and the physical system.

In its beginnings, the faculty was designed and developed in the spirit of the vision of the late Prof. Pinchas Naor, who was its first dean. According to the approach that was accepted at the time and is still prevalent today in most universities in the world, there is a separation between industrial engineering programs offered within engineering schools, and management programs offered within business administration schools. Naor's vision was completely different - he worked to combine issues related to industrial engineering with management issues, by establishing a large and multidisciplinary faculty that would include a wide variety of research areas: engineering design, performance research, economics, behavioral sciences, statistics and more. He saw in his imagination all these areas working in harmony to train graduates who will be a high-quality management reserve for the Israeli industry, as well as graduates who will integrate into academia and enrich the research communities in Israel and around the world.

How did this unique experiment affect the industry?

Prof. Golani: "This product, an industrial and management engineer, filled a vital need in the economy and for evidence - the huge demand that has been created for engineers of this type since the XNUMXs until today. Today, there is actually no industrial sector, both in the private market and in the public sector, that operates without the presence and influence of industrial and management engineers, starting with the very low-tech industries such as textiles and part of the construction industry and ending with the very advanced industries rich in knowledge and technology, such as various ICT industries. In each of them you will find industrial and management engineers. One of the explanations for the great demand is the fact that the concept of a bachelor's degree in business administration has not yet been developed in Israel, and the few programs that exist in this field today are only offered by colleges and do not have a reputation in the market.

In North America, there is of course a very large number of graduates of business administration schools with a bachelor's degree and they fulfill some of the functions that industrial and management engineers fulfill in the Israeli economy. The great advantage of an Israeli industrial and management engineer over a graduate of an American bachelor's degree program in business administration - BBA is that our graduate also receives in-depth scientific training - he studies the general Technion scientific courses in his first year at the Technion and also acquires strong skills in the use of quantitative models and the topic of information systems. This combination that we provide especially here at the Technion is unique in the world and it has proven itself and the proof is the demand."

Demand not only in Israel?

Prof. Golani: "Unfortunately, there is also export, it started with large consulting companies of the type of engineers who opened subsidiaries in the USA and attracted industrial and management engineers there with them, and then it spread in other directions as well and I estimate that today there are several hundred Israeli industrial and management engineers who are in positions Usually developed in North America mainly. I also personally know some of the examples."

Intermediate: Service Management and Supply Chains

In the last decade, the faculty expanded its program offerings, in particular, a Master's in Business Administration (MBA) program was developed and implemented, which places a special emphasis on managing high-tech and knowledge-based companies. "The challenge facing us in this period is the need to secure and maintain in the years to come the premier status that we have achieved with great effort. This task is becoming more and more difficult with the increasing competition we face in Israel and abroad, and with the continuous decrease in the budgeting of higher education in Israel from public sources. The main issue we have to deal with is a re-examination of the faculty's vision, so that it fits the current needs of the economy and the environment in which our graduates will function in the coming decades."

How is this expressed?

Prof. Golani: "We try to test ourselves continuously both against the needs of the economy and industry in Israel and against the directions of development that we detect in our territory in the wider world. I will mention two important developments that have been taking place recently and will certainly affect the curricula in the near future.

The domain of the service sector Service Industry - we found in the surveys we conducted that around 70% of our graduates find employment in the service sector of its various types. Until the mid-nineties, we did not even have a single course on this subject. Therefore we began to develop courses, projects, research works on service issues and today we are the leaders in the world on the issue of service within the framework of industrial engineering, we received a very impressive and strong momentum last year through a generous donation from a friend of the Technion from the USA - a million dollars to establish a service systems engineering laboratory - Service Enterprise Enginiring began its operation in February 2007 and as part of it research and projects have already been carried out in the field of telephone service centers, and now we are entering a very large project in collaboration with the Rambam Hospital which is the university hospital of the Faculty of Medicine at the Technion and the IBM company through its research laboratories in Haifa to research and promote issues different in the field of providing medical services.

It is certainly possible that in the next 5 to 10 years we will open up the subject to the point of a separate channel that will be called a service engineer - a separate degree. There is considerable pressure on us from industrial parties to produce a graduate that will be his specialty. That's how much the demand for the subject is great and the need is real."

A second topic that we pay increasing attention to is supply chain management. The classic view of industrial engineering that began in the days of Taylor Wilson and the like looked at the micro level at one worker who is at one workstation, then came Henry Ford's production lines and they connected workstations to each other and formed a line and when there is a line there are also stocks along the line, scheduling of Workers, mobility of workers. The Second World War came and following it the view went up a notch to the level of a factory that has several lines and needs to set priorities between the lines and move from one production batch to another.

Towards the XNUMXs, the view shifted to the situation of a number of factories scattered geographically and in the XNUMXs - scattered even globally. Tom Friedman's book "The World is Flat" describes the state of things in the early XNUMXs. An organization that has the elements I described earlier and the challenge involved in high school, in planning the operations, management, control and maintenance of a global monster. The most suitable people are those who receive training in industrial engineering and management, because it includes the essential elements for dealing with this challenge."

"To meet this need, we developed courses, we have a highly sought-after course of study 'Business Information Systems Engineering'. We are currently developing a laboratory called Enterprise System Modeling - business systems modeling. We have been blessed with some assistance from companies such as SAP, Ness Technologies, IBM, Intel, and others who are helping us both in setting up the laboratory and in supplying software to the laboratory, and this whole issue is still in its infancy and I expect it to develop greatly in the future."

"A third example of future development is related to entrepreneurship and innovation. Israel is a world power in this field, there are the number of ventures here - the largest startups in the world per capita, but also in absolute terms we are in a very high place in the world and there are many Israeli success stories that started their journey as a relatively small venture and soon grew and it became clear that there is a very large deficit in this field In academia in general throughout the world and in Israel in particular because most of the projects that developed both in Israel and elsewhere are based on intuitive decision-making, we decided to vigorously enter this issue and this time too, thanks to a nice donation we received, this time from Israel - Yehuda and Dita Bronitsky, the owners of Ormat, donated one and a half million dollars and with them we established a center For entrepreneurship and innovation whose goal is to develop knowledge in this field, to spread the knowledge also in the form of learning courses and training for industry as well as to encourage activities of technology transfer from the academy to industry. We are limited like any place according to our resources."

How many students and faculty members are there in the faculty?

Today, 1,650 students are studying at the faculty in all our study programs, of which about a thousand are studying for a bachelor's degree, about 300 are research students for a master's degree, of which about 230 are divided into master's - and 70 into doctorate. We have around 260-280 MBA students and another 60-80 students for non-research ME – Master Of Engineering degree programs. Of course, we cannot accommodate everyone who is evacuated due to resource limitations, both the inventory of faculty members, and the physical facilities at our disposal - the buildings, the laboratory classrooms. In the context of the faculty members, it is worthy of mention, especially in light of the strike, the Shohat Committee, etc., because we are indeed suffering, as described in some of the articles on this subject, from an inability to compete well in the global market of higher education. Since we are a public institution and salaries are monitored in very important areas, especially in management, economics, etc., the salaries offered to PhD holders by universities in North America are 3 to 5 times what they are offered here, so it is increasingly difficult for us to recruit young faculty members to fill the ranks Here. Without differential pay, which the lecturers' organizations oppose - we cut corners on some of the fields here."

Who are the notable graduates of the faculty?

"We have a nice list of prominent graduates who agreed to join the industrial advisory council that I established - among them Shlomo Nechama, who was until recently the chairman of the board of directors of Bank Hapoalim - Oded Tira, president of Finatsia and until recently the chairman of the Federation of Manufacturers; Meir Nissenson CEO of IBM Israel, Rami Kalish - Director of the Polaris Fund, Yossi Verdi. Ruth Alon who was the CEO of Netizen. There is a magnificent list - some of them are the leaders in the Glasbard market - the CEO of Klalit Health Services and many other good people.

The goal of the anniversary celebrations is, of course, on the one hand to look back with pride at everything that has been done, to connect people to each other, networking, and on the other hand, forward to unfold our vision for the development of the faculty in the future and share our graduates in action."

Does a name change change luck?

The triple responsibility of the industrial and management engineer for the system dimensions, the virtual dimension and the control, has meant that the term industrial engineering and management does not cover the job description well today. The faculty is looking at alternative names. "One of the names used in the US is Enterprise Engineer, however in today's language Enterprise is a large organization, in standard language it is an enterprise of any size. Another proposed name is Industrial and System Engineer or translated into Hebrew, Industrial and Systems Engineer, where systems refers to both the information system and the other system components for which he is responsible." Prof. Golani concludes.

• This term was invented by Thomas Friedman in his book "The World is Flat", which was also published in Hebrew by Aryeh Nir, 2006

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