The process of industrialization that began over two hundred years ago is continuing to change the way people work and live and doing it very rapidly in places like China and India. At the forefront of this movement is the profession of industrial engineering that develops and applies the technology that drives industrialization. What began in factories and helped build today's global industries is also used to plan many of the commercial and social services that are part of everyday life. This book describes how industrial engineering evolved over the past two centuries developing methods and principles for the planning, design, and control of production and service systems. The story focuses on the growth of the discipline at Purdue University where it helped shape the university itself and made substantial contributions to the industrialization of America and the world. The story includes colorful and creative people like Frank and Lillian Gilbreth of ""Cheaper by the Dozen"" fame. Lillian was the first lady of American engineering as well a founder of Purdue's Industrial Engineering.
Dr. Leimkuhler was on the faculty of the School of Industrial Engineering (IE) during much of the time when the events described in the book took place, and he personally knew many of the people portrayed. He was educated at Loyola College and The Johns Hopkins University and worked for the DuPont Company before coming to Purdue in 1961. He was head of IE at Purdue for seventeen years and retired in 1999.