Industrial Engineering and Management (IEM)
Industrial Engineering and Management (IEM) is an integrative, solution-oriented discipline that addresses organisations and their networks as technological, economic and social systems with the objective to enable innovations and advance businesses towards high efficiency, economics and sustainability. The IEM of today is no longer limited to industrial organisations, but encompasses all value adding activities in industry, services and the public sector. Currently, the strong drivers of digitalisation and sustainable development present challenges and opportunities which IEM research utilises by providing new models and tools for renewing businesses in a sustainable way. At LUT, the research and education in the competence area of IEM focus on:
- Innovation management
- Supply chain and operations management
- Cost management
- Performance management
- Systems engineering
- Software engineering
Innovations and renewal are vital for the success of companies in different fields as well as for public organisations. Innovation management research aims to publish in leading scientific publications, create sustainable competitiveness in industry and service organisations, and generate social significance.
The Innovation Management team's research focuses on the following:
- Innovation processes and networks
- Development and application of methods that support managerial decision-making
- Management of product and service life cycles
- Promotion of sustainability-oriented innovation activities
- Practice-based innovations
- Digitalisation and product, service, and process innovations.
The research team has a long track record in evolving innovation management in collaboration with companies. The business and value perspectives are at the core of the activities in order to guarantee world-class research in collaborative projects. Our most important cooperation partners in research projects are companies that are leaders in their own field, international and national research institutes, Tekes and the EU, and especially the European Union's Horizon 2020 programme.
Supply Chain and Operations Management
The Supply Chain and Operations Management team studies and teaches structures, processes and operational models of organisations. It develops theories and solutions for improving the performance of organisations, value chains and networks.
The Supply Chain and Operations Management team's research focuses on the following themes:
- Sustainable business models, networks and supply chains
- Professional service systems and operations management
The current research focuses on understanding how business models should be designed to create sustainable value in the networks of companies (e.g. business models in circular economy networks). The research provides tools with which firms can analyse and redesign their business models, value networks, and supply chains to become more sustainable.
Professional service systems and operations management research develops theories and solutions for improving the efficiency of the processes in professional public sector organisations and for developing methods that support organisational change. The ongoing research projects focus on health care and judicial systems.
The Cost Management team C3M (Capital, Capacity and Cost Management) studies and teaches methods of cost management and asset life cycle management from the perspective of managerial decision-making. The research aims to develop models and analyses for industrial companies and service organisations.
The two main themes of the research are industrial asset management and working capital management. The research addresses for example the following topics:
- Life cycle cost models
- Asset management in business networks and ecosystems
- Value of industrial maintenance services and digitalisation (IoT)
- Cycle times of working capital and profitability
- Working capital models in value chains
The Performance Management team has extensive knowledge of and experience in performance measurement, analysis and the construction of measurement systems in various dimensions of performance in many contexts. In addition to its scientific contribution, the team's research also provides practical tools and methods for companies and other organisation.
The research of the Performance Management team focuses on the following themes:
- Sustainable and holistic performance measurement and management
- Measurement and management of the effectiveness, productivity and renewal of business
The current research projects focus on the following:
- Management and measurement of customer value in modern business models and networks
- Management and measurement of customer value in a digital environment
- Management and measurement of innovation capability
- Obstacles to productivity improvement
The Systems Engineering team teaches and studies methods for complex system analysis and synthesis. It sees modern systems as blends of interacting socio-technical elements in various domains (technological, economic, social, environmental, etc.) during a system's lifetime – from design to utilisation.
The team develops interdisciplinary quantitative and qualitative approaches to the design and synthesis of complex systems.
The research addresses the following topics:
- Systematic methods for system conceptual design (TRIZ and other algorithms for conceptual design support, automated data/text mining, patent/paper data processing)
- Modelling and simulation of complex systems (mathematical modelling, simulations, scenario analysis)
- Optimisation (methods for system parameter optimisation, optimisation of structures)
- System control (control and management design, programme and feedback control, control quality)
The team of Software Engineering focuses on software and systems development challenges in the digitalizing society. The areas of research include software and enterprise systems development and organisational processes, user experience driven engineering and innovation, and challenging quality factors such as sustainability, privacy, trust and security.
The research conducted by the team is driven by empirical evidence and focuses on professionals at the workplace. Empirical evidence is collected via field studies conducted in real-world organisations in different fields and industries. The team also conducts controlled experiments and quantitative user research in the living lab CODER (Co-Design, Engineering and Innovation with User Experiences), which is a part of the ENOLL network (European Network of Living Labs). These two dimensions of empirical evidence make the results relevant for the practice and guarantee a high potential for advancing the theory.
The research on software engineering focuses both on technology and its use in business environments. The research topics include not only business activities, organisations and innovation, but the group's important expertise lies in technical development as well. The research takes into account what we already understand about industrial and commercial environments and the organisational and business questions related to them.