BGSU to launch two new engineering programs in fall

Q&A with MD Sarder, chair of engineering technologies

By Bob Cunningham ’18

Bowling Green State University is launching two new engineering programs in Fall 2021.

BGSU is offering a Master of Science in logistics systems engineering (MS-LSE) and a Bachelor of Science in systems engineering (SYE) — the University’s first engineering programs in the College of Technology, Architecture and Applied Engineering.

MS-LSE is an interdisciplinary program that blends business and engineering skills to solve complex problems in logistics, systems engineering, production design and health care systems. It prepares BGSU students for a variety of positions by giving them the ability to design a system, component or process to meet desired needs within realistic constraints.

It prepares students to combat issues that arise in logistics and systems engineering settings and to understand the impact of engineering solutions in global, economic, environmental and societal contexts.

BS-SYE is a multidisciplinary engineering discipline that is highly demanding and compensated. Unlike traditional engineering, this program takes a holistic approach to designing and improving complex systems such as manufacturing, logistics, retail service and health care systems. This program emphasizes engineering design, systems integration, modeling, problem solving, teamwork and communication skills in order to prepare students for the tasks of their future professions in the field. The graduates from this program will be well versed in dealing with people, processes and technologies and have high potential to move up in their careers.

Dr. MD Sarder is a professor and chair of engineering technologies at the University. Sarder has extensive teaching and research experiences in various areas of industrial and systems engineering, predominantly in logistics transportation and supply chain management.

Q: What will the new Master of Science in logistics systems engineering entail?

A: This is a joint program with the Allen W. and Carol M. Schmidthorst College of Business and the College of Technology, Architecture and Applied Engineering, launching in Fall 2021.This program requires only 10 courses or 30 credit hours. The program is offered in a hybrid form as well as 100% online.

Q: What are the benefits of enrolling into the MS-LSE program at this time?

A: There is a huge demand for logistics professionals within the region and even nationwide. This is a STEM degree program we think should be able to attract a lot of students, including international students. Our primary target is working professionals who are already working in different industries. Because the program is hybrid/online, students should be able to take this program while they're working because of its flexibility. This program offers a study abroad program to the Panama Canal to explore international aspects of logistics and systems design from the curriculum.

Q: How do the business and engineering worlds mesh with this degree?

A: That’s a great question. The most of the real-world jobs in logistics and systems engineering require engineering design and business skills. This program blends business and engineering skills to solve complex problems. If you look at the logistics, supply chain is also involved, and our College of Business has one of the top supply chain programs in the nation. The collaboration between the two colleges enhances the curriculum. If you look

across the United States, you're going to find only a few universities that have a logistics systems engineering program. Ours is unique because of the collaborations between the two colleges.

Q: What else makes this program attractive to prospective students?

A: I can tell you that if you look at the need, the industry demand for this type of degree and the salary range for logistics managers, often in the six-figure range, are the attraction points. Here in northwest Ohio, alone, automotive companies and defense industries are in a great need for logistics professionals. Plus, logistics is not just shipping from the warehouse to the customer. It encompasses inbound logistics that happen within the plants, including the manufacturing and health care sectors. There are also reverse logistics that are needed to handle returns, repairs, value recoveries, warranty and other issues — all those kinds of things that make logistics a trillion-dollar industry. More than 5 million people work in the U.S. logistics sector.

Q: Could you switch gears and talk about the Bachelor of Science in systems engineering program?

Yes, the systems engineering program is also the first engineering program in our college, and it focuses on three components: people, processes and technologies. That is why you will see that, like with the logistics systems engineering master’s program, this program has that component as well, one with people skills. Today’s jobs in the industry are significantly different due to the complexity of products, high level of automation in the process and ever-changing customer expectations. It is no longer adequate to have a singular set of skills to fulfill the employer’s needs. This program prepares graduates with a combination of these skill sets.

Q: Can you talk about the program’s versatility?

Yes, systems engineering is really broad as it takes a holistic approach of problem solving. This program focuses on engineering design, systems integration, modeling, problem solving, teamwork and communication skills in order to prepare students for the tasks of their future professions in the field.

Q: How do these programs help support the University’s mission of being a public university for the public good?

Today’s industry requires specialized STEM graduates with the 21st century professional skills. Most of them are coming from engineering programs, so our primary mission is to fulfill the workforce need here with competent and readily deployable engineering graduates. We're also going to be helping regional industries solve some of their complex problems in logistics and systems engineering, and that is directly helping the public here. We’re going to be looking for federal and state grants in this region to help solve those industries’ problems.

Media Contact | Michael Bratton | mbratto@bgsu.edu | 419-372-6349