5 Research Topics for a Master’s in Industrial and Systems Engineering Student

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Updated August 4, 2020

Research Topics for a Master's in Industrial and Systems Engineering Student

  • Analytics and Statistics
  • Financial
  • Optimization
  • Production and Logistics
  • Modeling and Simulation

The job of an engineer, regardless of their particular specialization, is to eliminate waste from a traditional industry or digital software process. They use the ever-advancing state of modern technology to develop new and more efficient ways of accomplishing important tasks, saving big corporations and government agencies billions of dollars each year worldwide. Industrial and systems engineering represent steadily growing fields of professional expertise, offering significantly more opportunities for future graduates as today's technology continues to advance.

Resource: 30 Best Online Master's in Industrial or Systems Engineering Degrees

When pursuing a Master's degree in engineering, a student will be required to complete various research projects. Here are five popular topics which are directly relevant to the various possible career paths of the industrial and systems engineer:

Analytics and Statistics

This subject is concerned with the methods and technologies used in data science. It involves the reliable storage and transmission of information, data security, and the analysis and extraction of relevant data from a larger set. More efficient methods of analyzing, storing, and recalling data are constantly being developed, and engineers within this specialized field save many large corporations millions of dollars annually.


Many people don't think about finances when it comes to the applications of this particular skill set, but the world of finance and econometrics involves many of the same abilities. Financial engineers rely upon their knowledge of mathematics, economics and computer science to develop more refined ways of managing financial risks, securing financial transactions, and making a wide range of financial processes much more intuitive and easy to understand.


This software specialty relates to the design and implementation of software algorithms, which are capable of both gathering and processing data. The internet is run largely by algorithms, which allow for hitherto unprecedented extents of automation, and are a key player in the ongoing development of artificial intelligence software. Research into optimization represents one of the most potentially groundbreaking (and lucrative) specialties in software development.

Production and Logistics

Production and logistics is a combined area of focus for many engineers, including students pursuing their Master's degree. Together, these subjects cover the full range of product development, supply chain management, and support services. This is a strong field for traditional engineers, as the drive to develop faster and more efficient ways of getting a product from the assembly line to the consumer will always be ongoing.

Modeling and Simulation

This area of focus is the specialized field of "meta-engineers." Most engineers develop faster, more efficient ways of doing things; in stochastic modeling and simulation, however, the focus is on developing faster and more efficient ways for other engineers to carry out their jobs. A focus on this topic revolves around the development of more accurate and advanced forms of digital modeling and simulation, so as to better refine the processes on which engineers (including the modelers themselves) rely.

By carefully selecting a currently viable research topic to go along with your engineering career path, you can boost the value of your Master's degree once you've completed your graduate program. Smart decisions here will help your qualifications to stand out from those of other engineers, and highlight your personal abilities in your preferred field of specialization.

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