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Our Mission

SSE’s mission is to contribute to the College of Engineering’s and the Harold and Inge Marcus Department of Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering’s strategic goals to enhance our students’ fundamental educational experience, awareness of the societal challenge in the United States where 80% of the workforce is employed in the service sector, access to the entrepreneurial opportunities of the sector and collaboration with industry and alumni partners to improve the productivity and quality of the service sector.

The mission of SSE can be broken into three main goals:

  1. Introduce students to the opportunities for engineering in labor-intensive service industries by providing students multiple learning opportunities about SSE and offering learning opportunities to enhance students’ competency while increasing industry awareness in hiring
  2. Develop applications of classical engineering techniques to improve service process productivity through case studies and books that build capacity and create a repository of applications
  3. Create new engineering solutions to respond primarily to service industry needs by collaborating with the service sector and disseminating results

Why is service systems engineering critical to our economy?

With the service sector representing over 80% of the economy and over 80% of jobs in the United States, service systems constitute a wide range of industries, including healthcare, retail, banking, finance, sports, entertainment, hospitality, transportation, and logistics. Everywhere we go, we encounter service systems. From waiting in line for our favorite ice cream to analyzing the appropriate cost for any widget, so many of our everyday life activities relate back to service systems.

Many industry segments within the service sector suffer from quality and productivity issues. This can be caused by the failure to apply engineering methods that are common practice in the manufacturing sector. With more engineers in the service sector, we will successfully engineer the 21st century service economy and make a lasting impact on the nation’s productivity and customer satisfaction, while providing rewarding careers for Penn State students.

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SSS encompasses the study, design, and implementation of new systems that improve the processes and efficiencies of the service sector. With origins dating back to 2003, our mission is to contribute to engineering the 21st century economy. As 80% of our country’s economy falls in the service sector, it is vital to expose students to the abundance of engineering opportunities in these labor-intensive industries.

Service Systems Engineering

The Pennsylvania State University

University Park, PA 16802