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Jeffrey W. Herrmann


Course Descriptions

ENME 426, Production Management. (This course was ENME 489J.) This course covers the basic concepts and intuition needed to design and control manufacturing systems. The content will include the key behavioral tendencies of manufacturing plants, including the corrupting influence of variability. Understanding the underlying behavior of manufacturing systems helps one to improve existing systems and design new systems. The course covers the history of manufacturing, production planning and scheduling, lean manufacturing, manufacturing system performance measures, queueing systems, variability, push and pull production control, and end-user modeling. The textbook is Factory Physics, by Hopp and Spearman. Link to ENME 426 syllabus.

ENME 607 / ENRE 671 Engineering Decision Making and Risk Management. (This course was ENME 808X.)

A brief part of a lecture in this course is included in the list of Media Site demos created by DETS.

A two-minute video that gives an overview of the course.

The objective of this course is for students to learn the key topics in engineering decision making and risk management so that they can improve decision making and reduce risk in their engineering activities and organizations.

The course textbook is Engineering Decision Making and Risk Management, John Wiley and Sons, 2015.

Please see this recent syllabus for details about this course.

In the course of engineering design, project management, and other functions, engineers have to make decisions, almost always under time and budget constraints. Managing risk requires making decisions in the presence of uncertainty. This course will cover material on individual decision making, group decision making, and organizations of decision-makers. The course will present techniques for making better decisions, for understanding how decisions are related to each other, and for managing risk.

Course Learning Objectives. At the completion of this course, students will be able to do the following:

  • Find the best alternative in a decision with multiple objectives and uncertainty;
  • Describe the process of making a decision;
  • Analyze an organization's decision making system;
  • Develop a risk management process.

Course Outline

  • What is a decision?
  • Decision analysis
  • Multi-attribute decision making
  • Group decision making
  • Decision making under uncertainty
  • Game Theory
  • How does one make a decision?
  • Decision-making processes
  • Search
  • Value of Information
  • Separation
  • Risk management
  • Why does one make a decision?
  • Modeling decision-making systems
  • Improving decision-making systems


In 2017, I started the Designing Innovations research stream in the University of Maryland's First-Year Innovation & Research Experience program. In this stream students entify appropriate system design problems, develop designs that solve these problems, plan and conduct experiments in which they observe subjects designing systems, identify the strategies that the designers use, and build and use simulation models to evaluate design strategies.

Courses Taught

  • ENES 100 Introduction to Engineering Design
  • ENES 489Q / BMGT 438G Design and Innovation in Silicon Valley
  • ENES 490H / BMGT 490H QUEST Consulting and Innovation Practicum
  • ENME 201 Engineering Design Project
  • ENME 371 Product Engineering and Manufacturing
  • ENME 426 (ENME 489J) Production Management
  • ENME 472 Integrated Product and Process Development
  • ENME 489X Human Powered Vehicle (with Dr. Linda Schmidt). Please see the stories about the students' success: Diamondback story and a news release.
  • ENME 601, Manufacturing Systems Design and Control.
  • ENME 607 / ENRE 671 Engineering Decision Making and Risk Management
  • ENME 614, Advanced Production Control Techniques
  • ENME 808X / ENRE 648C Engineering Decision Making
  • ENSE 621 and ENPM 641, Systems Engineering Principles
  • ENSE 622 and ENPM 642, Systems Modeling and Analysis
  • ENSE 623 Systems Engineering Design Project (with Dr. Linda Schmidt)

ENME 601, Manufacturing Systems Design and Control. (This course was numbered ENME 808G.) Use the following link to view or download the course notes. This course presents techniques for modeling and analyzing discrete event systems like manufacturing systems. The content will include the key types of deterministic and non-deterministic models, including discrete-event simulation and stochastic processes. Understanding the underlying system behavior helps one to improve existing systems and design new systems. It includes the following topics:

  • Systems Modeling and Analysis
  • Simulation
  • Discrete Event Systems: Deterministic Models
  • Discrete Event Systems: Stochastic Models


Until 2017, I served as the Academic Director for the University of Maryland Quality Enhancement Systems and Teams (QUEST) Honors Program. I also taught two courses for students in the program.

Kylie Goodell King and I wrote an article about the program's learning outcomes and the process for assessing them. The article was published in The Faculty Voice here.

ENES 489Q / BMGT 438G Design and Innovation in Silicon Valley. Dr. King and I developed this course, in which students study the product and software development processes at firms in Silicon Valley. The students traveled to California for spring break, visit these firms, and interview experts to get detailed information about the firms' development processes.


From 2010 to 2013, I served as the faculty mentor for the BIOCOUNTER team, composed of students participating in the Gemstone program. The BIOCOUNTER team examined the processes of detecting, investigating, and responding to an anthrax attack. Visit the BIOCOUNTER web site for more about their research.

The Gemstone program is a multidisciplinary four-year research program for selected undergraduate honors students of all majors. Under the guidance of faculty mentors and Gemstone staff, teams of students design, direct and conduct significant research.

Last updated on March 30, 2020.