MIT Reports to the President 1999–2000


The Technology and Development Program’s (TDP) primary mission is to provide a focus at MIT for research and education related to the role of technology in the socioeconomic development of newly industrialized nations. TDP works with other academic departments and research centers throughout MIT to:

TDP carries out these objectives through research, academic programs, and contacts with international and national organizations that have an interest in broad areas of technology and development. In order to fully utilize available resources, the TDP is structured to interact with other academic departments and research centers throughout MIT.


The two major on-going programs are in Thailand and Malaysia.

TDP in Thailand collaborates in research and education with two major Thai Institutions; The Collaborative Program of Science and Technology with the National Science Technology and Development Agency of Thailand (NSTDA); and the Collaborative Program of Science and Technology with the King Mongkut University of Technology at Thonburi (KMUTT). These two programs are funded under an agreement with Suskapatana Foundation, and both started in 1996. Both activities are currently being continued at slower pace due to the economic hardship in Thailand. TDP continued its assistance to KMUTT in organizational of its research and academic programs and the start-up of a research center operating under the auspices of KMUTT Professor Alan T. Hatton successfully completed the second year of the Chemical Engineering Practice School in Thailand. Professor Chris Scott concluded his work on "Morphology Control in Immiscible Polymer Blends Through Interfacial Reaction and Rheology" and Professor Kevin Amaratunga continued his work on the Thailand Integrated Water Resource Management System Project.

Interaction between Professor Steven Lerman and NSTDA continued in the area of "Multi-Media Technology."

Since signing a multi-year Agreement with MUST-Ehsan Foundation in January 1997, TDP has been assisting the Foundation with the establishment of the Malaysia University of Science and Technology (MUST). To Support the Establishment of the Malaysia University of Science and Technology, TDP and MUST have devoted their efforts to developing; the academic programs at the graduate level in several engineering areas including Information Technology and Multi Media; Biochemcial and Biotechnology; Engineering Systems and Operations; and Transportation and Logistics; the research agenda focusing on infrastructure; information technology/multi-media; Biotechnology and Chemical Engineering; Advanced Materials; Manufacturing; and Energy and Environment; as well as working on institutional building activities, and promoting industrial and governmental collaboration and linkages. Due to economic hardship in Malaysia, TDP’s activities have been carried out at a much slower pace. Currently TDP is discussing the possibility of funding from the government of Malaysia and Motorola Corporation. Should these funding materialize we expect to continue on collaboration at the normal pace. Recently the Government of Malaysia has approved equivalent of $28 Million US Dollars for support of Malaysia University of Science and Technology. We are currently awaiting the final approval of Motorola for an additional $25 Million US Dollars before we restart the activities of the program.


The Technology and Development Program has had several preliminary discussions with appropriate institutions in Colombia, Egypt, and Kuwait.

In conjunction with ABT Associates TDP has explored the possibility of establishing a Science and Technology Institute based graduate University in the Middle East most likely in Golan Heights. As part of a peace process that is ongoing in Washington. The State Department has requested a somewhat more detailed proposal. In Colombia, TDP and Mariano Ospina Foundation have jointly prepared a proposal to establish an Institute for research and education on large-scale infrastructure systems in Bogota. In Egypt, the office of the Prime Minister has asked for a briefing on the possibility of establishing a University similar to the Malaysia University of Science and Technology. We are at a preliminary stage of discussion


The TDP-sponsored Middle East Program at MIT completed its eleventh year. The program (under the direction of Professor Nazli Choucri, TDP Associate Director) involves faculty from the Department of Political Science, Department of Economics, the History Faculty, the Department of Urban Studies and Planning, the Sloan School of Management, the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, the Science, Technology and Society Program, and the Aga Khan Program in Islamic Architecture. . The program enables students with an interest in the Middle East to develop an expertise in the area in addition to their own academic fields of specialization; and it examines the processes of socio-economic change, technological development, political change, institutional development, capital flows, and business and investment patterns in the region.

A number of short courses and executive seminars have been offered both in Thailand and Malaysia including, Project Management for Capital Projects (Professor Robert D. Logcher); Fundamentals of Lasers, Fiberoptics, and Photonic Sensors (Professor Shaoul Ezekiel); Human-Machine Systems in Manufacturing, Process Control, Transportation and Communication (Professor Thomas B. Sheridan); and So you Want to Build an Airplane (Professor Leon Trilling).

In Malaysia TDP is working with MUST to promote the education of individuals to carry out the social and industrial development of Malaysia and is employing several mechanisms including: long-distance learning techniques, teaching of short courses in Malaysia, and faculty and student exchange. TDP has focused its efforts on developing four graduate academic programs (Transportation Systems, Information Technology and Multimedia, System Design and Operation, and Chemical Process Engineering and Biochemical Process Engineering), during the coming years.


The TDP Director is Professor Fred Moavenzadeh, Professor of Construction Management in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. Professor Nazli Choucri of the Department of Political Science is the Program’s Associate Director and Patricia Vargas is the Assistant Director.

Fred Moavenzadeh

MIT Reports to the President 1999–2000