MIT Reports to the President 1999–2000


The MIT Technology and Policy Program (TPP) provides an integrative education to scientists and engineers who wish to lead in the development and implementation of responsible strategies and policies for exploitation of technology for the benefit of their communities. TPP’s guiding vision is the education of ‘Leaders Who Are Engineers.’

The TPP graduate educational program in the School of Engineering acknowledges that the development of the skills necessary for effective implementation of technology tie into the emerging engineering systems educational thrusts and, consequently, TPP is part of the Engineering Systems Division of MIT. The Program focuses on providing a high impact, high quality education to its students. Its goal is to make TPP the most prestigious and sought after technology policy program in the world and to produce the technological decision makers of the future.

TPP sponsors both a Master of Science program and the Technology, Management and Policy (TMP) doctoral program. This year’s class of Master of Science in Technology and Policy included 39 graduates, and 5 continued on as doctoral students. This year’s "Best Thesis in Technology and Policy" was awarded to Mon Fen Hong. The TMP program has a current enrollment of twenty-five students, reflecting a steady-state admission rate of about five students per year. Four students received their Technology, Management and Policy Ph.D. in June 2000. This year a TPP Student won the $30,000 Lemelson Award. Amy Smith won the sixth annual Lemelson-MIT Program Student Prize for inventiveness. Smith, a S.M. candidate in the Technology and Policy program, earned the $30,000 prize for her dedication to applying mechanical engineering design skills to the invention of technological devices for use in developing countries. In addition to her phase change incubator, Smith has also invented devices including a grain mill adapted for rural areas of developing countries where women traditionally spend up to four hours a day grinding grain by hand.

February 1, 2000 marked the installation of Professor Daniel E. Hastings as Director of the Technology and Policy Program. A key objective of his first semester of program leadership has been the development of a strategic plan aimed at achieving three key objectives for the program: increasing TPP’s intellectual footprint at MIT and the surrounding community; embedding TPP and TMP into the MIT Engineering Systems Division (ESD); and raising the external visibility of TPP. Other key events have been a reorganization of TPP administration and the formation of TPP faculty committees (drawn not only from ESD, but also the Sloan School and HASS) to create a broader institutional basis for the development of program policies.

Daniel Hastings

MIT Reports to the President 1999–2000