Technology and Development Program

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.

Current Research Programs

The two major ongoing 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 active.


TDP continues to assist the Malaysia University of Science and Technology (MUST) in establishing itself as a leading graduate university in Malaysia. TDP's efforts in capacity building are focused on four broad areas: MUST's development of graduate degree programs in selected areas; MUST's establishment of a research agenda; MUST's formation of partnerships with the private sector; and MUST's development of an appropriate institutional organization, including but not limited to administration and finance.

MIT's activities in this collaboration with MUST is being supported by Motorola, Inc., acting through its Global Telecom Solutions Sector and its Global Software Group ($7 million over five years) and the Motorola Foundation ($18 million over five years).

To date, a temporary campus has been established and is located at GL33, Ground Floor, Block C, Dataran Usahawan Kelena, 17 Jalan 7/26, Kelana Jaya, 47301 Petaling Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia. More information about MUST can be found on the web at


During 2003, MIT assisted MUST in adding two additional master of science programs to the three existing programs established in 2002. Thus to date, MUST now offers master of science degrees in Transportation and Logistics; information technology, and biotechnology, construction engineering and management, and material science and engineering. MUST faculty have been hired in each of these academic program areas and are being assisted by MIT faculty in course development and mentoring.


In addition to its educational component, this collaboration involves research that is focusing initially on scientific and technological areas in which expertise already resides both at MIT as well as in MUST and/or in collaboration with qualified faculty members of other universities or research staff of R&D institutions. To date, MIT and MUST are jointly involved in the following research: web services for new business applications in telecommunications; transportation in Malaysia; intelligent information integration; support of MITSIMLab in application in Malaysia; application of modern biotechnology for aquaculture feed production; carrier networks: integrated service planning; developing a transportation telematics and telemedicine architecture to reduce highway deaths in Malaysia; increased therapeutic protein production in mammalian cell culture; assessing project evaluation techniques used for major transportation projects in Asia; and bioprocess improvement through transciptional analysis of cellular response.

Industry Outreach

A major objective of MIT participation in MUST is to promote cooperation between industry, academia, and government; to inform industry of technological development; and to transfer technology whenever possible. A number of short-courses relating to MIT/MUST proposed academic program and research activities have been initiated by MIT and offered at MUST.

Institutional Building

MIT is providing assistance to MUST with regard to organization, management, and administration of the university infrastructure, including all aspects of university administration; i.e., financial, human resources, physical resources, and academic program development.

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Future Research Initiatives

The TDP has had several preliminary discussions with appropriate institutions in Colombia, Egypt, and Rwanda.

In Colombia, TDP and the Mariano Ospina Foundation have jointly prepared a proposal to establish an Institute for research and education on large-scale infrastructure systems in Bogota. In addition TDP continues its discussions with Egypt and Rwanda to establish human capacity building initiatives in higher education with those countries.

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Current Education Initiatives

The TDP-sponsored Middle East Program at MIT completed its 13th 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 socioeconomic change, technological development, political change, institutional development, capital flows, and business and investment patterns in the region.

TDP's primary educational activities outside MIT are currently being focused on its collaboration with the Malaysia University of Science and Technology. Beginning in September, 2003, the following graduate courses will be offered at MUST in addition to the courses initiated in 2002: Biological and Bioprocess Engineering; Air Transportation; Project Evaluation; Construction Finance; Strategic Management in the Design and Construction Value Chain; Innovative Project Delivery in the Public and Private Sectors; Project Management; Project Control; Project Technology; Thermodynamics and Kinetics of Materials; Materials Selection, Design, and Economics; Mechanical Properties of Materials; Electronic Materials Design; Fabrication Technology; Mechanical Behavior of Plastics; and Magnetic Materials: Principles and Application.

MUST with MIT's assistance admitted 45 students in 2002 and 73 for September 2003. At MIT, the program has supported over 32 graduate students.


The TDP director is Professor Fred Moavenzadeh, who holds the James Mason Crafts Professorship 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. TDP hired Dr. Nathaniel Osgood as a research associate to head the information technology academic and

technical components of TDP's interaction in Malaysia.

Fred Moavenzadeh
James Mason Crafts Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering

More information about the Technology and Development Program can be found on the web at


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