MIT Reports to the President 1996-97


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 science and technology in the socioeconomic growth of developing countries. 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 past year saw the continuation of three multi-year collaborative programs. Work with the Government of Mendoza to provide research, education, and administrative assistance to the newly created Fundación Centro de Innovación Tecnológica (CIT) Mendoza continued and the research effort remained focused on (a) Regional Planning for Intermodal Transportation in Mendoza; (b) Internationalization and Competitiveness: the Case of the Mendoza Region of Argentina; and (c) Multi-Attribute Evaluation of Water and Energy Resources in Mendoza.

The following research activities are being undertaken under the Collaborative Program of Science and Technology between MIT and the National Science Technology and Development Agency of Thailand (NSTDA) and the Collaborative Program of Science and Technology between MIT and the King Mongkut Institute of Technology, Thonburi (KMITT). "Analysis of Relative Production Costs in Thailand and Other Countries (Professor Joel Clark); "Analysis of Adjustment to International Opening; Comparison of Thailand, Taiwan, and Mexico (Professor Alice Amsden); Design Studio: The Case of KMITT Rajaburi Campus, Thailand (Professor Michael Dennis); and Chemical Engineering Practice School in Thailand (Professor Alan Hatton); Establishment of TGIST (Thailand Graduate Institute for Science and Technology (Professor Fred Moavenzadeh). In addition research is being explored in the following areas: Morphoogy Control in Immiscible Polymer Blends Through Interfacial Reaction and Rheology (Professor Chris Scott); Regional Strategic Transportation Plan for Thailand (Professor Joseph Sussman); Multi-Media Technology (Professor Steven Lerman); and Shrimp Biotechnology (Professors Daniel Wang and Charles Cooney). In addition Professor David Marks has proposed a project entitled "Water Resource Management Activities in Thailand, Research, Technology Transfer, Education and Human Resource Development"; and Professor Daniel Roos has proposed several activities under IMVP. The organizational and administrative structure for KMITT Rajaburi is being assisted by Mr. Robert Greene.

On January 14, 1997 TDP signed a multi-year Agreement with the Malaysia University of Science and Technology Ehsan Foundation (MUST) to Support the Establishment of the Malaysia University of Science and Technology. The focus of this program is on academic programs, research program, institutional building, and industrial and governmental collaboration and linkages. Professors Michael Dennis, Jean DeMonchaux and Mr. Ovida R. Simha are assisting MUST with the Physical Master Plan for MUST. Mr. Robert Greene is leading a team in the organizational and administrative structure for MUST. Research efforts are being pursued in the following areas: (a) infrastructure, (b) information technology/multi-media; (c) Biotechnology and Chemical Engineering; (d) Advanced Materials; (e) Manufacturing; and (f) Energy and Environment.

In addition to the above research efforts, TDP continued its association with the Consortium on Construction and Global Environment. Since 1990 TDP has been working with three major construction companies in Japan; namely, Hazama Corporation, Nishimatsu Construction Co., Ltd. and Sato Kogyo Co., Ltd. in helping to identify key areas and issues of global environmental change which will create future opportunities for the world's leading engineering and construction firms; and to suggest effective strategies for capitalizing on these opportunities. The primary focus of this year's activities has been on municipal solid waste landfill sites and in particular information on: (a) improvement of performance (such as lining systems, leakage detection systems, leakage repair systems, etc.), (b) longer life sites or extension of life of use (compression of volume of landfill waste, repairing or upgrading of existing landfill sites, landfill mining, etc.) and (c) uses of waste filled sites after closure of the facilities.


The Technology and Development Program has submitted proposal for Collaborative Agreements in Brazil and is also pursuing activities in Taiwan, Korea, and Colombia.

In Brazil the collaborative effort would be between TDP at MIT and USP, UNESP AND UNICAMP in Brazil. The research would be conducted for a seven (7) year period for a total cost of $42 Million, with funding for the first two years at $10 Million. The Collaborative Program would support the establishment of a Center for Technological Innovation in San Paolo Brazil and would include activities in the following areas: (a) research projects, (b) educational (exchange of students and visitors), (c) curriculum development; (d) short courses, executive seminars and workshops; and (e) industrial linkages/outreach program.


The TDP-sponsored Middle East Program at MIT completed its tenth 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.

Short courses in Construction Engineering and Management; Process-Engineering and Fermentation Technology: Recovery of Biological Materials; and Transportation and Logistics were offered in Thailand this past year.

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.


The TDP Director is Professor Fred Moavenzadeh, George Macomber 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 Executive Officer.

Fred Moavenzadeh

MIT Reports to the President 1996-97