MIT Reports to the President 1997-98


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. TDP continued its collaboration with the Government of Mendoza to provide research, education, and administrative assistance to the newly created Fundación Centro de Innovación Tecnológica (CIT) Mendoza with a focus on Transportation; Internationalization and Competitiveness; and Water and Energy Resources in Mendoza.

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 University of Technology, Thonburi (KMUTT) also continued.. Professor Joel Clark and Professor Alice Amsden completed their project on "Analysis of Relative Production Costs in Thailand and Other Countries and "Analysis of Adjustment to International Opening; Comparison of Thailand, Taiwan, and Mexico". Professor Michael Dennis completed his "Design Studio: The Case of KMUTT Rajaburi Campus". Professor Alan T. Hatton successfully completed the first year of the "Chemical Engineering Practice School in Thailand". During the coming year, the following research projects will be undertaken: Professor Hatton will continue to advise on the "Chemical Engineering Practice School in Thailand". In addition the following research projects will be undertaken: "Establishment of TGIST (Thailand Graduate Institute for Science and Technology" (Professor Fred Moavenzadeh); "Morphoogy Control in Immiscible Polymer Blends Through Interfacial Reaction and Rheology" (Professor Chris Scott); "Multi-Media Technology" (Professor Steven Lerman); "Thailand Integrated Water Resource Management System" (Professor Kevin Amaratunga); and "Air Pollution" (Professor Gregory McRae). Discussion is under way with regard to the initiation of two additional projects: "Leaders for Manufacturing Competitiveness" and "Engineering and Molecular Biology of Improving Microbial Desulfurization".

Since signing a multi-year Agreement with the Malaysia University of Science and Technology Ehsan Foundation (MUST) in January of 1997 to Support the Establishment of the Malaysia University of Science and Technology, TDP and MUST have devoted their efforts to developing a research agenda focusing on (a) infrastructure, (b) information technology/multi-media; (c) Biotechnology and Chemical Engineering; (d) Advanced Materials; (e) Manufacturing; and (f) Energy and Environment; as well as working on institutional building activities, and promoting industrial and governmental collaboration and linkages.

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 "Zero Emissions Technology".


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

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. A similar program is also being considered in Costa Rica.


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 the following: (a) 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).

Future offerings will include: Project Delivery Strategies; Use of Information Technology in Project Management,

Site Characterization for Soft Ground Construction, Educational Impact of World Wide Web, Emerging Multimedia Technologies, Strategic Concepts for Modern Transportation Systems, Marketing and Managing of Technical Professional Services in the Global Market, Techniques for Managing and Operating Transportation Infrastructure, Project Delivery Strategies, Research Issues in Civil Infrastructure Construction, and Lean Enterprise Model in Product Development and Manufacturing.


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 Assistant Director.

Fred Moavenzadeh

MIT Reports to the President 1997-98