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Tata Center for Technology and Design at MIT

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2013 ASEE International Forum


Atlanta, Georgia

Publication Date

June 22, 2013

Start Date

June 22, 2013

End Date

June 22, 2013

Conference Session

Reception & Poster Session

Tagged Topic

ASEE International Forum

Page Count


Page Numbers

21.63.1 - 21.63.8



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Paper Authors


Amos G Winter V MIT

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Amos Winter is the Robert N. Noyce Career Development Assistant Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at MIT. His research focuses on the marriage of mechanical design theory and user-centered product design to create simple, elegant technological solutions for use in highly constrained environments. His work includes design for emerging markets and developing countries, biomimetic design, fluid/solid/granular mechanics, biomechanics, and the design of ocean systems. Prof. Winter is the principal inventor of the Leveraged Freedom Chair (LFC), an all-terrain wheelchair designed for developing countries that was a winner of a 2010 R&D 100 award and was named one of the Wall Street Journal’s top innovations in 2011. His Ph.D. work focused on adapting the burrowing mechanisms of razor clams to create compact, low power, and reversible burrowing systems for subsea applications such as anchoring, oil recovery, and cable installation. Prof. Winter is a founder of Global Research Innovation and Technology (GRIT). He was the recipient of the 2010 Tufts University Young Alumni Distinguished Achievement Award, the 2010 MIT School of Engineering Graduate Student Extraordinary Teaching and Mentoring Award, and the 2012 ASME/Pi Tau Sigma Gold Medal.

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Robert James Stoner Massachusetts Institute of Technology

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Robert Stoner is the Associate Director of the MIT Energy Initiative, and co-Director of the Tata Center for Technology and Design. He has worked in academia and industry throughout his career, having started and managed successful businesses in the US and Europe. He holds patents in the fields of acoustics, optics, electronics and IT. Stoner earned his Ph.D. in condensed matter physics at Brown University.

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Charles H Fine MIT Sloan School of Management

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Professor Charles Fine teaches operations strategy and supply chain management at MIT’s Sloan School of Management and directs the roadmapping activities in MIT’s Communications Futures Program ( He also serves as co-director of the new Tata Center for Technology and Design at MIT His research focuses on supply chain strategy and value chain roadmapping, with a particular focus on fast-clockspeed manufacturing and service industries. His work has supported design and improvement of supply chain operations and relationships for companies in electronics, automotive, aerospace, communications, construction, energy, and consumer products. His current research examines supply chain relationships, value chain roadmapping, operations for entrepreneurs, and innovation for extreme affordability.

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This   paper   describes   the   activities   offered   under   the   MIT-­‐Tata   Center   for  Technology  and  Design,  a  new  program  aimed  at  creating  high-­‐impact,  sustainable,  and   scalable   technical   solutions   in   developing   and   emerging   markets   through   the  rigorous   application   of   applied   engineering   science.   The   program   is   funded   by   the  Sir  Ratan  Tata  Trust  and  is  based  at  MIT;  in  the  coming  years,  a  sister  campus  and  collection   of   researchers   will   also   be   established   in   India.   The   Center   acts   as   a  matchmaker  between  MIT  researchers  and  compelling  social/technical  problems  by  offering  research  grants  and  graduate  fellowships.  Funded  projects  must  be  rooted  in   real-­‐life   technical   challenges   related   to   developing   countries   and   emerging  markets.   Each   graduate   student   sponsored   by   the   Center   is   required   to   spend   every  January   and   a   portion   of   each   summer   in   India   collaborating   with   stakeholders,   in  order  to  drive  projects  towards  tractable,  scalable  solutions.      A   core   tenet   of   the   Center   is   collaboration   with   stakeholders   who   represent   each  link   in   the   chain   from   inception   of   an   idea   to   implementation   in   the   real   world.   This  of   course   means   extensive   interaction,   co-­‐creation,   and   participatory   development  with   end   users.   The   Center   also   strives   to   partner   with   local   industry,   particularly  companies  that  have  a  deep  understanding  of  target  markets  and  a  track  record  of  scalable,   sustainable   success.   Students   are   taught   how   to   engage   the   entire  stakeholder  hierarchy  behind  a  technical  challenge,  from  executives  to  engineers  to  manufacturers   to   distributors   to   end   users,   in   order   to   understand   the   unique  constraints   and   requirements   each   imposes   on   a   solution.   This   paper   includes  descriptions   of   two   representative   Center   projects:   creating   low-­‐pressure,   low-­‐power,   off-­‐grid   drip   irrigation   systems   for   small-­‐scale   farmers   in   partnership   with  Jain  Irrigation,  the  second  largest  micro  irrigation  firm  in  the  world;  and  redesigning  the   Jaipur   Foot   prosthetic   foot   for   mass   manufacture,   quality   control,   and   to  conform   with   international   standards   in   collaboration   with   Dow   Chemical,  undergraduate  project  teams  at  Penn  State  University  and  Arizona  State  University,  and   Bhagwan   Mahaveer   Viklang   Sahayata   Samiti   (BMVSS),   the   largest   disability  organization  in  the  world  in  terms  of  assistive  devices.      

Winter, A. G., & Stoner, R. J., & Fine, C. H. (2013, June), Tata Center for Technology and Design at MIT Paper presented at 2013 ASEE International Forum, Atlanta, Georgia. 10.18260/1-2--17268

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