June 22, 2013
June 22, 2013
June 22, 2013
ASEE International Forum
21.63.1 - 21.63.8
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. https://peer.asee.org/17268
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