Preparation for tomorrow’s innovators

The educational goal of the Tata Center for Technology + Design is to train students to understand the challenges of resource-constrained communities and produce relevant, practical solutions.

To facilitate this objective, the Center offers several courses as a part of MIT’s catalog with particular applicability to developing world engineering skills. These courses are taught by Faculty from a variety of disciplines and augment the departmental core curriculum taken by Tata Fellows.


Recommended Courses

15.S17 Seminar in Technology, Design and

Chintan Vaishnav


This seminar is designed to expose students to conceptual frameworks and case studies that, collectively, provide a holistic understanding of challenges to designing and implementing technology and systems-based solutions for severely resource-constrained communities. The course focuses on key challenges faced by engineers and managers and is designed to equip students with a broad toolkit of perspectives and methodologies for problem solving. An objective of the course is to foster a community of likeminded professionals. The seminar is a fall/spring sequence is a required course for the Fellows of the Tata Center for Technology and Design. It is also open to non-Tata Fellows with instructor’s permission.



15.S14 Operating in Emerging Communities

Chintan Vaishnav


This seminar, designed primarily for graduate students in the Tata Fellowship program, is a sequel to the Fall seminar. The course imparts skills useful for engineers and managers when operating in emerging economies, including design (rapid prototyping, survey, and field experiments), implementation (via business or public policy routes), and international development (working with not-for-profit and for-profit). An objective of the course is to foster a community of likeminded professionals.

2.76 Global Engineering


Amos Winter


Combines rigorous engineering theory and user-centered product design to create technologies for developing and emerging markets. Covers machine design theory to parametrically analyze technologies; bottom-up/top-down design processes; engaging stakeholders in the design process; understanding socioeconomic factors that affect adoption of products; and developing/emerging market dynamics and their effect on business and technology. Includes guest speakers who are subject matter experts in relevant fields and case studies on successful and failed technologies. Student teams apply course material to term-long projects to create new technologies, developed in collaboration with industrial partners and other stakeholders in developing/emerging markets.


Web Download course syllabus

2.75J Medical Device Design


Alex Slocum
Charlie Sodini


Application of mechanical and electrical engineering fundamentals to the design of medical devices that address clinical needs. Students work in small teams on a major project to translate a clinical challenge into a proof-of-concept prototype device. Students conduct user analysis, develop design specifications, and follow a structured process to cultivate creative designs and apply analytical techniques to optimize them. They deepen their understanding of art and intellectual property by researching prior representations. Develops practical skills in prototyping and testing as well as project management. Includes lectures, problem sets and exams that focus on design fundamentals. Instruction and practice in written and oral communication provided. Students taking graduate version complete additional assignments. Enrollment limited.



4.473 Design Workshop for a Sustainable Future


John Ochsendorf


Focuses on strengthening the link between design and technology with an emphasis on sustainability concepts. Introduces theories behind resource-efficient built environments and how they can enhance the design process. Students explore ways to effectively integrate building performance goals, such as energy-efficiency, efficient material use, structural stability and occupant comfort into the design process. Limited to 16.




MAS.S61 Engineering Health: Understanding & Designing Affordable Health Diagnostics

Rasmesh Raskar


Design and build novel health diagnostics and sensors while learning the fundamentals of rapid prototyping, applied optics, signals processing, imaging and other advanced sensing modalities. Students work in teams with a physician and technical mentor to design and construct a cutting edge health diagnostic or device. Exceptional projects will be invited to participate in an optional workshop in India to further develop their device.