News Releases

UWI Students win MIT Technology Innovation Award

For Release Upon Receipt - May 21, 2010

St. Augustine

A four-member team comprising two students from The University of the West Indies (UWI) Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering has won the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) NextLab Award for Excellence in Technology Innovation. UWI students Mark Lessey and Yudhistre Jonas, along with two students from MIT’s Sloan School of Business, won the Innovation Award, one of three awards issued at MIT on Tuesday 11th May, 2010.

“I feel privileged to have had the opportunity to participate in the experience and am exuberant over the success of all UWI participants, most notably Mark and Yudhistre who were members of the winning team,” said an exuberant Dr. Kim Mallalieu, Head of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and local Team lead.

The UWI students and their MIT counterparts won the NextLab Award (http:\\ for the development of a mobile phone application that tracks package and courier activities and displays package locations on maps in real time. The winning mobile application was conceptualized, designed and developed by the UWI team members while their MIT counterparts developed the business case and managed the project.

The award ceremony, which took place on MIT’s Campus in Cambridge Massachusetts last Tuesday, was attended by industry representatives and sponsors including Google, Estafeta, Inter-American Development Bank, Medullan, SANA and MIT Media Lab. The ceremony was the culmination of the semester-long NextLab 2010 course, which focused on the application of Information and Communication Technologies for Development (ICT4D). The course was delivered live by MIT to students in Cambridge, and via weekly video conferencing to participants at UWI St. Augustine and the Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey (ITESM) in Mexico.

“MIT’s NextLab is a key model for the Next Generation of learning: inter-institutional, multi-disciplinary, collaborative, outcomes-based learning pivoted around solutions to real problems, and facilitated by virtual spaces and their enabling facilities,” said Dr Mallalieu.

The Spring 2010 course focused on the global challenge faced by logistics and distribution networks at the base of the pyramid (BOP). Course participants contemplated and implemented components of a solution for the mobile phone in seven sub-challenges: Information Sharing, Marketing, Matching, Route Planning, Tracking and Tracing, Billing, and Platform Architecture. The seven thematic areas were addressed by multi-disciplinary teams comprising UWI, MIT and ITESM participants. UWI team members, led by Dr. Kim Mallalieu, included Tremayne Flanders (Route Planning); Kevon Andrews and Ravi Deonarine (Matching); and Mark Lessey and Yudhistre Jonas (Tracking and Tracing). Over the course of the semester, components of the mobile logistics application were built using Google's Android operating system and cloud computing on a Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA) platform.

Dr. Mallalieu indicates that she looks forward to “continued collaboration between UWI, MIT and ITESM over the coming months, with pilot deployments of the mlogistics (mobile logistics) platform planned for Trinidad and Tobago and Mexico in 2011.” The UWI NextLab Team thanks the International Development Research Centre ( for its support of UWI’s participation in NextLab.


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About UWI

Over the last six decades, The University of the West Indies (UWI) has evolved from a fledgling college in Jamaica with 33 students to a full-fledged University with over 40,000 students. Today, UWI is the largest and most longstanding higher education provider in the English-speaking Caribbean, with main campuses in Barbados, Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago, and Centres in Anguilla, Antigua & Barbuda, The Bahamas, Belize, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Dominica, Grenada, Montserrat, St Christopher (St Kitts) & Nevis, St Lucia, and St Vincent & the Grenadines. UWI recently launched its Open Campus, a virtual campus with over 50 physical site locations across the region, serving over 20 countries in the English-speaking Caribbean. UWI is an international university with faculty and students from over 40 countries and collaborative links with over 60 universities around the world. Through its seven Faculties, UWI offers undergraduate and postgraduate degree options in Engineering, Humanities & Education, Law, Medical Sciences, Pure & Applied Sciences, Science and Agriculture, and Social Sciences.