February 4, 2002

Dan Maydan has a deep commitment to education in the sciences in Israel.The future of the Israeli nation in the years ahead will be dependent on a strong and stable economy that is fully integrated into all aspects of society and is based on high technology industries.

Lately we have seen the globalization of terrorism and the capabilities of a few individuals, supported by extensive and sophisticated organizations, to disrupt the world economy.

In spite of all this, it is high-tech industries, which will, for the foreseeable future, fuel any successful economy. High tech alone won’t assure the military strength of any individual nation, but it is essential to any strong economy. Today, economic strength based on knowledge is becoming more important than owning land. Information is moving through the Internet at the speed of light creating an immediate knowledge exchange that can be used in the development of new products.

Education, in general, and especially high-level college and university education, is essential to the success of high-tech industries, providing the necessary support for those industries. Universities should be at the forefront of science and exchange information continuously to sustain and support the research efforts of private companies.

The electronic and biotech industries will lead any economic prosperity in the future. Miniaturization of components and systems made possible major improvements in performance and reduced costs. Today, the cost of the most advanced computers is sufficiently low that they are affordable everywhere in the world, including developing countries. Behind these lower costs are new developments in process capabilities and new materials, which should lead to further miniaturization.

Educating large numbers of students in the most advanced electronic materials will assure the future prosperity of a nation.

As a lifelong participant in science and as an observer of the electronics industry, my late wife, Dalia, understood the critical role of materials science. Dalia was a brilliant scientist with a broad knowledge and interest in the theoretical aspects of quantum mechanics and the nature of the universe. A mother of three children, she decided to dedicate herself to her family and to the teaching of physics and chemistry, a task she admirably fulfilled for 35 years.

During the last few years of her life, Dalia linked her commitment to education with her extraordinary organizational talents and capabilities. Among other things, she became president of the Northern California Chapter of the American Technion Society, as well as a board member of the National American Technion Society. A couple of weeks before her death, Dalia expressed her desire to help establish a world-class center for the study of materials science. I was able to describe to Dalia my vision of the” Dalia Maydan Center for Advanced Materials Studies” at the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology. Not only did she agree, but I also saw happiness spread all over her face. She also recognized and believed in the potential of such a center.

The Dalia Maydan Center will be a state of the art materials science and engineering teaching facility to be located next to the Dejun Building (the present Materials Faculty Building) on the Technion campus. The six-floor, 59,500-square-foot center will provide classrooms, teaching laboratories, administrative offices, meeting rooms and lounges. It will also house a cutting-edge computer center, library and an auditorium. A Bridge of Knowledge at the auditorium level will connect the Dejun Building and the Dalia Building. The bridge, and all the floors leading into the auditorium, will also serve as an exhibit area for new and important developments related to materials science, and will have a corner dedicated to Dalia’s memory.

The Maydan family is contributing $3.5 million to the cost of the $7.5 million building, with the balance to be paid by the American Technion Society. The building is scheduled for completion in March 2003.

Dalia wanted me to carry on with this project and to continue her efforts to support generations of young Israelis in their scientific studies and towards contributing to the future success of Israel as a science- and technology-based community.

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Jason Harris

Jason Harris

Executive Director

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