Past UMD President named Fellow in the National Academy of Inventors

COLLEGE PARK, Md. – C.D. (Dan) Mote, Jr., President of the National Academy of Engineering and a Regents’ Professor, and former president of the University of Maryland has been named a Fellow in the National Academy of Inventors (NAI).

The National Academy of Inventors recognizes  “academic inventors who have demonstrated a prolific spirit of innovation in creating or facilitating outstanding inventions that have made a tangible impact on quality of life, economic development, and the welfare of society.”

Colleagues say that throughout his career, Dr. Mote has indeed made tangible, positive impacts on the quality of people’s lives, and advanced economic development and the welfare of society through his work as a researcher, inventor, educator and mentor, and as a leader who has  advanced higher education, research and innovation, and the profession of engineering.

“The mission of the National Academy of Inventors is enhancing the visibility of academic technology and innovation, encouraging the disclosure of intellectual property, educating and mentoring innovative students, and informing the public about how invention and innovation benefit society. I enthusiastically share these goals and am honored to be named an NAI Fellow,” said Mote.

Mote’s other recognitions include the NAE Founders Award, the American Society of Mechanical Engineers Medal, and the Humboldt Prize of the Federal Republic of Germany. He is an honorary fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, honorary member of the American Society for Engineering Education, and fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, American Academy of Mechanics, Acoustical Society of America, and American As­sociation for the Advancement of Science. He holds four honorary doctorates and three honor­ary professorships. The NAE elected him to membership in 1988 and to the positions of Councillor (2002–2008), Treasurer (2009–2013), and President for a six–year term beginning July 1, 2013. Mote was elected to the Chinese Academy of Engineering in 2015 and as an honorary academician of the Academia Sinica, Taiwan in 2016.

“Dan’s many patents and innovations have earned this great honor,” said University of Maryland President Wallace D. Loh. “The entire campus community sends its congratulations, good wishes, and thanks for his many contributions to the University.”

As president of the NAE Mote is committed to ensuring highly competitive talent in the US engineering workforce, facilitating public understanding of engineering, demonstrating how engineering creates a better quality of life and engaging the academy in global engineering issues in support of national interests.  A highlight of global engineering engagement is the promotion of the NAE’s fourteen Grand Challenges for Engineering from 2008 whose solutions are needed to achieve the global vision “Continuation of life on the planet, making our world more sustainable, safe, healthy and joyful.”

As President of the University of Maryland, College Park, from 1998 to 2010, Mote’s goal for the university was to elevate its self-expectation of achievement and its national and global positions through proactive initiatives. During his tenure the number of Academy members on the fac­ulty tripled, three Nobel laureates were recognized, and an accredited school of public health and a new department of bioengineering were created. He also founded a 130-acre research park next to the campus, faculty research funds increased by 150 percent, partnerships with surrounding federal agencies and with international organizations expanded greatly, and the number of students studying abroad tripled. Mote created “Maryland Day” an annual UMD open house day that attracts over 100,000 visitors, founded a charitable foundation for the campus whose board of trustees launched and led a successful $1 billion capital campaign, and took to lunch every student that wanted to go.

“Dan is a model of engineering excellence, through his advancement of our field and his contributions to the greater good,” said University of Maryland A. James Clark School of Engineering Dean Darryll J. Pines. “We are proud of his deep connection to our school.”

A native Californian, Mote earned his BS, MS, and PhD degrees at the University of California, Berkeley in mechanical engineering between 1959 and 1963.After a postdoctoral year in England and three years as an assistant professor at the Carnegie Institute of Technol­ogy in Pittsburgh, he returned to Berkeley to join the faculty in mechanical engineering for the next 31 years. He and his students investigated the dynamics, stability, and control of high-speed rotating and translating continua (e.g., disks, webs, tapes, and cables) as well as biomechanical problems associated with snow skiing. He coined the area called “dynamics of axially moving materials” encompassing these systems. Fifty-eight PhD students earned their degrees under his mentorship.

He held an endowed chair in mechanical systems at Berkeley and chaired the Mechanical En­gineering Department from 1987 to 1991, when the National Research Council (NRC) ranked its graduate program effectiveness highest nationally. Because of his success at raising funds for mechanical engineering, in 1991 he was appointed vice chancellor expressly to create and lead a $1 billion capital campaign, which raised $1.4 billion.

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