Dr. C.D. Mote, Jr. - Recognizing the Direction to the Future: Why it Matters

Dr. C.D. Mote, Jr. is currently president of the National Academy of Engineering. He held an endowed chair in mechanical systems at Berkeley and chaired the Mechanical Engineering Department from 1987 to 1991. In 1998 Dr. Mote was recruited to the presidency of the University of Maryland, College Park, a position he held until 2010 when he was appointed Regents’ Professor. The NAE elected him to membership in 1988 and to the positions of Councilor, Treasurer, and President for a six-year term beginning July 1, 2013. Dr. Mote’s 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, and fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, American Academy of Mechanics, Acoustical Society of America, and America Association for Advancement of Science.

Recognizing the Direction to the Future: Why it Matters
While predicting the future is impossible, simply recognizing the “direction to the future” can be instructive for planning purposes, especially when it is changing slowly as during 1945 to 1990. However, when the direction to the future is disrupted, as it was during the 1900’s, planning guidance awaits a new direction. This presentation focusses on the strikingly different late 20th and early 21st century directions to the future, and draws observations from them. Recognizing the 21st century directions, and stepping away from the 20th century direction that no longer exists, is surprisingly difficult, but necessary to accomplish. Changes expected in university operations, because of the 21st century direction, highlight the importance of recognizing the direction to the future.