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  • [June 5, 2016]

    President of the US National Academy of Engineering Dr. Dan Mote Gives a Speech at PKU

  • On May 31st, 2016, invited by the College of Engineering (COE), Peking University, Dr. C. D. Mote, Jr., President of the US National Academy of Engineering gave a speech at Peking University, on the topic of globalization and the engineering enterprise.

    Dr. C. D. Mote, Jr.

    Nearly 200 teachers and students from COE, School of Physics, College of Urban and Environmental Sciences, School of Environmental Science and Engineering, School of Earth and Space Sciences were attracted to the event, which was hosted by Prof. Dongxiao Zhang, dean of COE.

    C. D. Mote, Jr. is the president of the National Academy of Engineering (NAE) and Regents’ Professor on leave from the University of Maryland, College Park. He earned his BS, MS, and PhD degrees at UC-Berkeley in mechanical engineering, and later became an assistant professor at the Carnegie Institute of Technology in Pittsburgh, an endowed chair in mechanical systems at Berkeley and chair of the Mechanical Engineering Department, and vice chancellor of Berkeley successively. The NAE elected him to membership in 1988 and to the position of President for a six–year term beginning in 2013.

    At the beginning of the talk, Dr. Mote pointed out that the context of innovation environment has shifted from the cold war era (1945-1990) to post-cold war era (Post 2000 to today). In the first era, the idea was to control information and innovation to protect advantage. There were few national players and the strategy was to succeed by controlling adversaries’ advancement. While in the second era, innovation cannot be controlled, so the idea is to accelerate innovation to increase advantage faster than the adversaries. There are many national players and the strategy is to succeed as fast as possible because others cannot be stopped.

    In terms of the engineering enterprise, Dr. Mote thinks that there are many global drivers of engineering for today, such as globalization, innovation, partnerships, expanding opportunities & increasing demand for talent, expanding access to higher education and great global problems.

    He pointed out that trust is the underappreciated foundation of every partnership, and people should ensure trust before entering into agreements. He also mentioned that talent, especially with current, in-demand expertise is the coin of the global realm, that special talents are in high global demand and that life-long learning in new fields is needed by everyone.

    Dr. Dan Mote gives an invited talk at PKU

    After the talk, the audience raised many questions such as what teachers should do to encourage innovative skills for students, what the problems are for China to become an innovative nation, how a person with innovative ideas can organize a team and get investment, and Dr. Mote gave answers to all the questions.

    Prof. Dongxiao Zhang, dean of COE, presents a gift to Dr. Dan Mote

    In September 2015, organized by the Chinese Academy of Engineering, the US National Academy of Engineering, and the UK Royal Academy of Engineering, the 2nd Global Grand Challenges Summit (GGCS) was held in Beijing. COE set up a satellite conference on PKU campus, where many students from PKU attended and interacted with the summit plenary speakers. COE also helped organize the GGCS Student Day prior to the summit meeting, where 15 teams of college students from the above three countries had an engineering design competition, with the theme of tackling the global grand challenges.