University of Maryland │ College Park, Maryland │ National Academy of Engineering │ Washington, D.C.
For his outstanding contributions, through application of theory, analysis, and inventive experimentation, to the understanding of the dynamics of practical systems such as saws, skis, and conveyor belts, thereby increasing their safety, efficiency, and economy.
C. D. “Dan” Mote, Jr. is a Renaissance man of engineering. From sawmills to ski slopes, Mote’s research has made a variety of everyday objects and processes more efficient, safe, and ecologically sound. His early work on rotating disc stability, which transformed sawing technology while reducing wood waste, has been applied to drive belts, computer disks, and other “axial moving materials.” Skiers can trace the origins of the parabolic “shaped ski” and quick-release bindings to Mote’s research on skiing biomechanics—he was the first to measure the forces that skiers experience on their lower legs and knees. Mote has published a remarkable 333 academic papers, mentored 58 Ph.D. students, reinvigorated a flagship state university, and influenced a new generation of engineers as president of the National Academy of Engineering.