First-Hand:History of an ASEE Fellow - Robert Lee Mott


Birthplace: Urbana, Ohio

Birth date: 9/4/1940

Current home: Dayton, Ohio


My father is from German ancestry and my mother is from Irish ancestry. However, we know very little about their experiences in those countries. The families arrived in this country in the 1800s. I have been married to Marge Blasy Mott since 1961. We have three children, four grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren.


  • First 11 years of schooling at St. Mary Catholic School in Urbana, Ohio, just one block from my family home.
  • Senior year of high school at Urbana City High School, about three blocks in the other direction from my home. I took all of the mathematics and science courses that I could fit into my schedule. Graduated in Spring of 1958.
  • Colleges:
    • General Motors Institute (GMI), Flint, Michigan; 1958 – 1963 Major: Mechanical Engineering (Five year cooperative education program; Coop work done at Frigidaire Division of General Motors Corporation in Dayton, Ohio. [Note: GMI became Kettering University shortly after I graduated.]
    • Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN. 1965 – 1966; Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering. Sponsored by General Motors scholarship.


  • General Motors – Frigidaire Division. During cooperative education, 1958-1963, full time 1963-1965, returned after completing the MS degree in January, 1966.
  • University of Dayton – September, 1966 through 2001.
    • Spent most of these years in the Department of Mechanical Engineering Technology.
    • In 1989-1990, I worked in the University of Dayton Research Institute, managing the business aspects of research in the early days of 3D Printing (Additive Manufacturing).
    • I returned to the Engineering Technology Division in 1990 to assume the position of Director of the Division. Continued in that position until 1996.
    • Returned to full-time faculty from 1996 to 2001.
    • Retired in May, 2001.


During the time from about 1970 to 1990, I performed consulting service in mechanical design and accident investigation (working with attorneys).


Beginning in about 1969, I began writing textbooks for the Mechanical Engineering Technology field, resulting in three books that continue to be marketed:

  • Applied Fluid Mechanics: Four editions published in 1972, 1979, 1990, 1994 by Merrill Publishing; Followed by three editions in 2000, 2006, and 2015 published by Pearson Education. The 8th edition is due to be published by Pearson in the fall of 2020. [The 7th and 8th editions are co-authored by Joseph A. Untener,]
  • Applied Strength of Materials: Five editions published by Pearson/Prentice Hall; 1978, 1990, 1996, 2002, and 2008. Sixth edition published by CRC Press in 2017, co-authored by Joseph A. Untener.
  • Machine Elements in Mechanical Design: First and second editions published by Merrill/Macmillan in 1985 and 1992; 3rd through 6th editions (1999, 2004, 2014, and 2018) published by Pearson/Prentice-Hall. The 6th edition is co-authored by Edward Vavrek and Jyhwen Wang.

ASEE Activities

  • ASEE Fellow - 2007
  • Active in Engineering Technology Division from 1966 to the present.
    • James H. McGraw Award - 2004
    • Frederick J. Berger Award – 2006
  • Mechanics Division – Archie Higdon Award – 2001
  • Engineering Technology Leadership Institute (ETLI) – Chair 1995-96

Society of Automotive Engineers

  • Ralph R. Teetor Award – 1969

Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME)

  • Founding leader of SME Center for Education – 2010
  • Steering Committee for Manufacturing Education & Research Community – 2004-2010

Dayton, Ohio Area Engineering Societies

  • Outstanding Engineers and Scientists Award, 1992

Purdue University

  • Pi Tau Sigma, National Engineering Honorary Society, 1994

University of Dayton Awards

  • Tau Alpha Pi, 1969, Engineering Technology Honorary
  • Alumni Award in Teaching, 1981
  • Professor Emeritus, 2001

Engineering and Science Foundation and Affiliate Societies Committee of Dayton

  • Engineering & Scientist Award - 1992