Before Ray Moore spoke about concluding his four decades as a civil engineer and educator, he framed a perspective on "Moore's Law" in his own life: technological advances during his career. He honored the “two technical innovations (that) have changed the face of engineering education and the practice of engineering”: the personal computer and the Internet.
The personal computer eliminated the tether to mainframe computers, he said. Within this realm, two primary applications shaped the scene especially for engineers: word processing, for report writing, and the spreadsheet, for data analysis.
Moore hailed these developments for “increasing productivity so that more time could be spent on alternative solutions to engineering problems and for allowing students, in particular, to gain insight on variations associated with possible solutions and their economic impact.”
He marveled at how e-mail and electronic transmittal of digitized documents have enhanced efficiency in engineering education and practice; as a result fewer professionals can do many more projects, individually and in teams.
Following that preface, Moore focused on his path in engineering. He recalled: “When I was a student, the slide rule and log tables were the devices used for calculations.” While the handheld calculator was an advance, the PC was “a giant step forward.”
After earning bachelor’s and master’s degrees at Oklahoma State University and his doctoral degree at the University of Texas at Austin, Moore taught civil engineering at Auburn University and the University of Kansas. He then changed lanes to work in administration at the UNL, serving as department chair for Civil Engineering and later as associate dean for the College of Engineering’s Omaha programs—years when he conservatively estimated logging 250,000 miles overall in commutes between Omaha and Lincoln. Most recently, as the college’s associate dean of undergraduate programs, Moore oversaw academic and international programs for Nebraska Engineering students. He also taught an ethics seminar for engineering seniors.
When asked for a favorite moment at UNL, Moore reviewed his leadership roles and said, “To be an effective administrator, you find satisfaction in the achievements of others,” and added: “With that said, viewing the accomplishments of college as whole, we’re at a better place.”
Moore's retirement plans include spending time with his wife, children and grandchildren, including a number of relatives in the Austin, Tex. area.