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The later half of the twentieth century can be characterized as a golden age for systems and control. A tremendous research effort led to the discovery of new knowledge that had a dramatic impact on the solution of many challenging engineering problems. We now face a new century and a new set of engineering problems many that lie at the boundaries of established fields. At the same time many technological innovations are constantly changing the landscape. This creates challenges as well as opportunities for systems and control research. The new century and global realities also create a new set of issues for engineering education. In the educational arena many questions are being raised as to how engineering education should be shaped in both structure and content to better address the needs of the 21st century. Of course research and education are inextricably connected as past research developments shape the current engineering educational system and educational systems are in many ways crafted to facilitate research. It is a fact that systems and control educators have historically played a fundamental role in engineering education and we are now poised to take a leadership role in shaping it for the future. The author believe that the systems and control community has an opportunity to have a much greater impact on research and education in the 21st century. In this talk the author discuss these issues from his personal perspective drawing from his experiences over the last thirty years.