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CCEE grad Deborah Young receives Distinguished Engineering Alumni Award from College of Engineering

Dean Jim Pfaendtner, left, is shown with 2023 Distinguished Engineering Alumni Award recipients, from left, Admiral Daryl L. Caudle, Deborah Bell Young and Robert E. Troxler.

CCEE alumnus Deborah Bell Young was among three College of Engineering graduates who received the Distinguished Engineering Alumni (DEA) Award during a dinner and ceremony on campus on Oct. 25, 2023, as part of Red and White Week.

The award was established by the College’s faculty in 1966 and is the highest honor bestowed upon alumni.


Deborah Bell Young

Young earned a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from NC State in 1977, becoming the first Black woman to earn a civil engineering B.S. from the university. She then went on to become the first Black woman to earn a master’s degree in civil engineering-environmental engineering from the University of Pittsburgh. She also earned an MBA through the Weekend Executive Program in the Fuqua School of Business at Duke University.

Young began her career with a consulting firm and in 1980, she joined Honeywell International (Allied Signal, Inc.) in Colonial Heights, Virginia. Over a career of nearly 35 years with Honeywell that ended with her retirement in 2015, she held several leadership roles including director of Health, Safety and Environmental for several divisions. Her roles combined engineering with strategic planning, regulatory oversight and assessment of capital projects, leading teams that oversaw manufacturing around the globe, representing billions of dollars and thousands of employees.

Young has completed two terms as a member of the NC State Engineering Foundation Board of Directors and is the first Black/Black woman to have served as president of the organization. She is a consistent supporter of her home Department of Civil, Construction, and Environmental Engineering; the College of Engineering; and the university.


Admiral Daryl L. Caudle

Caudle earned a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from NC State in 1985. He also holds a master’s degree in physics from the Naval Postgraduate School, a master’s degree in engineering management from Old Dominion University and a doctor of management in organizational leadership from the University of Phoenix School of Advanced Studies.

Caudle was promoted to Admiral (four-star rank) in 2021, as he assumed command of U.S. Fleet Forces Command. In this role, he manages a $16 billion budget and has responsibility for over 125,000 sailors and civilians, 125 ships and submarines, and 1,000 aircraft.  Prior to this, he served as commander, Submarine Forces; commander, Submarine Force Atlantic; commander, Task Force (CTF) 114; and commander, Allied Submarine Command.

His other flag assignments include deputy chief for security cooperation, Office of the Defense Representative, Pakistan; deputy commander, Joint Functional Component Command-Global Strike; deputy commander, U.S. 6th Fleet; director of operations U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa; commander, Submarine Group Eight; commander, Submarine Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet; and vice director for Strategy, Plans, and Policy on the Joint Staff (J-5) in Washington, D.C.

Caudle is a loyal and consistent donor to both the College of Engineering and his home department.

Robert E. Troxler

Troxler earned a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from NC State in 1983. He earned master’s and doctoral degrees, also in electrical engineering, from the Georgia Institute of Technology in 1986 and 1992, respectively. His graduate research was supported by a NASA GSRP Fellowship through Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville Alabama.

He is director of advanced technologies at Troxler Electronic Laboratories in Research Triangle Park, a leading company in the manufacturing of testing/quality control measurement equipment for the construction industry. His work with the company concentrates on electromagnetics, optics, sensor design, acoustics, and applications of nuclear physics toward instrumented devices typically used in the fields of geotechnical and civil engineering. He holds over 80 U.S. and international patents.

Troxler has been an active volunteer for and philanthropic supporter of the College of Engineering and the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE). He has served on the Engineering Foundation Board of Directors and ECE Strategic Advisory Board.

In 2016, the idea of a new makerspace prototyping facility was discussed with the Strategic Advisory Board, and Troxler felt that supporting this would be a great way to build on the legacy his father began when he named the department’s Troxler Design Center.


A version of this story was originally published in College of Engineering News.