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Engineering a Better Tomorrow

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January 24, 2013

College celebrates 2012 distinguished alumni

(From left to right:) Distinguished Engineering Alumnus award winners Stephen F. Angel, Jimmy D. Clark and John A. Edmond

The College of Engineering at North Carolina State University has named the Distinguished Engineering Alumnus award winners for 2012. The recipients are Stephen F. Angel, chairman, president and chief executive officer at Praxair, Inc.; Jimmy D. Clark, owner and president of Guy M. Turner, Inc.; and Dr. John A. Edmond, director of advanced optoelectronics at Cree, Inc.

The awards were presented by Dr. Louis A. Martin-Vega, dean of the College of Engineering, at a banquet held Thursday, Jan. 24, at the Park Alumni Center on NC State’s Centennial Campus. The award honors alumni whose accomplishments further their field and reflect favorably on the university.

Angel received a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from NC State in 1977. Since 2007, he has been chairman, president and chief executive officer at Praxair, Inc., a Fortune 250 producer and distributor of atmospheric, process and specialty gases and high-performance surface coatings. The company is the largest to be led by a College alumnus.

Angel joined Praxair in 2001 as executive vice president responsible for the company’s businesses in North America, Europe and Asia, as well as its health care business. Before that, he spent more than two decades with GE, most recently as general manager of the company’s $2 billion power equipment business. His work in the business community includes serving on the Boards of Directors of the US-China Business Council and PPG Industries. He is also a member of the Business Roundtable, the Business Council and the US-Brazil CEO Forum.

Students have benefited from Angel’s commitment to NC State through the numerous on-campus speaking engagements he has made over the past several years. He has delivered the College of Engineering Welcome for incoming freshmen, the Progress Energy Distinguished Lecture, and the Wells Fargo Executive Lecture in the Poole College of Management.

Angel has also been a generous supporter of the College, endowing with his wife, Lori, the Robert F. and Romaine S. Angel Scholarship in memory of his parents. The scholarship generates income for students equivalent to full tuition and fees. He also provides consistent annual support through the Dean’s Circle and has led strategic engagement efforts between Praxair and the College.

Clark received a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from NC State in 1974. He is a registered professional engineer and owner and president of Guy M. Turner, Inc., a rigging, millwright, heavy transportation, and crane services company headquartered in Greensboro, NC. Once a small rigging operation, Clark transformed the business into a diversified company that has become a leader in the handling and moving of the heaviest equipment in the fields of rigging, mechanical erection, crane services, and heavy specialized transportation. The company has 12 offices in the United States and Canada.

A longtime supporter of engineering at NC State, Clark established the Jimmy D. Clark Distinguished Professorship in the Department of Civil, Construction, and Environmental Engineering in 2007. He and his wife, Vickie, are generous supporters of the College of Engineering’s Leadership Fund and Dean’s Circle, the NC State Alumni Association’s Caldwell Scholarship program, the Chancellor’s Residence, and the Wolfpack Club.

Clark serves on the university’s Board of Trustees, the Engineering Foundation Board of Directors, and the Alumni Association Board of Directors, and he is an active member of the Wolfpack Club. He previously served as chair of the university’s Board of Visitors, chair of the NC State Magazine Advisory Board, and as a member of the Park Scholars Selection Committee. He is also an honorary lifetime member of the NC State Alumni Association and the Walter Hines Page Society.

Clark is an active member of the Greensboro community, supporting the Greensboro Day School, the Family Services of Greensboro and of the Piedmont, and the Children’s Home Society of North Carolina, among other organizations.

Edmond received a PhD in materials science and engineering from NC State in 1987. While a student, he teamed with a group of other graduate students and young faculty on some promising silicon carbide research, and upon graduation they co-founded what became Cree, Inc. Today, Edmond is director of advanced optoelectronics for the Durham, NC-based company, which makes energy-efficient LED lights and lighting components and employs more than 5,000 workers. The company is among the world's top LED manufacturers.

Since Cree’s founding, Edmond has worked on the development and production of blue and green LEDs, first in silicon carbide, then in Group III Nitrides on silicon carbide. In those fields, he holds 77 patents in the US, with 34 more pending, and 147 foreign patents, with 153 more pending. In 2007, his work earned him a spot on Business 2.0’s "50 Who Matter Now" list alongside other business luminaries such as Apple co-founder Steve Jobs.

Edmond and his wife, Rita, recently pledged $150,000 to endow the Dr. John A. Edmond Graduate Fellowship in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering. The gift was the first graduate fellowship endowment in the department’s history.

Edmond has also been the driving force behind the more than $1 million in unrestricted research support that Cree has provided to NC State’s Analytical Instrumentation Facility. In addition, he serves as a member of the materials science and engineering External Advisory Board, helping to ensure that Cree and the department maintain a strong relationship. He received his bachelor’s degree in ceramic engineering from Alfred University in 1983.


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