The N.C. Society of Engineers' winner of this year's Outstanding Engineer award goes to a Raleigh energy executive who will help lead the nation's biggest electric utility company.
Lloyd Yates, 50, is also the first black engineer to win the Outstanding Engineer award since the professional society began giving out its annual award in 1937.
Yates, currently President and CEO of Progress Energy Carolinas, oversees the Raleigh-based power company's operations for 1.4 million customers in the two states.
Last week, Progress CEO Bill Johnson put Yates in charge of Customer Operations for an expanded Duke Energy, the Charlotte utility that announced Jan. 10 that it's merging with Progress to form the nation's biggest utility company with 7.1 million customers.
Johnson will be CEO of Duke once the merger is completed. Yates' selection to the executive team signifies he's one of Johnson's trusted associates. Duke has named five of its executives to the combined senior executive team.