RLY BRIEFLY REVEALED
ROBERT L. YOUNG April 3, 1925 I was born on a farm about 4 miles
northeast of Neoga, Illinois. My father Max Dryden Young was a good
farmer, hero athlete in the Neoga area and served in the Marines during
World War 1. My mother Neva Joy (Higgins) Young taught Latin and
English at Lerna and later Neoga High School, was an accomplished
pianist who played piano and directed our choir at the United
Presbyterian Church of Neoga.
I attended a one room country grade school for 8 years, then Neoga
Township Highschool for 4 years. I played center on the NTHS basketball
team for 4 years, played trumpet in NTHS band and graduated as
Valedictorian of my class in 1943. In my Senior year, I took an
examination for Officer Training from the War Department and did well
enough that I was accepted into the Navy V-12 program in Fall, 1943.
I had the good fortune to spend all of World War II in the Navy V-12
program at the University of Illinois and Northwestern University
working toward a BSME degree in Mechanical Engineering. Upon receiving
the MSME degree in June, 1946, the Navy commissioned me an Ensign USNR
and placed me on inactive duty.
I returned to my farm home near Neoga, Illinois and married my
highschool sweetheart, Phyllis Ralston. In the fall of 1946, I then
went back to Northwestern as a Graduate Teaching Assistant in the
Mechanical Engineering Department Under the direction of Professor E.
F. Obert, I earned the MSME degree in 1948 and was promoted to
Instructor of Mechanical Engineering teaching M E laboratories,
kinematics, thermodynamics and heat transfer. I stayed on and earned
the PhD degree in M E in 1953 under the direction of Professors B. H.
Jennings and I. T. Wetzel. Then I was promoted to Assistant Professor
of M E teaching, researching and advising students.
In 1957, I joined the faculty of The University of Tennessee as
Associate Professor of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering and
Director of the University of Tennessee Arnold Engineering Development
Center Graduate Study Program. The Arnold Engineering Development
Center is located in Middle Tennessee midway between Nashville and
Chattanooga at Tullahoma. It is a United States Air Force aerospace
ground test Center in which most Air Force Weapons Systems have been
tested as well as many NASA Space Systems. Initially, the graduate
study program was sponsored by the Air Force and the Operating
Contractor so that the employees of the Center could work toward
graduate degrees in several areas of engineering and science.
In mid-1960 with support of The University, the local community, the
Air Force, its contractors and the State, this program became The
University of Tennessee Space Institute occupying new facilities on a
campus adjacent to the Air Force Center. The Space Institute continued
to serve Arnold Center in academics and in R&D as full time
graduate students were accepted into the Institute's graduate programs.
When I retired in 1990, the Space Institute has about 40 full time
faculty and about 300 graduate students. From 1964 to 1980, I served as
Professor and Associate Dean at the Space Institute with primary
responsibility for the academic and continuing education programs. In
1980, I returned to full-time teaching and research as Professor of
Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering. In 1990, I retired as Professor
and Associate Dean Emeritus.
I was President of the Tullahoma Chamber of Commerce in 1973, Elder
First Presbyterian Church of Tullahoma and I am a Fellow of AEDC, AIAA,
ASME and Rotary International. I have been very fortunate to have a
very exciting and interesting career in engineering education. Here I
have had the opportunity to work closely with engineering graduate
students who are very much involved in current and important
engineering activities. I have had the opportunity to do research in
heat transfer, aerospace simulation and thermodynamics.
Nationally, I have been much involved in engineering education through
offices in the American Institute for Aeronautics and Astronautics, The
American Society for Engineering Education and the Accreditation Board
for Engineering and Technology.
I have had five wives. My first wife Phyllis and the mother of my two
sons Ronald and Scott died of cancer in 1968, my second wife Martha Ann
(Moore) Robertson, mother of my step-son Scotland Randolph Robertson,
died in 1978 of an aneurysm, my third wife Betty died of cancer in
1994. I then married my widowed sister-in-law Mari who had two children
and did manage our 600 acre farm in central Illinois. In 2002, Mari
died of kidney failure. Then I married Sara (Marrs) Crawford who is a
piano and and voice teacher and has four sons. We are very fortunate to
have seven sons who are gainfully employed with six of them in
Tennessee and one in Florida.
FOR MORE INFORMATION ON MY WIVES AND FAMILY SEE: