Richard Caudle, P.E. (M) is a traffic engineer for Skipper Consulting in Birmingham, AL, USA.
Richard is one of the most humble servant leaders you will find. Our ITE journeys cross paths in many ways. He has served as Alabama Section ITE (ALSITE) president and was awarded Alabama Section Transportation Engineer of the Year in 2008. Richard is a long-time supporter of ITE’s Student Traffic Bowl for the Southern District. He helped set-up equipment and organize the event from its inception, and has chaired the SDITE traffic bowl committee from 2010 through 2020, recently turning over the reigns to Greg Judy of the Tennessee Section. I was able to share with Richard at a Southern District Board meeting the story of the humble origins of the Traffic Bowl at the Oregon Section (involving Bill Kloos, Dave Hutson, Ed Fischer, Gary Katsion, Erica Rooney, Alan Danaher, Ken Senn and others) in the early 1990s as a student engagement activity, to its elevation through the Western District, to its eventual 2009 International ITE status that continues today. Richard also plays a big role in providing students support to study in transportation. He is a director (treasurer) for the Harold M. Raynor Alabama Section ALSITE Scholarships, Inc., an ITE activity that shares a soft spot in my heart from my 1980s work in ITE student scholarship development for the San Francisco Bay Area Section. Harold M. Raynor ALSITE Scholarships, Inc. has awarded almost $200,000 in student scholarships since 1986. Many ITE leaders play substantial roles with students, encouraging them to engage in our profession. Richard has devoted substantial time and energy to this pursuit. He has participated in the development of leadership training that started at ALSITE and became a Southern District initiative to serve membership, particularly our emerging leaders.
Richard’s career trajectory is unique starting with an Electrical Engineering degree from University of Alabama at Birmingham. While most ITE members have civil engineering or planning degrees, his background fits nicely in traffic signal design. As an IMSA Level III Field Traffic Signal Technician, he is familiar with NEMA TS-1 and TS-2, 170/2070 standards, detection systems (loop, radar, video, microwave), lightening protection systems, data communications, MUTCD, IMSA wire and cable specifications, ITE handbooks and manuals, and NEC. Working for a small firm, he has the experience of being flexible in doing it all. He is just as comfortable with his hand on a traffic signal controller cabinet as he is presenting to a city council on planning for capital improvements to improve bicycle and pedestrian accessibility.
While we will not be meeting face-to-face this year in New Orleans, LA, USA this August, hopefully you may not need to wait too long in the future to get a chance to talk with Richard about his leadership and passion for transportation. Richard’s younger years doing search and rescue in Alabama for the U.S. Air Force is fertile ground for storytelling. Whether virtually at #ITE2020 next month or at a future meeting, I am sure you will find him most willing to share from his professional mentorship, his home on the farm (complete with llamas and other assorted animals), knowledge of hymnody, and work-life balance in raising five children and enjoying seven grandchildren. His strong faith connects with his ability to shape his community, something we can all gain great value from.