David Edwards (engineer)
David A. Edwards is Gordon McKay Professor of the Practice of Biomedical Engineering at Harvard University, a writer of fiction and non-fiction, and the founder of Le Laboratoire, an experimental art and design center where artists and scientists collaborate in Centrale Paris.
Research and entrepreneurship
Edwards' scientific work concerns the research and development of advanced new drug delivery platforms for treating infectious diseases in the developing world. He has published many scientific papers and two textbooks in the areas of applied mathematics and advanced transport analysis. He is a founder of Advanced Inhalation Research, or AIR, now part of Alkermes, Inc., of Pulmatrix, and of Medicine in Need, an international non-governmental organization aimed at developing new drugs and vaccines for diseases of poverty, such as tuberculosis.
Art and fiction
Edwards' artistic work includes two founding books of Le Laboratoire. His essay Artscience: Creativity in the Post-Google Generation (2008, Harvard University Press) describes the nature of the creativity catalyst at the frontier of what is conventionally viewed as art and science, the artscience innovation. His novel Niche (Editions Le Laboratoire and École nationale supérieure des Beaux-Arts, 2007), on which he has collaborated with the American novelist Jay Cantor and the photographer Daniel Faust, explores the conceptual bases of Le Laboratoire's creation.
Edwards studied chemical engineering at Michigan Technological University as an undergraduate, receiving a B.S. in 1983, and going on to a Ph.D. in 1987 in the same subject from the Illinois Institute of Technology. After a brief postdoctorate and lecturership at the Technion in Israel, he taught for four years at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and for three more at Pennsylvania State University before leaving academia in 1998 to found Advanced Inhalation Research. In 2002, he was hired as the McKay Professor of the Practice at Harvard.
Awards and honors
Edwards was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 2001. He has also been honored three times by the American Pharmaceutical Association with their Ebert Prize, and has won the Jerusalem Fund's Theodor Herzl Award, the European Aerosol Association's Smoluchowski Award, and the American Institute of Chemical Engineers' Professional Progress Award. In 2007, he was awarded the Melvin Calvin Medal of Distinction by his alma mater Michigan Tech, its highest honor.
- Artscience: Creativity in the Post-Google Generation (Harvard University Press, 2008)
- The Lab: Creativity and Culture (Harvard University Press, 2010)
- Creating Things That Matter: The Art and Science of Innovations That Last (Henry Holt & Company, 2018)
- Niche (Editions Le Laboratoire, 2008)
- Whiff (Editions Le Laboratoire, 2009)
- Faculty profile, Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences.
- Edwards aux mains pleines d’argent, Libération, October 15, 2007.
- Chutzpah Science, Forbes magazine, May 25, 2005.
- Nose Spray May Slow Spread of Germs, Fox News, November 30, 2004.
- Biography from Edwards' web site.
- NAE citation: "For transfer of scientific principles of engineering to industry, including invention and commercial development of a novel, generic aerosol drug-delivery system.".
- Harvard's David A. Edwards, Ph.D., honored at Commencement, Department of Chemical Engineering, Michigan Technological University.