Miles Lowell and Margaret Watt Edwards Distinguished Chair in Engineering

December 31, 1999

Funded with a multimillion dollar endowment, the Edwards Chair is a lasting tribute to OSU alumni Miles Lowell Edwards '24 and Margaret Watt Edwards '27. Although endowed chairs are traditionally tied to a single discipline, this chair breaks this mold by encouraging the holder to be involved in teaching and research that crosses traditional boundaries—much like Miles Lowell Edwards did throughout his prolific career.

Although Miles graduated in electrical engineering, his work demanded interdisciplinary expertise. In 1950, he invented the world's first artificial heart valve by collaborating with renowned cardiac surgeon Dr. Albert Starr. The Starr-Edwards valve is still in wide use today. Miles also developed the world's first hydraulic tree debarker for the logging industry, a fuel booster pump widely used in domestic and military aircraft, and held more than 50 patents. He remains one of the most accomplished alumni in the university's history.

Margaret wrote or co-authored more than a dozen novels, poetry collections, and social histories, including Land of the Multnomahs and the award-winning Rawhide and Orange Blossoms. She died in 2000, preceded by her husband in 1982.

The Edwards' children, Prudence Edwards Denney and Miles John Edwards, established the chair to honor their parents' inventiveness and connection to OSU. The ultimate aim of their generosity and vision is to establish a state-of-the-art global tsunami warning system at the alma mater of their parents.


Current Faculty Holder

Jason Weiss speaking with student at school at a table
Jason Weiss