Professor Emeritus Donald K. Edwards, an instrumental leader at UC Irvine and in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, and a recognized expert in radiation heat transfer and in the development of heat pipes, recently passed away from complications with cancer. He was 76.
Professor Edwards received a B.S. degree in engineering with highest honors in 1954 from UC Berkeley, as well as M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in 1956 and 1959, respectively. In September 1959, he joined UCLA as an assistant professor in the College of Engineering, and was promoted to associate professor in 1963 and to professor in 1968. He remained at UCLA until 1982, where he also served as chair of the Chemical, Nuclear and Thermal Engineering Department from 1975 to 1978.
In 1982, Professor Edwards joined UC Irvine, where he served as the Department of Mechanical Engineering chair for two years from 1984 to 1986, and as associate dean of engineering for graduate affairs from 1986 to 1989. In 1988, Professor Edwards was elected a Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics.
Throughout his career, Professor Edwards published more than 120 technical papers on his research findings, authored several book chapters, and authored or co-authored three outstanding texts. He was also a fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, and was the co-author of a classic textbook Transfer Processes, with Professors Anthony Mills and V.E. Denny. He retired from the University of California in 1991 - 40 years after first entering as an undergraduate student.
Edwards, who passed away May 6, is survived by his wife Louise and his children Victoria and Richard.