2016 Jury Member

The Rolex Awards for Enterprise

Location: United States

David Edwards
United States

Innovator, writer and professor, American biomedical engineer David Edwards is celebrated for his novel technological advancements in food, health and medicine. After graduating from Michigan Technological University and the Illinois Institute of Technology, where he earned a PhD in chemical engineering in 1987, Edwards taught at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Pennsylvania State University. He later invented a revolutionary method of insulin delivery and founded Advanced Inhalation Research (AIR), which he sold to biopharmaceutical firm Alkermes in 1999. In 2002, he joined the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences as Professor of the Practice of Biomedical Engineering. Since then, as a founding member of Harvard’s Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering, Edwards has developed numerous innovations, including approaches to treating infectious diseases, new ways of eating (Le Whif inhaler), edible food packaging (WikiCell), cleaning the air with plants (Andrea) and olfactory communication (oNotes). His work encompasses new methods of learning through a cultural incubation organization, Le Laboratoire, which Edwards founded in Paris and now leads in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Among the many offshoots of Le Laboratoire are ArtScience Labs in the US, Europe and Africa, and the ArtScience Prize for Boston high school students, hosted by Edwards’s Cloud Foundation, which is dedicated to fostering artistic creation in urban teens. Edwards has written widely on creativity in the arts and sciences. ArtScience: Creativity in the Post-Google Generation (2008), which underscores what he calls “the relevance of artistic engagement as a scientist and scientific engagement as an artist”, was followed by The Lab: Creativity and Culture in 2010. He was selected as the youngest member of the US National Academy of Engineering in 2001 and the French National Academy of Engineering in 2008, the same year he was named a Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres for his work spanning the arts and science. Edwards’s edible food wrapper product, designed to help reduce the world’s packaging waste, was chosen as one of Time magazine’s 25 Best Inventions of 2014.

Other 2016 Jury Members