Regents' Distinguished Alumnus/a Award
Dr. Edmund O. Schweitzer, III
Internationally renowned pioneer of electric power systems protection, Dr. Edmund O. Schweitzer, III, is the 2014 recipient of the Regents' Distinguished Alumnus Award, the highest honor Washington State University confers upon its alumni. Dr. Schweitzer earned a Ph.D. in electrical engineering from WSU, where he also served as a faculty member before starting his own business.
In 1982, Dr. Schweitzer founded Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories, Inc., to develop and manufacture digital protective relays and related products and services. Based in Pullman, Wash., home of WSU, SEL is an employee-owned company that serves the electric power industry worldwide.
Dr. Schweitzer holds 100 patents pertaining to electric power system protection, and has written dozens of technical papers on the subject. A Fellow of the IEEE and a member of the National Academy of Engineering, Dr. Schweitzer in 2012 received the Medal in Power Engineering, the highest honor awarded by the IEEE. Dr. Schweitzer is a global leader in revolutionizing the performance of electrical power systems with computer-based protection and control equipment.
WSU President Emeritus Samuel H. Smith nominated Dr. Schweitzer for the Regents' Distinguished Alumni Award, saying, "He has truly made exceptional contributions to society and clearly brought great distinction to WSU. He is truly a national and international figure."
Since its inception in 1962, WSU's Regents' Distinguished Alumni Award has been granted to U.S. ambassadors, doctors, educators, business leaders, scientists, journalists, athletes, artists, authors, and more—those individuals who have made significant contributions to society and, through their accomplishments, brought attention to the quality of a Washington State University education.