Walter E. “Ed” Red, while an undergraduate at Rice University, was one of the world’s best javelin throwers. He competed in the 1964 Olympic Games held in Tokyo and placed 11th. At the time, that was an unusually high finish for the American team.
While at Rice, he won the Southwest Conference (SWC) title and set records in 1962, 1963, and 1964. As a freshman in 1961, he was not eligible for varsity competition. His SWC record of 249-3 set as a junior in 1963 stood for 16 years before it was broken finally in 1979.
Red earned his BS degree in mechanical engineering from Rice and earned his PhD from Arizona State. He taught at the University of Southwest Louisiana and the University of New Mexico. He was an associate professor at Texas A&M, where he was a director of the Robotics Labs. He was a Fellow of the Society of Manufacturing Engineers. He retired from the Mechanical Engineering Department at Brigham Young University. While at BYU, he generated over 30 patents or patent disclosures.
He is the recipient of a number of research and teaching awards, including being the outstanding faculty member in manufacturing engineering in 1998. Dr. Red has also advised 45 MS and PhD graduate students, and was the Graduate Coordinator for Manufacturing Engineering and Engineering Technology Department from 1992 to 1998. Dr. Red was also awarded the Office of Research and Creative Activites (ORCA) Technology Transfer Award in 2000. He has published three textbooks and over 100 articles in mechanics, robotics, and automation.
Red has spun off two companies, consulted for many others, and commercialized several automation and control related products.
Red coached javelin throwers, such as his brother-in-law Richard George who competed in the Olympic Games at Montreal in 1976.
Red and his wife, JoAnn, have three daughters and are members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.