In 1920 he became Head of the Department of Metallurgy and Vice-Principal at the newly established University College of Swansea . The first entrants were mainly young men who had seen military service and were rather older than the normal intake, but with the aid of three colleagues who were inspired to accompany him from Manchester these were persuaded to embark on serious study and some, later, on research. Edwards ' earlier experience in industry and absorbing interest in the application of science ensured widespread and lively collaboration with local industry, especially steel and tinplate and led to the establishment of a research group supported by the South Wales Siemens Steel Association . There were numerous publications relating to the production of mild steel sheet and tinplate, including definitive work on the structure of steel ingots and the influence of heavy cold-rolling on the final sheet structure. He became Principal of the University College in 1926 , but he retained the Chair of Metallurgy and found great pleasure in discussing teaching and research and giving lectures and publishing papers as a relaxation from his strenuous efforts in promoting the interests of the college. His election as a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1930 gave great pleasure to a wide circle of industrial and academic friends. His lectures on alloy structures in the early 1930s were again an example of his capacity to keep ahead of current ideas on an important topic. The outbreak of war in 1939 stopped work on the major scheme for the replacement of the temporary buildings erected in 1921 and for which Principal Edwards had been indefatigable in his efforts. His guidance during the difficult period which lasted virtually until his retirement in 1947 put the college into a favourable position to take advantage of subsequent opportunities for growth.
Even after retirement C.A. Edwards retained his interest in metallurgy and was for some years a consultant to a major south Wales steelworks . His somewhat retiring personality and diffidence in expressing opinions contrasted strongly with the evidence of his progression by personal effort and ability from an apprentice to a high academic level and the possession of the highest awards in his profession. A kindly and dignified person, he was capable of inspiring enthusiasm and lasting friendship and his loss was felt by many when he died on March 29, 1960 .
Donald Walter Hopkins, Swansea
Published date: 2001