Dr. Edwina Vernier
A prominant engineer working in the late Fourth Age, Edwina's contributions to mech design are countless and varried, including most notably the Vernier Engine which was still in use in much the original design by the end of the Sixth Age, though improvments were made by the Victory Research Facility during the Age of the Dragon.
Edwina lived in Gudersnipe-controlled space, and was a product of the public school system. Recognized as a prodigy early on, she graduated by the age of ten, at which point she had already completed a year of higher education. She was a gifted mathematician who published her first paper at age 11, before she devoted herself fully to the study of engineering.
In the scientific community, this decision aroused tremendous outcry, as Edwina's fame was already fairly widespread, and many scientists were looking forward to her contributions to the field of mathematics. Secretly, however, Edwina had become obsessed with mechanical combat units, and was driven by a desire to make that her career.
Between the ages of 12 and 20, she traveled to many institutions of higher learning throughout the Gudersnipe Foundation, including being one of the rare individuals to receive some education at Gudersnipe School without being formally admitted as a student.
Her education was fully sponsored by the Foundation, who could tell she was going to do great things no matter what she did.
At 21, Edwina decided she was ready to get down to buisness. The Gudersnipe Foundation supplied her with a laboratory and generous funding, with the stipulation that they would have first rights to any inventions she produced. Her first triumph was a new type of fast-starting-and-stopping turbine drive, ideal for mounting manuvering thrusters on mechs. This drive was an early iteration of the Vernier Engine.
The Foundation was impressed, and despite the agreement, allowed Edwina to sell the invention on the open market, with the stipulation that they could produce their own versions. It turned out to be a huge hit on Tournament World, and by the age of 23 Edwina was a very wealthy woman.
Throughout her long career, she continued to produce innovations in a wide variety of fields. Though extremely wealthy on her own, her work was fully funded by the Gudersnipe Foundation, always under the agreement that they had first rights to anything she produced.
Edwina always made it a point to stay in excelent physical condition, believing in the doctrine of "Healthy Body = Healthy Mind". This only added to her popularity on Tournament World, where smart, attractive women who like giant robots tend to get all the guys.
Edwina had a long string of suitors, but never married. She was clearly married to her work, though this did not stop her very active social life. She was considered quite charming and very popular, and had the connections to get into a wide variety of social circles. Even into old age, she was considered very attractive, and was often seen in the company of much younger men.
She never had any children, and at her death, her considerable fortune was put into a trust which would later go to fund mech-fighting in public schools.
Wealthy while still in her early twenties, Edwina's first venture with her large fortune was to establish her own mech team on Tournament World. She had hoped to become a pilot herself, but was found particularly lacking in skill.
When it became clear that no amount of training would make her a good pilot, Edwina began pouring money into the team, as well as using it as a test platform for many of her inventions. Able to afford top-quality mecha and equipe them with next-generation gear, her team easily attracted the highest-ranked pilots. The Flying Fighters, as they were called, maintained champion-status for over 70 years.
Though never credited with desiging an entire mech, Edwina did built several units from the ground up, combining elements of existing mecha in ways never before conceived. Many of her very unique mecha creations eventually made it into the private collection of Cloud Carrington.