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MEREDITH C. GOURDINE (1929- )
For over thirty years, Meredith C. Gourdine has been a pioneer researcher and inventor in the field of electrogasdynamics.
Gourdine was born in Newark, New Jersey. Although he ran track while attending Cornell University, and won a silver medal in the long jump at the Helsinki Olympic Games in 1952, his academic curriculum centered on Engineering Physics, in which he earned a B.S. from Cornell (1953) and then a Ph.D. from the California Institute of Technology (1960). In his last three years at CalTech, Gourdine was already Senior Research Scientist of their Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
Gourdine was one of the first, and remains one of the most respected, scientists in electrogasdynamics, which is basically the generation of energy from the motion of gas molecules which have been ionized (electrically charged) under high pressure. Gourdine's specialty is to invent very practical applications for this rather abstruse procedure.
Gourdine is best known for his invention of various electrostatic precipitator systems (first patents 1971-73), including "Incineraid," which helps remove smoke from burning buidings, and a method of removing fog from airport runways (patented 1987). These systems clear the air by introducing a negative charge to airborne particles: once negatively charged, the particles are electromagnetically attracted to the ground, and so drop down, to have their former place taken by fresh air.
Gourdine has also won patents for applications of electrogasdynamics to circuit breakers, acoustic imaging, air monitors and coating systems, as well as the Focus Flow Heat Sink, which is used to cool computer chips. He has earned about 30 US patents to date.
Most recently, Gourdine has focused his efforts on heating and cooling systems based on the conversion and transfer of thermal energy (patents 1989-96). Today, as President of Energy Innovation, Inc. of Houston, Texas, Meredith Gourdine continues a lengthy and illustrious career of research and invention.