75 years of Innovators: Meredith C. Gourdine

Jan. 8, 2004
The field of electrogasdynamics owes much to one of its first pioneers, Dr. Meredith C. Gourdine.

In the 75 years since Machine Design began publication, here are some of the people who have changed the way we live.

Meredith C. Gourdine
Father of electrogasdynamics

He pioneered the fledgling technology that manipulates ionized gas molecules for cooling, generating electricity, and a host of other applications. As founder of Gourdine Laboratory and then Energy Innovation Inc., he invented several devices, including an electrostatic precipitator that removes smoke from buildings and a method of ridding airport runways of fog. He has also applied electrogasdynamics to circuit breakers, acoustic imaging, air monitoring, and coating systems. In his later years, he explored thermal energy, patenting the focus-flow heat sink for cooling computer chips. He eventually compiled 70 U.S. and foreign patents.

During his prolific career, he served on President Nixon's Task Force for Small Business, President Johnson's Advisory Panel on Energy, Mayor Lindsay's Task Force on Air Pollution, and the Army Science Board. He also earned Guggenheim and Ramo-Woolride Fellowships, and was inducted into the National Academy of Engineering, the Black Inventors Hall of Fame, the Science and Engineering Hall of Fame, and Cornell University's Hall of Fame. He also earned a silver medal in the long jump at the 1952 Helsinki Olympics.

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