birth: September 26, 1929; place: Newark, NY
died: November 20, 1998
B.S. Engineering Physics Cornell University (1953)
Ph.D. in Engineering
Physics, California Institute of Technology (1960)
Meredith C. Gourdine
||Meredith "Flash" Gourdine was an outstanding track and field athlete at Cornell University, becoming a silver medalist in the 1952 Olympics in Helsinki. He was also an excellent physicist who pioneered the research of electrogasdynamics. He was responsible for the engineering technique termed Incineraid for aiding in the removal of smoke from buildings. His work on gas dispersion developed techniques for dispersing fog from airport runways. Dr. Gourdine served on the Technical Staff of the Ramo-Woolridge Corporation from 1957-58. He then became a Senior Research Scientist at the Caltech Jet Propulsion Laboratory from 1958-60. He became a Lab Director of the Plasmodyne Corporation from 1960-62 and Chief Scientist of the Curtiss-Wright Corporation from 1962 to 1964. Dr. Gourdine established a research laboratory, Gourdine Laboratories, in Livingston, New Jersey, with a staff of over 150. Dr. Gourdine has been issued several patents on gasdynamic products as a result of his work. Dr. Gourdine suffered from diabetes, and lost his vision and one leg. He died not let blindness deter his creative work.|
In 1991 Gourdne was elected to the National Academy of Engineering and in 1994 he was inducted to Engineeering and Science Hall of Fame (Dayton, Ohio). Dr. Gourdine when died he was the president of Energy Innovation, Inc. of Houston, Texas.
Dr. Gourdine is inventor of Focus Flow Heat Sink, used for computer chip cooling.
Copyright 1998 The New York Times Company
The New York Times
November 24, 1998, Tuesday, Late Edition - Final
NAME: Meredith Gourdine
SECTION: Section B; Page 10; Column 4; Sports Desk
LENGTH: 512 words
HEADLINE: Meredith Gourdine, 69, Athlete and Physicist
BYLINE: By FRANK LITSKY
Meredith (Flash) Gourdine, the 1952 Olympic silver medalist in the long jump and later an engineer and physicist with 70 patents that deal with thermal management and the conversion of gas to electricity, died Friday at St. Joseph's Hospital in Houston. He was 69.
The cause of death was complications from multiple strokes, said his son, Meredith Jr. He had also been suffering from diabetes and had gradually lost his sight.
Gourdine's success in track and field was more than matched by his scientific achievements later. The companies he founded worked on purifying the air and converting low-grade coal into inexpensive, transportable and high-voltage electrical energy. They produced a commercial air-pollution deterrent, a high-powered industrial paint spray and a device to eliminate fog above airports.
His sports career flourished at Cornell University, where at 6 feet and 175 pounds he competed in the sprints and low hurdles and the long jump. He won four titles in the championships of the Intercollegiate Association of Amateur Athletes of America and five titles in the Heptagonal Games. In 1952, he helped Cornell finish second to Southern California in the National Collegiate Athletic Association championships, in which Southern California had 36 athletes and Cornell 5.
His greatest achievement and greatest frustration in sports came in the 1952 Olympics in Helsinki, Finland. Jerome Biffle, another American, won the gold medal in the long jump at 24 feet 10 inches. Gourdine finished second, an inch and a half behind.
"I would have rather lost by a foot," he said years later. "I still have nightmares about it."
Meredith Charles Gourdine was born Sept. 26, 1929, in Newark. He was raised in Brooklyn, where his father was a painter and a janitor. After classes at Brooklyn Tech High School, he worked eight hours a day on painting jobs with his father.
The son recalled: "My father said, 'If you don't want to be a laborer all your life, stay in school.' It took."
The youngster did not run until his senior year in high school and never won a race there, but his swimming prowess earned a scholarship offer from the University of Michigan. Instead, he went to Cornell and paid his way most of the first two years.
In 1952, after he had earned a bachelor's degree in engineering, Gourdine became an officer in the United States Navy. In 1960, on a Guggenheim fellowship, he earned a doctorate in engineering science from the California Institute of Technology.
After four years in private industry, he borrowed $200,000 from friends and opened a research and development firm, Gourdine Systems, in Livingston, N.J. In 1973, he founded Energy Innovations in Houston to produce direct-energy conversion devices. He was the chief executive there until his death.
He is survived by his wife, the former Carolina Baling; his son; three daughters from a previous marriage, Teri Bruce of Englewood, N.J., Traci of Davis, Calif., and Toni of Montclair, N.J.; five grandchildren, and a sister, Charlotte Williams of Altadena, Calif.
GRAPHIC: Photo: Meredith Gourdine in 1954, two years after winning an Olympic silver medal in the long jump. He later became an innovative engineer. (Associated Press)
The number of patents attributed to Meredith C. Gourdine, as cited in the following sources:
U.S. Patent and Trademark Office Offical Gazzette -- 27 patents issued between 1971-1996.
U.S. Patent Number Date Patent Title Inventors
1. U.S. 5,548,907, Aug. 27, 1996, Method and Apparatus for Transferring Heat, Mass, and Momentum Between a Fluid and a Surface., Gourdine, Meredith C., Houston, Texas
2. U.S. 5,487,957, Jan. 30, 1996, Method and Apparatus for Converting Chemical and Thermal Energy into Electricity., Gourdine, Meredith, Pearland, Texas
3. U.S. 5,456,596, Oct. 10, 1995, Method and Apparatus for Producing Multivortex Fluid Flow., Gourdine, Meredith, Houston, Texas
4. U.S. 5,422,787, Jun. 6, 1995, Apparatus and Method for Cooling Heat Generating Electronic Components in a Cabinet., Gourdine, Meredith C., Houston, Texas
5. U.S. 5,297,005, Mar. 22, 1994, Apparatus and Method for Cooling Heat Generating Electronic Components in a Cabinet., Gourdine, Meredith C., Houston, Texas
6. U.S. 4,916,033, Apr. 10, 1990, Method and Apparatus fFor Converting Chemical and Thermal Energy into Electricity., Gourdine, Meredith, Pearland, Texas
7. U.S. 4,850,537, Jul. 25, 1989, Method and Apparatus for Producing Multivortex Fluid Flow., Gourdine, Meredith, Pearland, Texas
8. U.S. 4,671,805, Jun. 9, 1987, Method for Airport Fog Precipitation., Gourdine, Meredith C., East Orange, New Jersey
9. U.S. 4,574,092, Mar. 4, 1986, Electrogasdynamic Coating System., Gourdine, Meredith C., East Orange, New Jersey
10. U.S. 4,555,909, Dec. 3, 1985, Method and Apparatus for Improved Cooling of Hot Materials., Gourdine, Meredith C., East Orange, New Jersey
11. U.S. 4,498,631, Feb. 12, 1985, Electrogasdynamic Coating System., Gourdine, Meredith C., East Orange, New Jersey
12. U.S. 4,433,003, Feb. 21, 1984, Electrogasdynamic Coating System., Gourdine, Meredith C., East Orange, New Jersey
13. U.S. 3,991,710, Nov. 16, 1976, Electrogasdynamic Production Line Coating System., Gourdine, Meredith C., Fort Lee, New Jersey Diamond, Stephen, Livingston, New Jersey Porter, Donald, Carlstadt, New Jersey
14. U.S. 3,853,580, Dec. 10, 1974, Methods For Electrogasdynamic Coating., Gourdine, Meredith C., East Orange, New Jersey
15. U.S. 3,757,491, Sep. 11, 1973, Apparatus For Suppressing Airborne Particles., Gourdine, Meredith C., West Orange, New Jersey
16. U.S. 3,718,029, Nov. 14, 1972, Electrostatic Mass Per Unit Volume Dust Monitor., Gourdine, Meredith C., Fort Lee, New Jersey Law, S. Edward, Athens, Georgia
17. U.S. 3,704,572, Dec. 5, 1972, Electrostatic Precipitator System., Gourdine, Meredith C., West Orange, New Jersey Sayers, Howard A., Clifton, New Jersey
18. U.S. 3,673,463, Jun. 27, 1972, Methods And Apparatus For Electrogasdynamic Coating., Gourdine, Meredith C., West Orange, New Jersey
19. U.S. 3,650,092, Mar. 21, 1972, Electrogasdynamic Precipitator Utilizing Retarding Fields., Gourdine, Meredith C., West Orange, New Jersey Von Voros, Geza, Glen Rock, New Jersey Chiang, Ta Kuan, Berkeley Heights, New Jersey
20. U.S. 3,613,993, Oct. 19, 1971, ELECTROSTATIC PAINTING METHOD AND APPARATUS.., Gourdine, Meredith C., West Orange, New Jersey Collier, Edward L., Morris Plains, New Jersey Lewis, Gerald P., West Orange, New Jersey McCrae, Harold, Upper Montclair, New Jersey Porter, Donald H., Carlstadt, New Jersey
21. U.S. 3,612,923, Oct. 12, 1971, Electrogasdynamic Converter With Resistive Channel. Collier, Edward L., Morris Plains, New Jersey Gourdine, Meredith C., West Orange, New Jersey McCrae, Harold W., Upper Montclair, New Jersey
22. U.S. 3,592,541, Jul. 13, 1971, Copying System Using Electrogasdynamics., Gourdine, Meredith C., West Orange, New Jersey
23. U.S. 3,585,420, Jun. 15, 1971, Alternating Current Systems Employing Multiple Electrogasdynamic Devices., Gourdine, Meredith C., West Orange, New Jersey
24. U.S. 3,582,694, Jun. 1, 1971, Electrogasdynamic Systems And Methods., Gourdine, Meredith C., West Orange, New Jersey
25. U.S. 3,581,468, Jun. 1, 1971, Turbulence Inducing Electrogasdynamic Precipitator., Gourdine, Meredith C., West Orange, New Jersey Von Voros, Geza, Glen Rock, New Jersey Chiang, Ta Kuan, Berkeley Heights, New Jersey
26. U.S. 3,573,845, Apr. 6, 1971, Improved Acoustic Image Reproduction System Using a Piezoelectric Printer And Electrogasdynamics., Gourdine, Meredith C., West Orange, New Jersey
27. U.S. 3,562,585, Feb. 9, 1971, Electrogasdynamic Systems Adapted for Circuit Breaking and Other Purposes., Gourdine, Meredith C., West Orange, New Jersey.
referenes: Faces of African Americans in Science; Ebony (Chicago, IL: Johnson Publishing Co.), (April 1967), p.52-54, 56, 58, 60-62., (August 1972), p.125, (February 1974), p. 74, 77.
VISITORS since opening 5/27/1997
This website was created by and is maintained by
Dr. Scott Williams, Professor of Mathematics
State University of New York at Buffalo
SEARCH the site
CONTACT Dr. Williams