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Thu, 09.26.1929

Meredith Gourdine, Physics Researcher, and Engineer born

Meredith Gourdine

Meredith C. Gourdine was born on this date in 1929. He was a Black physicist and engineer.

He was born in Newark, N.J. he received a B.S. in Engineering Physics from Cornell University in 1953, and a Ph.D. in Engineering Physics from the California Institute of Technology in 1960.  While at Cornell, he ran track and won a silver medal in the long jump at the Olympic Games in 1952.

Gourdine pioneered the research of electrodynamics, the study of the forces produced by the motion of electrically charged particles (ions) carried by an insulating gas flowing through an electric field.  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.

Gourdine served on the Technical Staff of the Ramo-Woolridge Corporation from 1957 to 1958, followed by his job as Senior Research Scientist at the Caltech Jet Propulsion Laboratory until 1960. He became a Lab Director of the Plasmodyne Corporation from 1960-62, and Chief Scientist of the Curtiss-Wright Corporation from 1962 to 1964.

Gourdine established a research laboratory, Gourdine Laboratories, in Livingston, N.J., with a staff of over 150, and has been issued several patents on gas-dynamic products as a result of his work. Gourdine served as president of Energy Innovation, Inc. of Houston, TX.  An early scientist working for environmental justice and racism, Meredith Gourdine died in November 1998.

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