Born in 1929 in Newark, New Jersey, Meredith Gourdine was a physicist, pioneer researcher and inventor in the field of electrogasdynamics, a process dealing with the action of charged particles moving through a gas stream. He held more than 40 patents, while developing practical applications based on this esoteric procedure in four areas—energy conversion, paint-spraying systems, pollution control and printing.
Graduating from Caltech in 1960, he worked for the Aeronautical Division of Curtiss-Wright Corporation, where he became aware of an 18th-century procedure, and developed a generator based on this principle. In 1964, after failing to sell his ideas and his invention to his employer, Gourdine founded his own research and development company.
Gourdine Laboratories moved from research to the development of products and processes based on the use of electrogasdynamics technology. Gourdine is best known for his Incineraid system, which was used for the removal of smoke from burning buildings, and a technique for dispersing fog from airport runways. These techniques purify the polluted air by introducing a negative charge to the airborne particles, causing them to become electromagnetically attracted to the ground, thus leaving clean air in its place. Gourdine was also issued a patent for the Focus Flow Heat Sink, which is used to cool computer chips.
In 1973, he founded Energy Innovations in Houston to produce direct-energy conversion devices and was CEO there until his death in 1998.
Meredith Gourdine also enjoyed success in another field. He won a silver medal for the long jump at the Olympic Games in 1952.