Northeastern University's Alexander Gorlov wins prestigious Edison Patent Award for helical turbine invention

December 12, 2001

Alexander Gorlov, Professor Emeritus of mechanical engineering and director of the Hydro-Pneumatic Power Laboratory at Northeastern University is the 2001 recipient of the ASME Thomas A. Edison Patent Award for his invention of the Gorlov Helical Turbine. The Edison Patent Award was established in 1997 to recognize the creativity of a patented device or process that has the potential of significantly enhancing some aspect of mechanical engineering. The innovation makes possible the high efficiency conversion of kinetic energy from relatively slow-moving and multidirectional fluid flows into electrical energy.

The Gorlov Helical Turbine was also named one of Popular Science's top 100 innovations of 2001.

In the pursuit of his lifelong dream of creating inexpensive, environmentally friendly hydro-power, Gorlov has developed helical turbines for use in river, tidal, and open ocean currents. His innovation has led to a series of patents for the Gorlov Helical Turbine, which shows great promise for alleviating the worldwide crisis in energy use.

The Russian-born Gorlov was branded an anti-Soviet activist and, in 1971, was expelled from his homeland by the KGB and hired by Northeastern in 1976. Since that time, Gorlov patented a device to foil car bombers and, in 1990, received a two-year grant from the U.S. Department of Energy for energy research. Gorlov also helped design the Aswan Dam in Egypt and other massive energy projects around the world.
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Northeastern University

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