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Maglev 2000


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Thomas Wagner, President and Director

Gordon T. Danby, Director

James R. Powell, Director

John J. Morena, Director

Charles H. Smith, Programs Manager

George Maise, Vehicle Design

Ed Harmer, Plant Manager

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Maglev 2000 team
James R. Powell, Ph.D.

Director, Maglev 2000

Dr. James R. Powell is a Director of the MAGLEV 2000 of Florida Corporation and the Danby Powell Maglev Technology Corporation, where he also serves as President. He received his BS in Chemical Engineering in 1953 from Carnegie Institute of Technology and his Sc.D. in Nuclear Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1958. He joined Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL) in 1956 where he was a Senior Nuclear Engineer and a tenured member of the BNL scientific staff until his retirement at the end of 1996.

While at BNL, in addition to his personal research, Dr. Powell directed R&D efforts in a variety of areas, including advanced fission reactors, fusion reactors, space and defense systems, and new technologies for infrastructure. During this period, he published 470 papers and reports and received 16 patents.

In the field of Nuclear Fission Reactors, Dr. Powell is the inventor of the Particle Bed Reactor, an ultra compact, very high power density reactor system with applications for high performance nuclear rockets and space power, nuclear waste transmutation, and very high flux neutron beams for research.

In the field of Fusion Technology, Dr. Powell originated the concept of using solid lithium compounds for fusion blankets, and carried out the first designs and work in this area. Other fusion related inventions by Dr. Powell include blankets for production of hydrogen based synthetic fuels; NOEL, a self-sealing, no-leak blanket; TRAIL, a pellet rail gun plasma limiter system; DEALS, a demountable superconducting toroidal field coil system for tokamaks, and liquid wall labkets for inertial pellet fusion reactors.

In the field of Space and Defense Systems, Dr. Powell is the inventor of the high performance Particle Bed Nuclear Rocket, which formed the basis for the DOD Space Nuclear Thermal Propulsion (SNTP) program. In the SNTP program, which was funded by SDI and the Air Force from 1983 to 1987, the BNL Reactor Systems Division, led by Dr. Powell, developed and analyzed the PBR design, together with thermal hydraulic testing and the development of advanced high temperature materials and nuclear fuel particles. Dr. Powell also developed innovative designs for lightweight nuclear space electric power generating systems based on the PNR for a variety of civilian and defense applications.

In the field of transportation, Dr. Powell, together with Dr. Gordon Danby, are inventors of the Superconducting Maglev (magnetic levitation) transportation systems and received the original patent in the field. Their inventions, including the inductive levitation and stabilization guideway, null flux geometry, and the Linear Synchronous Motor for vehicle propulsion, have been adopted through the world, and for the basis for the 300 mile (500 kilometer) Tokyo to Osaka maglev route now under construction.

Dr. Powell, together with Dr. Danby, was awarded the Franklin Institute 'Medal 2000 for Engineering' for their Maglev inventions. Previous Franklin Medal awardees include Nikolai Tesla, Charles Steinmetz, and Albert Einstein.

   


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