Monday, April 16, 2007

George Constantinesco (1881-1965)

George Constantinesco was a Romanian scientist born in Craiova, Romania in1881. He would move to London in November of 1910, which is where he woulddo the majority of his work in science and engineering. During hislifetime Constantinesco would gain credit for 133 patents, the most wellknown being the torque converter and the Theory of Sonics. The Theory ofSonics is the science of dealing with power transmission by periodicforces through different types of matter. In his work with the Theory ofSonics, Constantinesco developed the sonic engine and the hydraulicmachine gun synchronizer, which allowed pilots in World War I to firetheir machine gun in the front of the plane without hitting the propeller.

After the war Constantinesco began working with torque mechanics andengine output. He made it a goal to design economically friendlyautomobiles that could be driven by the average person. In 1925 he woulddesign and present the Constantinesco, a car he would name after himself,which would initially be built in France and licensed by General Motors.His torque converter, though initially designed for automobiles, wouldbecome critical in the power behind railway locomotives. Constantinescocontinued his work even to his death. In 1962 at the age of 91,Constantinesco presented his paper on power transmission to theInstitutiom of Mechanical Engineering. Constantinesco would eventuallydie in 1965 at the age of 94.

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