James R. Powell

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James R. Powell is an American physicist, notable – together with Gordon Danby – for his work on superconducting Maglev, for which he shared the Franklin Institute "Medal 2000 for Engineering".[1][2] He is a Director of the MAGLEV 2000 of Florida Corporation and Danby Powell Maglev Technology Corporation.[3] 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 became a tenured Senior Nuclear Engineer. He retired in late 1996.[3]

His inventions, including the inductive levitation and stabilization guideway, null flux geometry, and Linear Synchronous Motor for vehicle propulsion, are the basis for the 500 kilometer (300 mile) Tokyo to Nagoya maglev route planned to be operational 2027.[3][4] He also has worked on pebble-bed nuclear reactor.[3] He is a lead developer of the StarTram proposal.[5]


  1. ^ Richard F. Post (2000). "Maglev: A New Approach". Scientific American. 282: 82 – 87. 
  2. ^ Christopher O'Malley (June 1992). "Rapid Rails". Popular Science: 74–79,117. 
  3. ^ a b c d "Maglev2000 bio of James R. Powell". Archived from the original on 2012-09-08. Retrieved Feb 15, 2017. 
  4. ^ "10-year countdown begins for launch of Tokyo-Nagoya maglev service". The Japan Times. Jan 9, 2017. 
  5. ^ Ross Pomeroy (Oct 3, 2017). "Could StarTram Revolutionize Space Travel?".