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Science & Technology

Alexey Severinsky
 
Severinsky, the native of Kharkov (Ukraine, USSR), graduated from the Karkov radio-technical institute, one of the best educational establishment in this field in the USSR, became an electric engineer, and later decided to dedicate himself to science - he went to Moscow where he got a doctorate degree at the Moscow institute of radio-electronics in 1975.
 
It seemed that his life would be cloudless and quiet, but his unwillingness to put up with the Soviet regime made him take a risky and decisive step: in 1978 he emigrated to America.
 
In his new homeland, he continued the work of his life, unifying all of his inventions in the field of electric motors that supplement traditional internal combustion engines in cars - in the year 1986 , with the help from the Viteq company, he created what today is known as the hybrid drive, widely used in modern cars.
 
For a time, his invention was put onto a shelf, but then the Japanese engineers from Toyota put their hands on Severinsky's work - it served as the foundation for the drive inside the revolutionary Toyota Prius, and later found its used under the hoods of other cars from Toyota and Lexus.
 
Severinsky was not given a dime for his contribution and sued the car giant - the matter came to the attention of the mass media, and a grandiose scandal ensued... 
 
In 2005, an American court ordered Toyota to pay the inventor $98 for every hybrid that had been made by the company, and in the future to pay the same for every new hybrid - almost $1.3 million a month!
 
After endless appeals and counter-appeals, the Japanese had do concede and settle, acknowledging the copyright of the inventor and paying him an undisclosed (but considerable) compensation.
 
Alexey was officially declared the creator of technology that started a revolution in the car industry. He heads several corporations: Fuelcor, Ferme STE-Valentine and AtomNet, and is on the Board of directors of the Paice Corp. Despite being a director of several businesses and an academic (he is a member of both Boston and New York Academies of Sciences), he still finds time to invent - he  works on efficient technologies for several giants of car and computer industries: IBM, Toyota, Ford and APC.
 
Severinsky is the cavalier of the Edison Medal, the highest American award in the field of electrotechnics.
 
Sources: 
"Russian Inventor Settles Toyota Dispute". The Moscow Times (The Moscow Times). 22 July 2010.
"Innovation Hall of Fame: Alex J. Severinsky". University of Maryland: Clark School.

 


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