Neal A. Richardson

Neal A. Richardson
Associated organizations
Fields of study
Transportation, Aerospace


Some inventions are unrecognized at the time they are created but are later enhanced and to make an impact on the world environment. One such invention created by three scientists working between 1968 and 1971 at TRW in Redondo Beach, California, is an automotive power train for a practical hybrid automobile. Despite the lack of interest by major automotive manufacturers at that time Dr. Baruch Berman, Dr. George H. Gelb and Dr. Neal A. Richardson developed, demonstrated and patented an operable hybrid vehicle system that provided significantly reduced exhaust emissions, outstanding fuel efficiency without sacrificing road performance - long before the hybrid systems in production today.

Many of the engineering concepts incorporated in that first hybrid system are to be found in the Toyota PRIUS, the trailblazer of the current hybrid generation, as well as in vehicles produced or proposed to be produced by Honda, Ford, General Motors and Nissan.The three inventors developed a TRW hybrid power train designated as an electromechanical transmission (EMT) providing brisk vehicle performance with an engine smaller than required by a conventional internal combustion engine drive.

In addition to their pioneering work on the EMT, Drs.Berman, Gelb and Richardson also contributed significant technology to the fields of power systems and processes with developments in advanced batteries, air pollution control, coal conversion, fuel cells and power generation and control.

Dr. Richardson was manager of the Energy Conversion Group staff at TRW at the time he and his colleagues developed the EMT technology. Prior to that project, he was involved in TRW's evaluation of the Apollo Lunar Landing success probability and the design of a life support system for the manned mission to Mars. He is a former member of the Society of Automotive Engineers Technical Committee and chairman of its Electric Vehicle Technical Committee. Dr. Richardson holds two U.S. patents.