Corliss Orville Burandt

Engineer, Inventor


Who is Corliss Orville Burandt?

Corliss Orville Burandt is an American engineer who invented a system of variable valve timing in automobile engines. Working through a 1965 Chevrolet Corvair, he designed a system of putting a sensor into the cylinder to optimize the fuel-air mixture during combustion. He claims that the hybrid autos which are on the market today use technology from his patents.

Burandt assigned the rights to his most cherished invention to Investment Rarities, a venture capital company which specialized in gold trading. When Investment Rarities had financial and tax setbacks in the late 1980s, it ceased paying the maintenance fees on Burandt's patents. Thus the patents fell into the public domain.

After his patents came to naught, Burandt fell upon hard times. Suffering from obsessive-compulsive disorder, he says "I mean, I lost everything. I lost my house, I lost all my cars. I lost everything. I was fricking homeless. I lived in that goddamn car for a while. I mean, how many inventors live in their prototypes? I mean, is that ridiculous or what? It was just...I ruined my family with the deal. But in terms of what happened to me: basically, I was left to rot for eight years."

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  • United States of America
Lived in
  • Minnesota

on July 23, 2013


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