No other company can claim a heritage of innovation as deep and broad as GE Research. From Thomas Edison’s first commercially viable light bulb to the introduction of bioelectronic medicine in healthcare, GE Research has a history of turning research into reality to redefine industries. Our breadth of expertise and experience gives us the ability to disrupt industries with exponential innovations in multiple technical realms. As we remind ourselves of our commitment to progress and research, we continue to leverage our multidisciplinary core capabilities to design and develop the next generation of technology to address the world’s most complex and challenging problems. We’ve encapsulated GE Research’s global impact in five different industries, ranging from healthcare to electronics to aviation. With breakthrough technologies across multiple sectors, GE Research turns cutting-edge research into impactful realities.
GE builds a record-capacity water-wheel generator for Niagara Falls.
The first hydro turbine is built by Neyret Beylier Piccard Pictet (NBPP), the company that later became part of Alstom Energy, which is later acquired by GE.
Niagara orders two generators from GE to replace the original 65,000 kVA unit.
A GE 82,500-kva turbine is first brought online at the Hoover Dam, which would soon become the largest hydropower facility in the world.
The Grand Coulee Dam, with generators made by GE, opens in Washington.
Alstom, whose energy assets were later acquired by GE, optimizes the classic Francis water turbine, increasing output.
Alstom, whose energy assets were later acquired by GE, optimizes the classic Pelton turbine, increasing output.
The Itaipu Dam between Brazil and Paraguay goes online, becoming the world’s largest generator of hydropower to date.
GE is part of a consortium that builds turbines for Three Gorges Dam in China.
GE expands its renewable energy portfolio with the acquisition of Alstom Energy.
GE unveils Digital Hydro Plant technology, which makes hydropower more efficient through automation and data-driven maintenance.
GE launches a brand-new aerating hydro turbine technology.
GE launches a new technology that allows fish to safely pass through hydroelectric power stations.
The J624 Jenbacher high-speed gas engine technology produces more energy more efficiently, providing clean on-site power generation.
The world’s largest and most efficient heavy-duty gas turbine, GE’s HA, is developed using Fastworks and the GE Store of technology.
The world’s first gas turbine for electricity production is created.
GE ships the United States’ first gas turbine for electricity production to Oklahoma Gas & Electric.
GE provides Union Pacific with 8,500 horsepower gas-turbine electric locomotives.
GE’s turbines are used by a US naval destroyer for the first time.
The world’s first F-class turbine begins operation and is still running to this day.
GE’s H System gas turbine test operations start.
GE introduce s the flagship HA gas turbine, the fastest fleet of heavy-duty gas turbines in the world.
GE finishes the first production unit of the 9HA Gas Turbine.
GE’s HA turbine is recognized by Guinness World Records with an efficiency of up to 62.
GE earns another Guinness World Record for efficiency.
GE builds the first U.
GE introduces what will become the world’s most-produced jet engine in history, the J47.
GE moves into the civil market for high-bypass turbofan engines, making the CF6 the most popular engine family for wide-body aircraft, including Air Force One.
With more than 115,000 lbs.
The next-generation jet engine with ceramic components and 3-D printed parts takes its first flight.
The GE supercharger makes its maiden flight over McCook Field in Dayton, Ohio.
Lt. John Macready sets a new world altitude record with a GE Supercharger.
GE develops the innovative magneto compass.
Howard Hughes sets a transcontinental air record.
GE builds the first US jet engine, the I-A.
US military aircraft equipped with approximately 100,000 GE turbo superchargers for the war effort.
The US Army Air Corps flies its first operational jet fighter, powered by a GE J33.
GE introduces the J47, which becomes the world’s most-produced jet engine.
GE’s Small Aircraft Engine Division in Lynn, Massachusetts, designs the T58 “baby gas turbine.”
GE develops the J93, the first engine to operate at three times the speed of sound.
GE unveils the TF39 turbofan.
GE’s first afterburning turbofan, the F101, is selected to power the US Air Force’s new B-1 Bomber.
GE delivers its first T700 to power Sikorsky Black Hawk helicopters.
The CFM56 Engine is introduced.
The GE90-115B engine sets a world record for thrust.
GE begins development of the GEnx engine.
GE and Safran Aircraft Engines unveil the LEAP-X next-generation engine program.
Boeing selects the GE9X as the sole engine for its 777X commercial planes.
The initial architecture of GE’s Affinity, the first commercial supersonic engine in 55 years, is introduced.
The Edison Electric Illuminating Company turns electricity into a commodity, constructing the first central power station in New York City.
Continuing to pioneer in the field of energy generation, GE opens the world’s first licensed nuclear power plant.
Thomas Edison and his team develop the first dynamos capable of powering neighborhood-wide lighting systems.
Elihu Thomson invents the integrating wattmeter.
GE creates Ebasco (Electric Bond and Share Company) Systems.
Shippingport Atomic Power Station becomes the world’s first commercial nuclear power plant.
World’s first commercial thyristor High Voltage Direct Current scheme (HVDC) debuts at Eel River, Canada.
GE introduces the P4A, the first digital relay, signifying a technological leap forward in electrical protection.
GE introduces the first wide-area protection schemes.
GE releases Green Gas for Grid (or g3).
GE improves performance of power grids through its acquisition of Alstom Energy.
GE continues its focus on sustainable energy, entering the wind power business.
GE enters the wind business through the acquisition of Enron’s wind assets.
Shepherd’s Flat Wind Farm in Oregon uses 338 of GE’s 2.5 MW wind turbines to generate 2,000 GWh annually.
GE enters the offshore renewable energy industry through the Alstom Energy acquisition.
The Block Island Wind Farm near Rhode Island becomes the first offshore wind farm to go online in the US.
GE completes acquisition of LM Wind Power, a Denmark-based maker of rotor blades.
GE launches its largest onshore turbine to date, which features unique two-piece blades.
The first Haliade-X 12 MW wind turbine prototype is installed in Maasvlakte-Rotterdam.
GE combines its deep base of industrial knowledge with software to create digital models of physical assets and processes to deliver business outcomes for customers.
GE and Fanuc combine to create GE Fanuc Automation Corporation, which manufactures programmable logic controllers—one of the fundamental building blocks of what’s come to be known as the Industrial Internet of Things.
GE introduces the first digital control system for utility networks.
GE launches the first optical multiplexer for high speed utility communications of voice, video, and data.
GE launches first protection relays to support Ethernet and peer-to-peer communications.
GE Measurement and Control is established.
GE launches the Multilin D90plus, the world’s fastest sub-cycle distance protection relay.
GE introduces the innovative HardFiber process bus solution.
GE opens digital collaboration centers in Dubai, Shanghai, and Paris.
GE Aviation opens its digital collaboration center in Austin, Texas, with launch customer Qantas Airways.
GE Aviation's accelerator in Washington DC launches.
GE Aviation announces its Aviation Asset Performance Management (APM) solution.
GE puts electricity to work on a large scale in 96-ton electric locomotives.
The world’s first voice radio broadcast is made possible by Ernst Frederick Werner Alexanderson’s high-frequency alternator.
The world’s first voice radio broadcast is made possible by Ernst Frederick Werner Alexanderson’s high-frequency alternator.
GE improves life in the kitchen with the first electric range.
Charles Steinmetz develops an electric vehicle, which is able to reach a top speed of 40 miles per hour, powered by 14 six-volt batteries.
The first home television reception takes place in Schenectady, NY with a signal from GE’s WGY.
GE introduces the new fuel-efficient Evolution Series locomotives.
GE develops moldable plastic, a foundational technology in the advance of modern mass production.
GE introduces silicone for commercial use.
GE researchers achieve two laser breakthroughs that will have profound effects on manufacturing.
GE revolutionizes its manufacturing by adopting Six Sigma.
GE acquires 3D-printing pioneer Morris Technologies, whose sophisticated techniques allow the creation of lightweight, streamlined versions of complex items like fuel nozzles for jet engines.
GE introduces the Catalyst turboprop engine.
GE’s Distributed Power facility in Jenbach, Austria, is named Factory of the Year by the trade magazine Produktion.
GE scientists develop the Signa Magnetic Resonance Imaging System, which produces images of “soft” tissues difficult to image by X-ray methods.
GE's Elihu Thomson builds electrical equipment for the production of X-rays.
GE researcher William Coolidge develops the hot-cathode, high-vacuum X-ray tube.
Associate Director of GE Research Laboratory Irving Langmuir wins the Nobel Prize in Chemistry.
The world’s first commercial size exclusion chromatography resin, Sephadex, launches.
The first non-ionic X-ray contrast media is introduced.
The first routine total-body computed tomography (CT) scanner is made widely available.
The first high-field 1.5T magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanner is introduced.
The first commercial SPECT/CT combination designed as a single unit is introduced.
The first 4D high-res ultrasound system for women’s health enables visualization of fetal movement in utero.
The first single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) imaging agent is released.
The world’s first modular biopharmaceutical facility, KUBio™, is opened.
The first NASA-style clinical hospital “command center” launches.
A mammography system featuring the world’s first patient-assisted compression remote control debuts.
Cell therapy enterprise offering launches with the acquisition of Asymptote Limited.
The first deep learning-based CT image reconstruction technology gains FDA clearance.
Edison invents the first commercially practical incandescent lamp.
A rich tradition of GE breakthroughs in medical imaging begins with the demonstration of stereoscopic Roentgen pictures.
Developed by William D.
GE develops a new X-ray machine suitable for dental and portable use.
Irving Langmuir becomes the first US industrial scientist to win the Nobel Prize, received for his research in the field of surface chemistry.
GE invents the first practical low-pressure discharge lamp to provide white light.
GE invents a new silicones chemistry, marking the start of the silicones business.
GE Research Laboratory announces the invention of the first reproducible process for making industrial-use diamonds.
The laser light is invented, making possible many of today’s most popular technologies such as DVD players.
GE supplies a variety of technologies for the first landing on the moon, including engineering support, test facilities, and the silicone for Neil Armstrong’s boots.
GE builds the Mars Observer for NASA, which will study Martian geology and climate while mapping the planet’s surface.
This scanner is the first to capture multiple images simultaneously and is six times faster than traditional single-slice scanners.
GE launches the UltraScanTM Duo, the first liquid pipeline inspection tool to utilize Phased Array Ultrasound Technology.
Vscan, a handheld, pocket-sized ultrasound technology, helps doctors deliver expanded care to more people, including in rural regions.
The WattStation charges electric vehicles at home or on the road, with an upgradable design that allows customers to stay current with the latest technology.
GE is developing the next evolution of power devices with Silicon Carbide technology.
Thomas Edison and his researchers create a lightbulb filament that can incandesce for 1,200 hours.
GE Research Lab’s William Coolidge creates the tungsten filament.
Coolidge develops the first enclosed X-ray source, the inspiration for many X-ray devices that are used to determine the physical makeup of materials.
GE researcher Katharine Blodgett invents non-reflective glass.
Researchers from GE and RCA demonstrate the first commercial TEM (transmission electron microscope).
Synchrotron radiation is first demonstrated at General Electric Research Laboratory.
GE chemist Dr. Daniel Fox is the co-discoverer of polycarbonate resin.
GE researcher H. Tracy Hall creates the first synthetic diamonds.
Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin walk on the moon wearing boots made from silicon rubber developed by GE.
GE introduces the first jet engine to include components made of lightweight carbon fiber composites.
The LEAP jet engine is the first widely deployed product to feature ceramic matrix composites.