9 May 2013 - PAUL KOURIS -
Kouris in his Barrister's Chambers, 2012
Australian Inventor -
Once again, I've been
fortunate to come across another multi-skilled person - Paul
Kouris. I recently featured a Barrister from Athens, Greece.
Well, Paul is a top Australian Barrister who originally came
from Greece, but he is also a successful inventor. Paul
completed his Articles at Galbally & O'Bryan,
one of Australia's eminent law practices, having worked in
Greece as a Legal Consultant for a public company. He has been
in continuous practice at the Victorian Bar since 1981 and is
also admitted to the New South Wales Bar.
He conducts a mixed practice with a Civil Law emphasis
concentrating on Contractual Law, Employment Law and property
damage generally; the balance being in Criminal Law. The
Magistrates' Court jurisdiction is considered a speciality.
Welcome Paul. Now, leave the law
aside for the moment and ...
TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT
YOURSELF AND YOUR JOURNEY AS AN INVENTOR.
I am a Barrister by Profession and
an Inventor by Avocation ... both blessed and cursed with an
As a Barrister and as an Inventor
I often find myself waking up in the middle of the night with
something I must write down.
My journey as an inventor has been
as Thomas Edison warned, 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration.
Today my higher purpose is the
Kouris Centri Turbine Generator (KCT), the world's first
patented vortex turbine, operating from the spin as distinct
from the fall of water.
I had my epiphany in 1975 when I was at Monash University
studying Philosophy and Law.
The KCT 5kw
transportable, commercial prototype at its unveiling on
25/10/2012; 2m deep and 2m diameter with a 40cm inlet/outlet,
expected to produce 5kw with 300-500 L/sec.
OPEC had monopolised energy,
and I was arguing with some science students about renewable
energy and their solemn obligation to save the planet. I
returned to the house I was sharing, found a sink full of
dishes, washed them, drained the water, gazed at the resulting
vortex and suddenly visualised the KCT.
What followed was an extraordinary journey
of discovery, self discovery, persistence and hard work.
I have always felt that the idea has come
through me rather than from me.
That I was the messenger, not the inventor.
That it was a discovery not a creation.
WERE YOU DREAMING ABOUT INVENTIONS AS A KID?
In fact I was. I regularly found myself experiencing
revelations. I still vividly remember grade 5 at Black Rock
Primary School and Mr Watt, asking the class if anyone had any
I put my hand up and told the class that it
would be a good idea if clothes were made out of electric
blankets. Of course everyone went hysterical with laughter,
and I returned to my seat humiliated.
The following week Mr Watt came to class
with an article from Scientific American explaining how the
Astronauts wore suits incorporating the concept of an electric
blanket to maintain an even body temperature.
That's when I learnt that
he who laughs last, laughs loudest and longest.
WHEN AND HOW DID YOU BECOME AN INVENTOR?
I have had an inventive mind as long as I can remember,
but I came of age with the KCT.
It's said that the definition of innovation is using existing
technology in an unexpected way to achieve the unexpected.
My life changed the day in 1975 I realised
that by moving a conventional turbine from its horizontal axis
onto its vertical axis within a vortex, all its blades would
be submerged and the output would be at least doubled.
WHAT DO YOU ENJOY MOST ABOUT BEING AN INVENTOR?
The opportunity to make a real difference to the lives of
ordinary people. To leave the world better than I found it,
and the privilege of being allowed to touch the face of
WHAT IS THE HARDEST THING ABOUT BEING AN INVENTOR?
Dealing with the constant scepticism, the vested
interests, the resistance to change and the need to be
Paul Kouris congratulating
Rohan Searle standing atop the Commercial Prototype at the
unveiling on 25/10/2012.
HAVE YOU GOT ANY PATENTS FOR YOUR
Yes I now have 18 international
patents for the KCT, but it has been a long and difficult
process over 12 years, as each country is a sovereign state
and each must independently grant your patent. Contrary to
popular belief there is no World Patent. Each Patent Office
must independently decide if the invention meets the 4
standard tests for patentability:
a) is it manufacturable?
b) does it have an inventive step?
c) is it novel?
d) does it have utility?
Patents last for 20 years, and
over the years patentable improvements have been made to the
KCT, whereby the process starts again.
Innovation is a never ending
HOW MANY HOURS A WEEK DO YOU SPEND ON
I find myself setting aside one
court day a week for the KCT and countless hours of free time.
I am a Greek Australian. We
have a saying. You can't put 2 watermelons under one arm. My
watermelons are my practice and my project. Regrettably I am
WHAT WERE YOU IN A PAST LIFE, BEFORE
YOU BECAME AN INVENTOR?
I come from a retailing family and
worked in my father's clothes shops when I was at high school.
At university I paid my way as a martial arts instructor, a
photographer, and the Clubs Liaison Officer for the campus.
After graduating I was a
legal advisor for a company in Greece. Then returned to
Australia and completed my articles in Melbourne. I was called
to the Victorian Bar in 1981. Finally I decided to pursue a
patent in 1996 for the invention I had discovered in 1975, but
kept secret for 20 years. In 2000 my first patent was granted
in the USA and my life changed.
WHAT IS YOUR GREATEST ACHIEVEMENT?
As an Inventor, undoubtedly
discovering the KCT.
A device that will light
people's homes, irrigate their fields, and feed their
children. That will help provide clean green economical power
to the 1.6 billion people worldwide who have no electricity.
That will address both Global Warming and the Energy Crisis.
WHAT ARE YOU WORKING ON AT THE
Patenting for global use a new
plastic economical and transportable KCT that can be easily
used in the third world.
WHAT INSPIRES YOU?
Positive, passionate, imaginative
WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE TO INVENT?
A KCT that could be used by everyone
with access to water, regardless of where they lived and how
much money they had.
DO YOU HAVE ANY TIPS FOR EMERGING
Persistence, not talent, is the
secret to success. There is nothing more common in this world
than talented unsuccessful people.
HOW DO YOU FIT THIS WORK INTO YOUR
Fortunately I am a self employed
Barrister, which makes it possible to allocate my time, even
if I can't put 2 watermelons under one arm.
DO YOU HAVE A FAVOURITE PLACE TO
I am inspired by my chambers,
surrounded by my books, my files, my newspaper articles pinned
to the wall, my framed patents and my vortex model.
IS YOUR GREATEST JOY IN YOUR WORK?
As a Barrister helping ordinary
people. As an Inventor, improving the lives of ordinary
WHO IS YOUR FAVOURITE INVENTOR AND
Thomas Edison because he
demonstrated that simple ideas can be world changing. As he
said...Nothing is stronger than idea whose time has come.
WHAT’S THE GREATEST COMPLIMENT YOU
That I was a modern Archimedes.
WHAT WAS THE WORST COMMENT YOU EVER
By a Physicist from an English University. That my vortex
turbine idea was the hydro equivalent of Cold Fusion and would
WRITERS ARE SOMETIMES INFLUENCED BY
THINGS THAT HAPPEN IN THEIR OWN LIVES. ARE YOU?
Yes. When I was 14, I met Walter
Funke, an Inventor who was building a revolutionary yacht with
a rotating sail. It was in his front yard and I passed it each
day when I walked to school. One day I stopped to talk to him.
We became friends and I helped him finish his brain child.
He was a wonderfully colourful
man, a wise mentor and an eccentric genius. A great
inspiration. Regrettably the yacht on its first trial got
caught in a storm and sank in Port Phillip Bay. He went
straight back to the workshop.
Walter taught me the
importance of optimism and persistence.
HAVE YOU WON ANY PRIZES OR AWARDS?
In 2001 I was honoured by The
Australian newspaper as one of Australia's top new Innovators,
because of the KCT.
In 2002 I was
recognised by Who's Who of the 21st Century as the inventor of
The Barrister and inventor
Most recently I was recognised in the 2011 Hellenic Australian
Chamber of Commerce and Industry Excellence Awards.
WHAT DID THEY MEAN TO YOU?
A realisation that others also recognised the importance
of the KCT.
OTHER THAN INVENTIONS, WHAT ELSE DO YOU LOVE?
Ahead of the KCT and innovation, my wife, my children and
my family, whose support has always been unfailing.
WHAT WOULD YOU SAY TO ALL WORLD LEADERS IF YOU HAD THE
Global Warming is the greatest challenge facing the planet
since the last Ice Age and renewable energy is our lifeboat.
Act now. It's too late to start building a lifeboat when the
ship is sinking.
DESCRIBE YOUR PERFECT DAY.
As a parent, when my wife and I see our children achieve
As a Barrister when I win my case.
As an Inventor when I see an idea realised.
WHAT ARE YOUR PLANS FOR THE FUTURE?
To become financially independent so that I can address
the needs of children in the third world.
HAVE YOU MET SOME GREAT PEOPLE ALONG THE WAY?
Absolutely. It's as if supporters have been guided to me,
and I to them. Both here and overseas. Extraordinary
serendipity has often occurred.
From engineers to manufacturers, academics,
investors, journalists and the media. Captains of industry,
politicians, and government officials.
Now most recently my
champion, my Exclusive Licensee, Rohan Searle, President of
the Searle Group of Companies. He is an Engineer. This
remarkable man is responsible for manufacturing the KCT, and
commercialising it both nationally and internationally.
Rohan has been described as a modern Apollo, bringing light
where there is now only darkness.
Domestic Pilot Plant, Oct 2008
Early last year he stumbled across
my Marysville Pilot Plant and then found me.
We share the same vision, and but for the KCT,
our paths would not have crossed.
HOW DO YOU PROMOTE YOURSELF?
By discussing the KCT with anyone
that will listen.
By never assuming someone cannot help the
project either directly or indirectly.
By approaching the media.
WHAT HAS BEEN THE MOST SUCCESSFUL
Firstly, word of mouth, which
invariably leads me to the media.
Secondly, my Pilot Plant, which invariably
changes hearts and minds.
Finally, my website which invariably leads
supporters to me.
DO YOU MENTOR OTHERS?
I have in the past, to Engineers,
through the Monash University Mentoring program.
DO SOME FOLKS CONSIDER YOU AS A
Yes, starting with my wife.
ANYTHING YOU’D LIKE TO ADD?
In the endless passage of time,
people come and go but great ideas last forever.
I urge anyone interested in the KCT to visit Paul's website,
video, gallery and powerpoint presentation.
They are all most impressive.
DEMONSTRATION VIDEO: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GwqwLoc93ZI