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Nikola Lonchar(born November 24, 1954), also known as Nikolai Lonchar, is a Serbian Americans inventor, and organizational founder and president of the Tesla Science Foundation (Serbian: Теслинa научнa фондацијa) based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and is one of the leading promotion (marketing) and patronage of the Nikola_Tesla#Legacy_and_honors of Nikola Tesla in the United States and beyond.
Connected in cultural heritage, interest (emotion), and name to Nikola Tesla, Lonchar participated and presented in, as a boy, inventions exhibitions and fairs in the former Yugoslavia. In the 1980s, he moved to America, always living a mission of spreading knowledge about Tesla. Prior to the Yugoslav Wars, Lonchar returned to Serbia with his family, and tried to develop a business related to security and protection. He was hired by the Institute of Transportation CIP, with which he designed over thirty new products in the security field. The outbreak of war and sanctions forced him to leave everything and return to the United States.</ref></ref>
During frequent visits to his homeland during the difficult 1990s, Lonchar sought to help his compatriots and family, but continued to be driven by his interest in Tesla, and procured many books, handicrafts, and other objects related to Tesla. Through decades of collecting, Lonchar has become the owner of an enviable collection of Tesla-related items.
Today, Lonchar is known as a major contributor to the growing prevalence of Tesla’s legacy. He has helped introduce content about Nikola Tesla and his work into the syllabus of American schools and works tirelessly to improve education related to Nikola Tesla in Serbian and American schools, by founding “Tesla’s Science Clubs” in various schools and universities. Lonchar’s “Tesla Ways” (Serbian: Путевима Тесле”) project will provide users with a software geo-guide through Tesla’s life, in Europe and in America. A monograph and documentary on this are being prepared.
In addition to his first language Serbian (and the languages of Yugoslavia), Lonchar speaks English language, and Russian language.
Lonchar is also a former private investigator (licensed 2001), whose specialty was determining means of illegal entry. Lonchar started a security company in Philadelphia in 1986, and has extensive experience in locks and security systems. Recognizing the shortcomings in security systems, Lonchar created a sophisticated locking device for more efficient burglary detection. For this invention, he was awarded grants from the Ben Franklin Technology Center, State of Pennsylvania, and won the Nikola Tesla Gold Medal.
Lonchar also has an extensive collection of lock and key, sensors, and alarm device, and in his free time works on new product designs, mostly in the field of security. Per his website, Lonchar has over 30 patents.
A member of the National Association of Investigative Specialists, International Association of Investigative Locksmiths, and International Association of Burglary and Auto Theft Investigators.
Tesla Science Foundation
People of similar interests and respect for Nikola Tesla gathered on the scientist’s birthday on July 10, 2004, with the intention of promoting the legacy Tesla left for humanity, and in order to connect inventors interested in Tesla’s work. They founded the Nikola Tesla Inventors Club, which would later be renamed the Nikola Tesla Club, and then, on Christmas Day 2010 (the day of Tesla’s abandonment of earthly life”), officially grew into the Tesla Science Foundation (TSF) (Serbian: Теслинa научнa фондацијa (ТНФ)). The primary objective of the TSF is to spread the legacy of Nikola Tesla and and bring his achievements to as many people as possible, and to help realize Tesla’s vision for a better future for humanity.
Due to his dedicated engagement and contribution, Nikola Lonchar was elected President of the TSF, and to this day advocates for the growing organization, lectures on Tesla’s inventions in American schools, and works to involve the Serbian public. That is why, in 2014, he founded a branch of the TSF in Serbia – Tesla Sicence Foundation Serbia, headquarters in Zemun.
TSF is the initiator of the video platform “TeslaTalk.TV” which broadcasts webinars about Tesla, and the “200 Years of Serbs in America” project, from which the multimedia endeavor “Tesla’s People” (Serbian: “Теслин народ” and the Tesla Nation with a same name in Serbian 2018 in conjunction with the film director Željko Mirković.
Lonchar and TSF are the founders of the international conference “In the Spirit of Tesla” which was held annually since 2012. With the support of the Consulate General of the Republic of Serbia in New York, this prestigious event takes place once a year at the Wyndham New Yorker Hotel in Manhattan, where Tesla lived out the final years of his life. The event includes various activities including art exhibits, lectures, presentations, panel discussions and connects Tesla-related organizations across the world, and awards the “Tesla Spirit Award” to those most deserving for their Tesla-related work.
Within the Tesla Science Foundation, in cooperation with Singidunum University in Belgrade and with the support of relevant organization such as the Organization of Serbian Students Abroad, Lonchar launched the annual “The Diaspora Day” conference in 2016, in an effort to improve relations with the Serbian motherland and diaspora, particularly within the academic community, and worked with the Government of Serbia, and the Politics of Republika Srpska.
It should be mentioned that “Tesla Days” (Serbian: “Теслини дани”) event has been organized by TSF in Philadelphia since 2013, celebrating Tesla’s birthday, and celebrating Tesla’s idea of a clean planet, and free and open energy and communications. The central activity of “Tesla Days” is the March of Energy Independence.
Awards and Recognitions
- Ben Franklin Technology Center Grant
- State of Pennsylvania Grant
- Gold Medal of Nikola Tesla
- American Paradigm Schools Award
- “Nikola Lončar: Teslu dostojno da slavimo” (Glas Srpskе, December 22, 2012)
- “Medijska mreža srpske dijaspore: Američki san” (RTS, April 20, 2019)
- About Tesla Science Foundation on the website of its branch in Serbia
- “Lov na Tesline skice” (Večernje novosti, November 16, 2009)
- “Uvođenje Tesle u američki školski sistem” (VOA, November 21, 2015)
- “Osnivanje Teslinih naučnih klubova u Srbiji” (Tesla Science Foundation Serbia, 2020)
- “Teslolozi sveta, ujedinite se” (Politika, June 11, 2011)
- About Tesla Science Foundation on its website
- About the project TeslaTalk.TV on the website of Tesla Science Foundation
- About the project Tesla’s People on its website
- “‘U duhu Tesle’ osmi put na Menhetnu: Na konferenciji Tesline naučne fondacije predstavljeni projekti o slavnom naučniku” (Kurir, January 13, 2020)
- “Dan dijaspore 2016: Dijaspora i univerzitet” (Singidunum University, July 7, 2016)
- “Dan dijaspore 2017. u Beogradu” (RTS, July 5, 2017)
- “Hiljadu munja Nikole Tesle” (Directorate for Cooperation with the Diaspora and Serbs in the Region, MFA, RS, July 11, 2013)
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