Future of Energy: Kristina Johnson
March 13, 2010 – "Building a Green Energy Economy through Accelerated Innovation"
Kristina Johnson, Under Secretary, U.S. Department of Energy
Kristina M. Johnson, Ph.D. is currently the Under Secretary for Energy at the Department of Energy in Washington, D.C. Prior to her appointment as Under Secretary, Dr. Johnson was Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs at The Johns Hopkins University. She received her B.S., M.S. (with distinction) and Ph.D. in electrical engineering from Stanford University. After a NATO post-doctoral fellowship at Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland, she joined the University of Colorado-Boulder’s faculty in 1985 as an Assistant Professor and was promoted to full Professor in 1994. From 1994 to 1999 Dr. Johnson directed the NSF/ERC for Optoelectronics Computing Systems Center at the University of Colorado and Colorado State University, and then served as Dean of the Pratt School of Engineering at Duke University from 1999 to 2007.
Dr. Johnson was named an NSF Presidential Young Investigator in 1985 and awarded a Fulbright fellowship in 1991. Her awards include the Dennis Gabor Prize for creativity and innovation in modern optics (1993); State of Colorado and North Carolina Technology Transfer Awards (1997, 2001); induction into the Women in Technology International Hall of Fame (2003); the Society of Women Engineers Lifetime Achievement Award (2004); and in May of 2008, the John Fritz Medal, widely considered the highest award in the engineering profession. Previous recipients of the Fritz Medal include Alexander Graham Bell, Thomas Edison and Orville Wright.
Dr. Johnson has 142 refereed papers and proceedings and holds 45 U.S. patents (129 U.S. and international patents) and patents pending. These inventions include pioneering work on liquid crystal on silicon (LCOS) microdisplays and their integration into demonstration and commercial systems such as heads-up automotive displays (HUD); pattern recognition systems for cancer prescreening, object tracking and document processing; HDTV and 3D projection displays; displays brought to the eye and 3D holographic memories. Other inventions include tunable optical filters, spectrometers and color filters, microscope autofocus systems, rechargeable pacemakers and new methods for efficiently licensing intellectual property.
A fellow of the Optical Society of America, IEEE, SPIE and a Fulbright Scholar, Dr. Johnson was a director of SPIE, the International Society for Optical Engineering and has served on the Board of Directors of Mineral Technologies Inc., Boston Scientific Corporation, AES Corporation and Nortel Networks. She helped found several companies, including ColorLink, Inc, SouthEast Techinventures, and Unyos.