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Barry W. Johnson

ERVA Co-Principal Investigator
L.A. Lacy Distinguished Professor of Engineering
University of Virginia

“ERVA will achieve its goals through the engagement of a diverse, inclusive, and multidisciplinary engineering and science community to ensure that the best ideas are identified, regardless of their source.”

About Barry W. Johnson

Barry W. Johnson earned his bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees in electrical engineering from the University of Virginia, where he currently serves as the L. A. Lacy Distinguished Professor of Engineering. He previously served as UVA’s senior associate dean in the School of Engineering and Applied Science, where one of his responsibilities was strategic partnerships. In this role, he served as the founding director of the Commonwealth Center for Advanced Manufacturing, a research partnership involving five universities, 28 companies, and NASA.

Prior to joining the University of Virginia, Johnson worked as a research engineer for Harris Corporation in its government aerospace systems division.

In 2001, he founded Privaris, Inc., a biometrics security company. While on leave from the University of Virginia from 2002 to 2006, he served as the company’s chairman and CEO; he continued to serve as chairman until the company’s sale was completed in 2017.

From March 2015 to January 2019, Johnson served an assignment at the National Science Foundation as the director of the division of industrial innovation and partnerships. The IIP division is responsible for several NSF programs, including Industry University Cooperative Research Centers, Innovation Corps (I-Corps™), Partnerships for Innovation, Grant Opportunities for Academic Liaison with Industry, Small Business Innovation Research, and Small Business Technology Transfer. During his time at NSF, he also served as acting assistant director responsible for the directorate for engineering.

Johnson is a fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers for his contributions to fault-tolerant computing. He is also a fellow of the National Academy of Inventors for his contributions to invention and innovation in computer system safety and security, including biometric-based identity verification. His major awards include the 1992 C. Holmes MacDonald Outstanding Young Electrical Engineering Professor Award from Eta Kappa Nu, the 1991 Frederick Emmons Terman Award from the American Society for Engineering Education, a 1992 Alan Berman Research Publications Award from the Department of the Navy, a 1990 Outstanding Faculty Award from the State Council of Higher Education in Virginia, a 1997 David A. Harrison Outstanding Faculty Award from the University of Virginia, the 2011 Outstanding Faculty Award from the University of Virginia Engineering Foundation, and the 2019 Distinguished Service Award of the National Science Foundation. He is the author of two books, nine book chapters and more than 150 journal and conference articles. He is also an inventor on 40 issued patents and more than 20 applications pending.

Meet more of our Executive Committee

ERVA Principal Investigator
Lowber B. Strange Endowed Chair in Engineering
Vice President for Knowledge Enterprise
The Ohio State University
ERVA Co-Principal Investigator
President and CEO
ERVA Executive Director
Technical Fellow
Program Director, Office of Emerging Frontiers and Multidisciplinary Activities (EFMA), National Science Foundation (NSF) Directorate for Engineering (ENG)
Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Programs and Professor of Biological and Agricultural Engineering
Carl R. Ice College of Engineering
Kansas State University
ERVA Co-Principal Investigator
L.A. Lacy Distinguished Professor of Engineering
University of Virginia
ERVA Co-Principal Investigator
Senior Vice President
Booz Allen Hamilton
ERVA Co-Principal Investigator
Distinguished Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering and Associate Dean for Research and Innovation - School of Engineering
University of New Mexico
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