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Harley Johnson

Professor and Associate Dean for Research, Grainger College of Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

"I am so pleased to be involved with ERVA, which will play a critical role in providing direction to the national agenda for engineering research that positively impacts society and the world. The nation’s major engineering research universities must remain agile and engaged with an ever-growing network of partners, even while contributing our own important perspectives to the conversations that ERVA facilitates."

About Harley Johnson

Harley T. Johnson is a Professor of Mechanical Science and Engineering and the Associate Dean for Research in the Grainger College of Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. As Associate Dean, his office oversees and supports the UIUC engineering research enterprise, consisting of approximately $240M in annual research expenditures, carried out by more than 500 faculty members. In this role, he leads research development, corporate relations, faculty development, major external partnerships, and all aspects of research administration across the college.

Dr. Johnson’s research interests are in the mechanics of electronic materials. He studies the effects of strain and deformation on functional properties of microelectronic and optical materials including silicon, carbon, group III-V materials, and 2D materials. He has authored or co-authored approximately 100 archival journal articles with members of his research group, who have gone on to successful careers in academia, industry, and national labs. He currently serves as Director and PI of the “DIGI-MAT" Program in Materials and Data Science at Illinois, an NSF NRT training grant program that supports approximately 30 PhD students across multiple departments.

Prior to his service as Associate Dean for Research in engineering, Dr. Johnson was the inaugural Faculty Fellow in the UIUC Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research. His numerous awards for research, teaching, and leadership include the NSF CAREER award, the ASME Thomas J. R. Hughes Young Investigator Award for Special Achievement in Applied Mechanics, and the Fulbright U.S. Scholar Award. He has received the University of Illinois Outstanding Faculty Leadership Award, the Larine Y. Cowan Award for Leadership in Diversity, and the UI System Presidential Medallion for exemplary service during the Covid pandemic. Johnson earned his undergraduate degree at Georgia Tech, and masters and Ph.D. degrees at Brown University. Prior to joining UIUC, he was an assistant professor at Boston University. He is a Fellow of both ASME and SES.

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