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  • Provost Picked for Power Post
Mar 2009
BALTIMORE, Md., March 13, 2009 -- Johns Hopkins University Provost and electrical engineer Kristina M. Johnson will be nominated to serve as undersecretary of the Department of Energy, President Barack Obama announced yesterday.

KristinaJohnson.jpgIf confirmed by the Senate as expected, Johnson will be responsible for leading administration initiatives aimed at promoting energy efficiency and for developing solar and wind power, geothermal energy, clean car technology and other forms of renewable, green energy.

Johnson is known for pioneering work in the field of “smart pixel arrays,” liquid crystal on silicon (LCOS) microdisplays and their integration into systems such as head-up displays (HUD) for automobiles, pattern recognition systems for cancer prescreening, object tracking and document processing, HDTV and 3-D projection displays, and 3-D holographic memories. She has 129 US and foreign patents, has co-founded several startup companies and published more than 140 articles.

Johnson has been provost and senior vice president for academic affairs at Hopkins since 2007, and the university credits her for strengthening its research and education activities. She is Hopkins’ 12th provost and the first woman to hold its second-ranking position. In 1999, she was named dean of Duke University’s Pratt School of Engineering, where she helped to set up interdisciplinary efforts in photonics, bioengineering and biologically inspired materials, and energy and the environment.

She was on the faculty at the University of Colorado, Boulder, from 1985 to 1999, earning a National Science Foundation (NSF) Young Investigator Award and winning promotion to professor. From 1993 to 1997, she directed an NSF Engineering Research Center for Optoelectronic Computing Systems, run jointly by Colorado and Colorado State.

Johnson was awarded the 2007 John Fritz Medal, considered the highest award in engineering, for “her internationally acknowledged expertise in optics, optoelectronic switching and display technology.” Also in 2007, she was elected a SPIE fellow; she also is a fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers and the Optical Society of America. In 2003, she was inducted into the Women in Technology International Hall of Fame. In 2004, she won the Achievement Award of the Society of Women Engineers.

“Provost Johnson’s record makes clear her passion for harnessing interdisciplinary collaboration to address society’s most urgent social and scientific problems,” said Johns Hopkins President Ron Daniels in a statement. “Her experience, creativity and commitment to fostering interdisciplinary collaboration will contribute powerfully to the administration’s efforts aimed at addressing global warming and other major energy-related problems.”

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Pertaining to optics and the phenomena of light.
The technology of generating and harnessing light and other forms of radiant energy whose quantum unit is the photon. The science includes light emission, transmission, deflection, amplification and detection by optical components and instruments, lasers and other light sources, fiber optics, electro-optical instrumentation, related hardware and electronics, and sophisticated systems. The range of applications of photonics extends from energy generation to detection to communications and...
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