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tennessee technological university

Mechanical Engineering

Professor of Mechanical Engineering



  • Internal Combustion Engines
  • Alternative Fuels & Powertrains for Ground Vehicles
  • Thermodynamics


  • BSME with High Distinction from Worcester Polytechnic Institute in 1973
  • MSME from Georgia Institute of Technology in 1974 (selected as a President's Fellow at Georgia Tech)
  • Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from Vanderbilt University in 1978 (selected as a Harold S. Vanderbilt Graduate Scholar at Vanderbilt)


Dr. Johnson is an elected Fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers International. He received a BSME at WPI in 1973, an MSME at Georgia Tech in 1974, and a Ph.D. from Vanderbilt in 1978. He worked as a staff Engineer in the Machine Design Section at Tennessee Eastman (a Division of Kodak at the time) from 1974 to 1976. He has served on the Mechanical Engineering faculties of Vanderbilt, University of Virginia, University of Michigan (Ann Arbor), University of Dayton, and Tennessee Technological University. He held tenured appointments at Vanderbilt, Michigan, Dayton, and TTU, and served as Director of the Design Lab in Mechanical Engineering & Applied Mechanics at Michigan, as Chair of Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering at UD, and as Dean of the College of Engineering at TTU. He is currently Professor of Mechanical Engineering at TTU, and a Member of The Combustion Institute, ASME, SAE, Sigma Xi, Phi Kappa Phi, Tau Beta Pi, and Pi Tau Sigma.

Dr. Johnson has held appointments on the editorial staffs of J. Mechanism and Machine Theory, J. Mechanisms, Transmissions, and Automation in Design, and J. Mechanical Design. He is a former chair of the ASME Design Engineering Division, former chair of the ASME Design Automation Committee, and former chair of numerous ASME sponsored Design Engineering Technical Conferences. He is also a former member of the ASME Board on Communications, the ASME Publications Committee, and a former chair of the Nashville Section of ASME. He is a past winner of the SAE Ralph Teeter Award and served for 11 years as the Mechanical Engineering Representative to the Tennessee State Board of Boiler Rules. He was registered as a Mechanical Engineering in Virginia and Tennessee for over 30 years and currently maintains retired PE status in Tennessee.

Dr. Johnson has been PI or co-PI on numerous research projects sponsored by the National Science Foundation, the USDOT, the US Army, and various corporate entitities. Total dollar value of projects supervised exceeds $4M. He has served as an Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology Mechanical Engineering Program Visitor, and has also served as a Member of a SACS university level accreditation team. He is an accomplished author with many refereed journal articles on subjects related to machine design, modeling of mechanical systems, optimization theory and appications, and dynamics of multi-body systems. He contributes book reviews to CHOICE.


Energy conversion Engineering » Mechanical Systems

Internal Combustion Engines, Alternative Fuels & Powertrains for Ground Transportation, Theoretical and Numerical Combustion, Thermodynamics Principles and Applications.

Noise and Vibration Analysis and Control Engineering » Mechanical Systems Optimal Design of Mechanical Devices and Systems Engineering » Mechanical Systems