Johnson named Associate Dean for Research
"I’m looking forward to the challenge of supporting and growing the amazing research enterprise of the college," Johnson said. "It’s an exciting time for us, and I’m hopeful that my experiences as a faculty member and in the campus research administration will help me to serve The Grainger College of Engineering in this role."
The Office of the Associate Dean for Research is responsible for proactively increasing the visibility and broadening of research collaborations with state, federal, and international agencies as well as industry.
“Enhancing recognition of and growing opportunities for our exceptional research activities is vital to our mission in The Grainger College of Engineering and I have full confidence that Harley will propel us forward in these efforts,” said Rashid Bashir, Dean of The Grainger College of Engineering. “Harley has built a strong record of success over the last 18 years at Illinois. His broad exposure and administrative experience contribute to his knowledge and appreciation of the research activities in the College and an understanding of our broader impact.”
Johnson first joined the Mechanical Science and Engineering Department in 2001 as an assistant professor, was subsequently promoted to associate professor in 2006, and full professor in 2011.
He has earned a number of awards for his research, including the NSF CAREER Award, Fellow status in ASME, the college's Xerox Award for Research, and the ASME’s Thomas J. R. Hughes Award for special achievement in applied mechanics. He served as MechSE Associate Head for Graduate Programs and Research from 2011-2014, and has chaired both the MechSE Faculty Recruiting Committee and the MechSE Promotion and Tenure Committee. At the college level, he recently led the SRI project on building a new materials computation center, which has already resulted in significant DOE and NSF support for this interdisciplinary area in the college.
Johnson has also held significant leadership positions at both the college and campus levels, including the role of Chief Diversity Officer and Equal Employment Opportunity Officer for The Grainger College of Engineering, and Faculty Fellow in the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research. The Faculty Fellow appointment has allowed him to engage with Associate Deans for Research campus-wide, institute directors, and other offices on campus, carrying out special projects to improve the infrastructure for faculty research, and overseeing the campus limited submission process.
He studies the mechanics of electronic and photonic materials, the mechanics of nanostructures, and optical properties of materials. His group works on applications in many areas, including solar energy, microelectronics, sensing and detection, and materials processing. Their work relies on atomistic and continuum modeling methods to simulate multiphysics phenomena, with the goal of helping to design and interpret experiments.