Perseverance: Overcoming Challenges when Developing New Technologies
July 10, 2018 at 2:00 P.M. in the Pearl Young Theater
(video within Langley firewall only)
Mr. Lonnie Johnson is president and founder of Johnson Research and Development Co., Inc., a technology development company, and its spin off companies, Excellatron Solid State, LLC; Johnson Electro- Mechanical Systems, LLC; and Johnson Real Estate Investments, LLC. Excellatron Solid State and Johnson Battery Technologies, Inc. (JBT) are developing revolutionary energy technology. In 1989, Johnson formed his own engineering firm and licensed his most famous invention, the Super Soaker® water gun, to Larami Corporation. Two years later, the Super Soaker®, generated over $200 million in retail sales, and became the number one selling toy in America. Larami Corporation was eventually purchased by Hasbro Corporation, the second largest toy manufacturer in the world. Mr. Johnson will describe how perseverance over time is the key to overcoming challenges while developing very successful technologies.
Mr. Johnson holds a B.S. degree in Mechanical Engineering, an M.S. degree in Nuclear Engineering, and an honorary Ph.D. in Science from Tuskegee University. Upon graduation, he worked as a research engineer at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and then joined the U. S. Air Force, serving as Acting Chief of the Space Nuclear Power Safety Section at the Air Force Weapons Laboratory in Albuquerque, New Mexico. In 1979, he left the Air Force to accept a position as Senior Systems Engineer at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, where he worked on the Galileo mission to Jupiter. Returning to the Air Force in 1982, he served as an Advanced Space Systems Requirements Officer at Strategic Air Command (SAC) headquarters in Omaha, Nebraska. In 1987, he returned to the Jet Propulsion Laboratory where during his nine-year career he received multiple achievement awards from NASA for his work in spacecraft system design. Mr. Johnson holds over 100 patents, with over 20 more pending, and is the author of several publications on spacecraft power systems.