Dr. Lonnie Johnson
Founder and Chairman of the Board
Dr. Lonnie Johnson is a former NASA engineer who helped develop some of our nation’s most advanced space systems. Although he has devoted his life to solving some of the world’s most complex technological problems, he is best known for his wildly popular invention, the Super Soaker water gun. Dr. Johnson is a prolific inventor and holds more than 150 patents, which include advanced technologies in energy, consumer products and toys. Dr. Johnson is founder and President of Johnson Research & Development (JRD), Johnson Battery Technologies (JBT) and Johnson STEM Activity Center (JSAC). Dr. Johnson holds a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering and a master’s in Nuclear Engineering from Tuskegee University and honorary doctorates from Tuskegee University and the University of Indiana.
Dr. Johnson, a bonafide rocket scientist, has worked on the Stealth Bomber, The Voyager mission, Galileo mission to Jupiter, the Cassini Mission to Saturn and the Mars Observer. He has received numerous honors including two Air Force Commendation Medals, an Air Force Achievement Medal and a number of NASA awards.
Dr. Johnson is an inductee of the Engineering Hall of Fame by the State of Alabama, the first African American ever to obtain such an honor in the state’s history. Popular Mechanics magazine awarded his invention, the JTEC, a “Breakthrough Award for one of the World’s Top 10 Inventions”. He is a recipient of the Trumpet Award for his life’s work and his dedication to mentoring students. His Atlanta based, Johnson STEM Activity Center serves thousands of students per year. He is a member of the Board of Directors of the FIRST Robotics program, is a Southeast Region Trustee of The Boys and Girls Clubs of America and a member of the 100 Black Men of Atlanta. He has been featured in countless magazines and news articles and has appeared on numerous programs.