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Johnson named dean of Fulton Schools of Engineering

June 13, 2010

Paul Johnson, executive dean of the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering and professor in the School of Sustainable Engineering and the Built Environment, has been named dean of the Fulton Engineering Schools, effective Jan. 1, 2011. Johnson has been a faculty member at ASU since 1994 and has previously served as the university’s associate vice president for research and as interim dean of Fulton.

He succeeds Dean Deirdre Meldrum, who has been promoted to senior scientist for ASU, also effective Jan. 1, 2011. In this new capacity Meldrum will report to ASU President Michael M. Crow and Elizabeth D. Capaldi, provost and executive vice president, providing leadership on the scientific direction for the university as well as spearheading major national science and engineering initiatives.

“Paul Johnson has been an outstanding senior administrator at ASU, both in engineering and the office of research,” Crow said. “He is ideally positioned to advance the transformation of the Fulton Schools of Engineering from a traditional school of engineering to a new model of education and research that is taking on the national grand challenges facing our world.”

“Paul has received strong and enthusiastic support among the engineering faculty to take over the leadership of the Fulton Schools of Engineering,” Capaldi said. “He has gained the confidence of all by his ability to take the decisive action necessary to build quality and move engineering forward while listening well and incorporating thoughts of others.  He is a highly effective leader who embodies the academic and personal excellence that he inspires in others and is the ideal person to lead engineering.”

“I'm honored to be offered this position and excited by the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead,” Johnson said. “This is a critical time in the evolution of our schools of engineering. Decisions and investments made in the next few years will likely define our trajectory for decades. Dean Meldrum has bravely started us down this new grand challenge-focused path and attracted national attention to the revolutionary transformation of our schools. We will continue on that path to design and build unique schools of engineering distinguished by a commitment to attract and prepare the next generation of engineers, and by the impact of our research and the quality of our faculty, staff and students.”

Johnson received a bachelor's degree in chemical engineering from the University of California-Davis in 1983, and a master's degree and doctorate in chemical engineering from Princeton University in 1984 and 1987, respectively.

He came to ASU as an associate professor in 1994, rising to the rank of full professor in 2003. He later served as associate dean of research at Fulton, university associate vice president of research, and executive dean of Fulton, a position he has held since 2006. His teaching, research and professional activities focus on the application of contaminant fate and transport fundamentals to subsurface remediation and risk assessment problems. He is an expert in soil and groundwater remediation and risk assessment.

Johnson serves as the editor-in-chief for the National Ground Water Association's journal Ground Water Monitoring and Remediation, and on the National Research Council Committee for Future Options for Management in the Nation’s Subsurface Remediation Effort. He is a consultant to industry and federal and state agencies. Before joining ASU, he was a senior research engineer at the Shell Oil Westhollow Technology Center.

The Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering at Arizona State University serve more than 4,000 undergraduates and 2,000 graduate students, providing skills and knowledge for shaping careers marked by innovation and societal impact. Ranked nationally in the top 10 percent among accredited engineering programs, the schools engage in use-inspired research in a multidisciplinary setting for the benefit of individuals, society and the environment.

The schools’ 200-plus faculty members teach and pursue research in areas of electrical, chemical, mechanical, aerospace, civil, environmental and sustainable engineering, as well as bioengineering, computer science and engineering, informatics, decision systems and construction management. The schools of engineering also work in partnership with the School of Arts, Media and Engineering and the School of Earth and Space Exploration, and faculty work collaboratively with the Biodesign Institute at ASU, the School of Sustainability and the Global Institute of Sustainability.