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Nathan Johnson

Nathan Johnson

Assistant Professor, The Polytechnic School, Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering

nathanjohnson@asu.edu

480-727-5271

The Polytechnic School
Arizona State University, Polytechnic campus
7171 E Sonoran Arroyo Mall, Peralta 330
Mesa, AZ 85212

Titles

  • Senior Sustainability Scientist, Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability
  • Assistant Professor, The Polytechnic School, Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering

Biography

Dr. Nathan Johnson is an assistant professor in The Polytechnic School of the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering at Arizona State University. He is an active researcher and teacher of sustainable and resilient energy systems. Through his work, Dr. Johnson designs, optimizes, builds, and tests energy innovations to address challenges around the world. This work includes fundamental scientific research and applied engineering projects to help bridge the gap between academic research and commercialization.

Dr. Johnson’s research team of 20 people incorporates skillsets from six disciplinary backgrounds within his direction of the Laboratory for Energy And Power Solutions (LEAPS). His team actively collaborates with universities, national laboratories, industry, and non-governmental organizations.

Arizona State University recognizes Dr. Johnson as a senior sustainability scientist in recognition for his globally focused sustainability efforts. He has spent over two years of field research in developing countries seeking to address energy needs for emerging market economies and the rural poor. He is active within the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE).

Research Areas

Dr. Johnson’s research team is organized into three synergistic cohorts on the below technical themes. These themes incorporate both on-grid and off-grid projects, with learning advancing the curve of research for application to industrialized countries and emerging economies. More details on research laboratories and projects are available here.

  • High Penetration Renewables – Pushing the limit of renewables penetration in the United States, industrialized countries and islands, and emerging economies. Work focused on distributed energy resources, commonly including solar PV backed by various forms of storage and load management. This is extended through distribution network modeling and grid-level simulations of renewables intermittency and mitigation strategies through learning and adaptive control. Further work completed in hybrid power system design to select the appropriate mix of renewable and nonrenewable generators, storage devices, and load control capabilities when considering the effect of dynamic renewable resources, human behavior, grid rate structures, and other factors. Several projects involving concentrating solar power are researched at larger scale with systems analysis incorporating techno-economic modeling and optimization.
  • Micro-Grids and Building Energy Systems – Designing and developing micro-grids for on-grid and off-grid applications. Micro-grid work centers on system sizing and component selection, energy management algorithm design, component testing, and system integration and deployment. Research also centers on self-organizing and adaptive controls for distributed energy resource management with “plug-and-play” micro-grids. Building energy systems research is similar to micro-grid work yet also involves thermal considerations, user comfort, energy management system design, and communications between the building, utility, and third party technology providers. Current applications include residential units, commercial facilities, and campuses.
  • Complex Systems Modeling and Optimization – Developing data-driven models and analysis software for exploring complex systems dynamics. Creating customizable analytical and decision-support tools using a combination of external software tools, in-house software tools, and interactive user interfaces. Some examples include infrastructure interdependency simulation for exploring resiliency theory and practice, and also electrical generation and distribution network simulation during normal operating conditions, environmental stressors, and anthropogenic events. Much of this work is open source to facilitate open discussion and scientific inquiry.

Education

  • PhD, Mechanical Engineering, Iowa State University, 2012
  • MS, International Development, Iowa State University, 2008
  • MS, Mechanical Engineering, Iowa State University, 2005
  • BS, Mechanical Engineering, Iowa State University, 2004

Expertise

External Links

Journal Articles

2018

Budama, V. K., N. G. Johnson, A. McDaniel, I. Ermanoski and E. B. Stechel. 2018. Thermodynamic development and design of a concentrating solar thermochemical water-splitting process for co-production of hydrogen and electricity. International Journal of Hydrogen Energy 43(37):17,574-17,587. DOI: 10.1016/j.ijhydene.2018.07.151. (link )

2017

Burillo, D., M. V. Chester, B. Ruddell and N. Johnson. 2017. Electricity demand planning forecasts should consider climate non-stationarity to maintain reserve margins during heat waves. Applied Energy 206(Nov):267-277. DOI: 10.1016/j.apenergy.2017.08.141. (link )

2015

Johnson, N. G. and K. M. Bryden. 2015. Field-based safety guidelines for solid fuel household cookstoves in developing countries. Energy for Sustainable Development 25(April):56-66. DOI: 10.1016/j.esd.2015.01.002. (link )

Miller, C. A., C. Altamirano-Allende, N. Johnson and M. Agyemang. 2015. The social value of mid-scale energy in Africa: Redefining value and redesigning energy to reduce poverty. Energy Research & Social Science 5(January):67-69. DOI: 10.1016/j.erss.2014.12.013. (link )

2013

Johnson, N. G. and K. M. Bryden. 2013. Clearing the air over cookstoves. Demand 1(1):8-13.

2012

Johnson, N. G. and K. M. Bryden. 2012. Energy supply and use in a rural West African village. Energy 43(1):283-292. DOI: 10.1016/j.energy.2012.04.028. (link )

Johnson, N. G. and K. M. Bryden. 2012. Factors affecting fuelwood consumption in household cookstoves in an isolated rural West African village. Energy 46(1):310-321. DOI: 10.1016/j.energy.2012.08.019. (link )

Book Chapters

2014

Diekman, S., D. Pope, H. Falk, M. Ballesteros, M. Dherani, N. Bruce, D. Meddings, N. G. Johnson and M. Bryden. 2014. Burns, scalds and poisoning. WHO Indoor Air Quality Guidelines: Household Fuel Consumption. World Health Organization.

Conference Papers

2015

Agyemang, M. and N. G. Johnson. 2015. Development of biomass energy technologies and business models for southern Africa. Proceedings of the 2015 ASME International Design Engineering and Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference. 2015 ASME International Design Engineering and Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference. Boston, MA.

Janko, S. A., B. T. Gorman, U. P. Singh and N. G. Johnson. 2015. High penetration residential solar photovoltaics and the effect of dust storms on system net load. Proceedings of the 2015 ASME International Design Engineering and Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference. 2015 ASME International Design Engineering and Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference. Boston, MA.

Reilly, K. M., M. T. Birner and N. G. Johnson. 2015. Measuring air quality using wireless self-powered devices. Proceedings of the 2015 IEEE Global Humanitarian Technology Conference. 2015 IEEE Global Humanitarian Technology Conference. Seattle, Washington.

2014

Carberry, A., N. G. Johnson and M. Henderson. 2014. A practice-then-apply scaffolding approach to engineering design education. Pp. 1-3 Proceedings of the 2014 IEEE Frontiers in Educaiton Conference (FIE). 2014 IEEE Frontiers in Educaiton Conference (FIE). Madrid. (link )

Johnson, N. G. and M. Granato. 2014. Single cell battery charger for portable electronic devices in developing countries. Pp. V02AT03A048 Proceedings of ASME 2014 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference. 40th Design Automation Conference. (link )

McComb, C., P. S. Santaeufemia, N. G. Johnson and K. Shimada. 2014. Identifying technical and economic improvements to the MoneyMaker Hip pump through multi-objective optimization. Pp. 338-344 Proceedings of the 2014 IEEE Global Humanitarian Technology Conference (GHTC). 2014 IEEE Global Humanitarian Technology Conference (GHTC). San Jose, CA. (link )

Santaeufemia, P. S., N. G. Johnson, C. McComb and K. Shimada. 2014. Improving irrigation in remote areas: Multi-objective optimization or a treadle pump. Pp. V02AT03A039 Proceedings of the ASME 2014 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference. 40th Design Automation Conference. Buffalo, NY. (link )

2013

Johnson, N. G. and K. M. Bryden. 2013. Establishing consumer need and preference for design of village cooking stoves. ASME Proceedings: 39th Design Automation Conference. ASME 2013 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference. Portland, OR. (link )

Johnson, N. G., J. W. Glassmire and P. D. Lilienthal. 2013. Techno-economic design of off-grid domestic lighting solutions using HOMER. ASME Proceedings: 39th Design Automation Conference. ASME 2013 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference. Portland, OR. (link )

2012

Johnson, N. G. and K. M. Bryden. 2012. The impact of cookstove adoption and replacement on fuelwood savings. Proceedings of Global Humanitarian Technology Conference (GHTC), 2012 IEEE. Global Humanitarian Technology Conference (GHTC), 2012 IEEE. Seattle, Washington. (link )

Johnson, N. G., J. W. Glassmire and P. D. Lilienthal. 2012. Comparing power system architectures for domestic lighting in isolated rural villages with HOMER. Pp. 375 - 380 Global Humanitarian Technology Conference (GHTC), 2012 IEEE . Global Humanitarian Technology Conference (GHTC), 2012 IEEE . Seattle, WA. (link )

2011

Bryden, K. M. and N. G. Johnson. 2011. Understanding rural village energy needs and design constraints. ASME Proceedings: 37th Design Automation Conference. ASME 2011 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference. Washington, D.C.. (link )

Johnson, N. G., P. Lilienthal and T. Schoechle. 2011. Modeling distributed premises-based renewables integration using HOMER. Proceedings of Grid - Interop 2011. Grid - Interop 2011: Implementing Interoperability. Phoenix. Arizona. (link )

2006

Ashlock, D. A., K. M. Bryden and N. G. Johnson. 2006. Evolutionary Voronoi image segmentation. Proceedings of the 2006 Artificial Neural Networks in Engineering Conference. 2006 Artificial Neural Networks in Engineering Conference. Rolla, Missouri.

Ashlock, D. A., K. M. Bryden and N. G. Johnson. 2006. Evolvable threaded controllers for a multi-agent grid robot task. Proceedings of the 2006 Artificial Neural Networks in Engineering Conference. 2006 Artificial Neural Networks in Engineering Conference. Rolla, Missouri. (link )

Johnson, N. G., A. Hallam, S. Conway and M. Bryden. 2006. Sustainable and market-based analyses of cooking technologies in developing countries. Pp. 207-214 Proceedings of ASME 2006 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition. ASME 2006 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition. Chicago, IL. (link )

Johnson, N. G., A. Hallem, S. Conway and M. Bryden. 2006. Sustainable and market-based analyses of cooking technologies in developing countries. ASME Proceedings: Technology and Society. ASME 2006 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition. Chicago, Illinois. (link )

Johnson, N. G., B. Karthikeyan, D. A. Ashlock and K. M. Bryden. 2006. AMoEBA image segmentation: Modeling of individual Voronoi tessellations. Pp. 2127-2133 Proceedings of 2006 IEEE Congress on Evolutionary Computation. 2006 IEEE Congress on Evolutionary Computation. Vancouver, British Columbia. (link )

Johnson, N. G., Y. Lu, R. Mazur, J. Han and K. M. Bryden. 2006. Community leadership for sustainability of bio-renewable cooking technologies in rural China. Proceedings of the 3rd International Conference on Environmental Enhancement and Sustainable Development. 3rd International Conference on Environmental Enhancement and Sustainable Development. Hohhot, Inner Mongolia, China.

2005

Johnson, N. G., M. Bryden and A. Xiao. 2005. Risk analysis and safety evaluation of biomass cookstoves. Proceedings of the ASME 2005 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition. ASME 2005 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition. Orlando, Florida. (link )