Michael David Johns was named Vice President of the Engineering division in 2004 and has more than 25 years of engineering management experience at Southern Research. Johns has directed and managed high-profile research and commercial projects in the advanced aerospace materials sector and currently leads teams of researchers working in electromechanical systems and integration, aerospace engineering, materials engineering, automotive engineering, nuclear engineering, artificial intelligence and machine learning, directed energy, advanced manufacturing, cybersecurity, and computational sciences.
Johns received his bachelor’s degree, magna cum laude, in mechanical engineering from The University of Alabama (UA), and he received a Master in Business Administration from UA. In 2009, he became a distinguished engineering fellow at UA. He is an active member on the engineering leadership boards of UA and the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB). He also serves on the mechanical engineering advisory boards of UA and UAB, the Science and Technology Honors Program board at UAB, the STEM Path to the MBA board at UA, and serves on the president’s council at the University of Alabama at Huntsville. He also serves on the NASA National Advisory Council, Technology Innovation and Engineering Committee. He was named Engineer of the Year by the Engineering Council of Birmingham in 2016 and was inducted into the Alabama Engineering Hall of Fame in 2020.