Pratt Dean Bound for Johns Hopkins

October 1, 2007

Another Duke school is facing a change in senior leadership. Kristina M. Johnson, dean of the Pratt School of Engineering since 1999, has taken a post as provost and senior vice president of academic affairs at the Johns Hopkins University.

Johnson came to Duke from the University of Colorado. Under her leadership, Pratt has increased the quality and size of its faculty and student body. Of fifty new faculty members recruited during her tenure, fourteen have won early career "young investigator" awards. The undergraduate student body has grown 20 percent, and some graduate programs have doubled in size. She oversaw the planning, funding, and construction of the 322,000-square-foot Fitzpatrick Center for Interdisciplinary Engineering, Medicine and Applied Sciences. In addition, the school's research expenditures have tripled to $60 million, and the endowment has grown from $20 million to $200 million.

Robert L. Clark, chair of the department of mechanical engineering and materials science and Thomas Lord Professor of mechanical engineering, has been appointed interim dean pending the outcome of a national search for Johnson's successor. A specialist in acoustics and bionanomanufacturing with a Ph.D. from Virginia Tech, Clark is founding director of Duke's Center for Biologically Inspired Materials and Material Systems and was named senior associate dean of Pratt in 2001.

In that position, he has established a more robust research grant preparation and management office and cross-disciplinary initiatives in photonics, bioengineering and biologically inspired materials, and energy and the environment.