James J. Johnson, Ph.D., P.E., F.ASCE, president of James J. Johnson and Associates (JJJA) and an independent consultant, has been named a Fellow by the ASCE Board of Direction.
Johnson specializes in risk management consulting for operational and personnel risks due to natural hazards (earthquakes, wind storms, floods, etc.), terrorist perils (such as aircraft impact, vehicle and other bombs, and chemical and biological agent releases), and internally generated hazards (fires, explosions, chemical spills, etc.). He formed JJJA in 2001 and regularly assembles and manages teams of experts to address complex multi- and interdisciplinary issues and problems, drawing from an extensive group of colleagues for team composition.
Prior to JJJA, he was executive vice president and chief operating officer of EQE International (EQE), at the time the fourth-largest independent risk management consulting firm in the U.S., as rated by Business Insurance. He served as a member of the Board of Directors and was a key member of the EQE management team from 1986 to 2001. During a portion of that time, he was also president and chief operating officer of EQECAT Inc., a catastrophe risk modeling and consulting company – a joint venture company with Guy Carpenter & Co. From 1980 to 1986, he was a vice president of Structural Mechanics Associates and before that was in various positions around the U.S., including several times as project manager.
Johnson’s practice is stateside and international. His focus is on multidisciplinary phenomena and their evaluations, for example, external event risk assessments of critical facilities. He provides consulting services to owners, operators, regulators, and the public on an unbiased and independent basis. He has more than 45 years of experience in design and evaluation of critical facilities, including risk analysis for natural and human-induced hazards. Internationally, he has worked extensively with the IAEA on standards and guidelines development, training, and review missions to countries with nuclear facilities.
He has been involved in the investigation, evaluation, and reconciliation of critical facilities’ performance compared against design basis when subjected to beyond-design-basis events (BDBEs). BDB earthquakes – ground motion and concomitant effects – have been the most prevalent hazards to critical facilities for decades, an example being earthquakes in Japan. Johnson has been involved in all recent postevent forensic engineering for Japanese nuclear power plants subjected to BDB earthquake ground motions.
He has also been an active participant in the development of ASCE Standards, including Manual 58 (and its predecessor), ASCE 4-86, ASCE 4-98, and ASCE 4-16. He is currently active in the update to ASCE 43-05. This latter participation is through the Task Committee on Dynamic Analysis of Nuclear Structures. Additionally, he participates in ANS standards committees, such as ANSI/ANS 2.2-2016 and 2.23-2016.
Johnson received his bachelor of civil engineering with Distinction from the University of Minnesota, and his M.S. and Ph.D. in civil engineering from the University of Illinois. He received the 1999 Distinguished Alumnus award, Civil and Environmental Engineering, from the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign.