Johnson to Chair National Academies Committee on 21st Century Truck Partnership

By Marcia Goodrich | Published

The 21st Century Truck Partnership explores high-tech improvements in commercial and military trucks and buses.
The 21st Century Truck Partnership explores high-tech improvements in commercial and military trucks and buses.

John Johnson of Michigan Technological University has been appointed chair of the National Academies committee created to review Phase 3 of the 21st Century Truck Partnership Program.

The 21st Century Truck Partnership is a cooperative effort of the Department of Energy, the Department of Transportation, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Defense. Launched in 2000, the program’s mission is to explore technological improvements in commercial and military trucks and buses. Johnson, a presidential professor of mechanical engineering–engineering mechanics, chaired the National Academies committees that wrote the first and second reports on the program, issued in 2008 and 2012. 

The most recent report focuses on engine systems, hybrid propulsion systems, vehicle power demands, idle reduction, vehicle safety and efficient operations.

Under Johnson’s leadership, the National Academies committee will conduct a third review of the program. In addition to critiquing its progress, the committee may make recommendations on how the Partnership can better meet its goals.

In particular, the committee will review R&D efforts in heavy vehicle systems, hybrid electric propulsion, advanced internal combustion engines and materials technologies. It is also expected to examine government involvement in the various technical areas under development and the Partnership's strategy for accomplishing its goals.

A nationally recognized expert on diesel engines, Johnson received the 2011 SAE Franz F. Pischinger Powertrain Innovation Award in recognition of his exceptional innovation and competence in powertrain design and development. He is a fellow of the Society of Automotive Engineers and the American Society of Mechanical Engineers and has served on committees related to engine technology, engine emissions and health effects, including committees of the SAE, the National Research Council, the Combustion Institute, the Health Effects Institute and the Environmental Protection Agency. In particular, he served on multiple NRC committees, including the Committee on the Impact and Effectiveness of Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) Standards, the Committee to Assess Fuel Economy for Medium and Heavy-Duty Vehicles and the Committee on the Assessment of Technologies for Improving Light-Duty Vehicle Fuel Economy.

The most recent report on the project is available at the National Academies website.

Michigan Technological University is a public research university, home to more than 7,000 students from 60 countries. Founded in 1885, the University offers more than 120 undergraduate and graduate degree programs in science and technology, engineering, forestry, business and economics, health professions, humanities, mathematics, and social sciences. Our campus in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula overlooks the Keweenaw Waterway and is just a few miles from Lake Superior.