SPIE Fellow Kristina Johnson, CEO of Enduring Hydro and a former Under Secretary for Energy at the U.S. Department of Energy, has been inducted into the US National Inventors Hall of Fame.
Johnson, a former member of the SPIE Board of Directors, is widely recognized as a pioneer in optoelectronic processing systems, 3D imaging, and color management systems. The Inventors Hall of Fame honored her for her work in polarization-control technology.
At the University of Colorado (CU) and Duke University, she produced work that has formed the basis for 3D films, rear projection systems for televisions, digital mammograms, faster screening of pap smears for cervical cancer, and foundational work that has resulted in near-to-the-eye displays.
Johnson and Gary Sharp at CU worked on birefringent materials, which are materials whose refractive index depends on the polarization and propagation direction of light. The most visible applications of birefringent filters has been in the entertainment and electronics industries. Together, Johnson and Sharp co-founded ColorLink, Inc. to commercialize their color polarizer technology, and in 2007, the company was sold to RealD, a leader in the 3D imaging field.
In addition to positions at Duke, Colorado, and Johns Hopkins University, Johnson served as the Under Secretary for Energy at the U.S. Department of Energy in 2009 and 2010. She is currently CEO of Enduring Hydro which focuses on the advancement of hydroelectric power.
With three degrees from Stanford University, Johnson has also promoted broadening participation in science and math education for women and underrepresented groups in science and engineering. She was inducted into the Women in Technology International Hall of Fame in 2003 and was featured in the 2007 SPIE Women in Optics calendar.