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Paul R. Johnston, Ph.D., P.E.

President & Chief Executive Officer


650-326-9400 tel
650-328-2996 fax

Menlo Park

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Professional Profile

Dr. Paul Johnston is the President and Chief Executive Officer of Exponent. Dr. Johnston joined the Company in 1981, was promoted to Principal Engineer in 1987, and to Vice President in 1996. In 1997, he assumed responsibility for the firm’s network of offices. He was appointed Chief Operating Officer in July 2003, and President in 2007. 

Dr. Johnston specializes in the failure analysis of mechanical components and structures, including diesel engines, pipelines, steam generators, offshore platforms, pumps, valves, aircraft, and rocket nozzles. He has investigated the mechanical and structural design of equipment and machinery involved in intellectual property disputes. He also focuses on geotechnical issues related to excavations, soil-structure interaction, slope stability, tunneling, and earthquakes. His expertise further extends to encompass the static and dynamic analysis of structures.

Dr. Johnston was previously a Consulting Assistant Professor in the Civil Engineering Department at Stanford University, and has written two books in the area of finite element analysis. He was a founding board member of the structural design firm, Krawinkler Luth & Associates, Inc. He served six years on the Utilities Advisory Commission of the City of Palo Alto, and also served on the city’s Telecommunications Advisory Panel.  Dr. Johnston is currently a member of the Stanford School of Engineering Advisory Council, and the Trinity College Dublin School of Engineering Development Board.

  • Ph.D., Civil Engineering, Stanford University, 1981
  • M.S., Structural Engineering, Stanford University, 1977
  • B.A.I., Civil Engineering, Trinity College, Dublin (First Class Honors), 1976
  • John A. Blume Fellowship, Stanford University
  • Foundation Scholar; Marmaduke-Backhouse, Francis Spring, Clark, and Collen Memorial Prizes, Trinity College Dublin 

    • Registered Professional Civil Engineer, California, #C052417
    • Chartered Engineer, Ireland, #C036349