17 April 2002 |

Joe Johnson
Joe Johnson, professor emeritus in civil and environmental engineering at Berkeley and a pioneer in the field of coastal engineering, died April 11 in Canada. He was 93.

Born in 1908 in Pittsburgh, Kansas, Johnson earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in civil engineering at Berkeley in 1931 and 1934 respectively. After graduation, he worked for several years with the Corps of Engineers’ Waterways Experiment Station in Vicksburg, Miss., and the Soil Conservation Service in Washington, D.C.. He joined the Berkeley faculty in 1942.

At Berkeley, he became an authority on coastal engineering, a new specialty within civil engineering. He served as chair of the Division of Hydraulic and Sanitary Engineering, director of the Hydraulic Engineering Laboratory, and was an archivist and founder of the campus’s Water Resources Center Archives. He retired from the faculty in 1975.

Throughout his career, Johnson served as a consultant for state, federal and international bodies on issues affecting shorelines and harbors around the world, including those in Venezuela, Brazil, Australia and across the United States. Among numerous projects, he assessed water levels for BART, analyzed port development for the Suez Canal, and studied beach erosion for the Zion Atomic Power Plant.

Johnson was also noted for exceptional contributions as a writer and editor . As secretary for the American Society of Civil Engineers’ (ASCE) Coastal Engineering Research Council, he managed 15 international conferences in the 1960s and 70s and edited the conference proceedings — major international publications in the field of coastal engineering. He also served as editor-in-chief of Shore and Beach, the journal of the American Shore and Beach Preservation Association.

Johnson received many honors for his leadership in coastal engineering. He was a member of the National Academy of Engineering, an honorary member of ASCE, recipient of an Outstanding Civilian Service Medal from the Department of the Army for service to the Corps of Engineers, winner of the prestigious Berkeley Citation, and recipient of ASCE’s Moffatt-Nichol Harbor and Coastal Engineering Award.

Johnson is survived by two daughters, Christina and Cornelia, both living in Victoria, B.C, and many grandchildren. A memorial service is planned for Sunday, April 21, in British Columbia.


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