William R. Johnson


William R. Johnson
William R. Johnson
Avant, OK, USA
Associated organizations
Pacific Gas and Electric Company
Fields of study
IEEE William M. Habirshaw Award


William R. Johnson was born on October 23, 1914 in Avant, Oklahoma and he grew up in Kansas. He attended Georgia Institute of Technology receiving a Bachelor of Science Electrical Engineering Degree in 1937 and the Electrical Engineer Degree in 1940 from Stanford University.

It is indeed fortunate that the presentation is being made at a meeting in Georgia where he started his career in electrical engineering and where Dr. Joseph Pettit, a long-time friend is now president of his Alma Mater. Georgia Tech.

Mr. Johnson's career has been dedicated to the expansion of high voltage transmission systems in the Western United States. During Mr. Johnson's 40 year distinguished career with Pacific Gas and Electric Company he undertook many important projects, retiring as the Chief Electrical Engineer in November of 1979.

One of Mr. Johnson's important accomplishments was his guidance and supervision in the planning and design of the PGandE portion of the Pacific Northwest Southwest Intertie described as the largest single transmission development ever undertaken in the United States. In addition to his company responsibilities he was chairman of the Pacific Intertie System Technical Studies Task Force and chairman of the Edison Electric Institute Joint Task Force on DC transmission. Continuing his interest in transmission he became the chairman of the Electric Research Council Task Force on high voltage AC transmission and continued in this capacity until his appointment as chairman of the EPRI Transmission and Distribution Division Committee in January of 1976.

Mr. Johnson has been a member of IEEE and its predecessor AIEE since 1937 and attained the grade of Fellow in 1959. He has, also been a member of CIGRE since 1960. He is well known to his peers in the Electric Utility Industry for his contributions to transmission systems. He has also written many technical papers and discussions.

Mr. Johnson's many interests include photography and back-packing in the Sierra Nevada mountains. He has been active in scouting for many years on committees and in the field leading Sierra hikes. His interest in music led to playing the clarinet. He has played in various local bands and orchestras, and he is currently playing in a symphanic band at the College of San Mateo. His wife, Barbara takes an active part in his activities. Mr. Johnson and his wife reside in San Mateo, California and they have 5 children and 6 grandchildren.