Jay Johnson

Jay Johnson

Jay Johnson

Title: Professor of Physics and Engineering
Office Location: Haughey Hall 210
E-mail: jrj@andrews.edu
Phone: (269) 471-3427
SelectedWorks profile


Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA
PhD Physics, June 1992

University of Colorado, Boulder, CO
BA Physics (with distinction) and Math, August, 1987


Starting at Andrews University’s Department of Engineering & Computer Science in fall 2016, Dr. Jay Johnson, the new professor of engineering, comes to us from Princeton University, Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory. There, Johnson developed a kinetic fluid model to describe kinetic effects on wave generation, propagation, and dissipation in the magnetosphere and applied the kinetic fluid model and 3D hybrid simulations to examine linear and nonlinear mode conversion and transport processes associated with kinetic Alfven waves at the magnetopause and compared with observation. Another project includes leading the space physics group at PPPL since 2005, growing the group from one person (in 2005) to four through a successful flow of external funding. Along with that, he strategically built the PPPL space physics group to include a full suite of modeling expertise in multi fluid, kinetic-MHD, gyrokinetic, full particle PIC, and finite element wave codes.

He also led joint projects with fusion researchers to develop a finite element full wave code that describes waves in space and fusion plasmas and a gyro kinetic model for space applications; as well as advised students and postdocs and taught graduate student and summer intern courses, among much more research. Prior to Princeton, he served as a research associate at Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Geophysical Institute at the University of Alaska.

Current Research or Professional Activities

Principal Investigator

  • Comparing global gyrokinetic simulations of ballooning instability in the near-earth plasma sheet with wave observations associated with substorm onset, NASA HSR program  4/1/14–3/31/17. http://helio.pppl.gov/research/specific-research-topics
  • Identifying Causal Relationships in Stellar Activity, NASA LWS program
  • GEM: Modeling How Substorm Induced Waves Power Broadband Aurora, NSF-GEM Program


  • Understanding the occurrence of high-m wavesin the magnetosphere and Its relationship to solar wind conditions, NASA HSR,  4/1/15-3/31/18.
  • Solar driving of upward field-aligned currents, NASA Guest Investigator Program, 10/1/15-9/30/18.
  • An Investigation of electron acceleration and energy transport by Alfven waves in the Jovian magnetosphere, NASA Solar System Workings, 5/1/15-4/30/18.
  • Large-scale radial plasma transport and heating in planetary magnetospheres,  NASA Grand Challenge Research, 6/1/14-5/31/17.
  • GEM: Mode Conversion and Kinetic Alfven Waves at the Magnetopause and Their Effects in the Magnetosphere, NSF-GEM program,6/2/14–6/1/17.