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Meet Rich Johnson

We continue our "Meet the Team" series with Rich Johnson, Materials & Process Manager for AHT's Monroe, MI location. Rich started with AHT in 2017 as the Process Metallurgist. Prior to AHT, Rich worked for a few start-ups in Silicon Valley, working on thermoelectric energy conversion materials and spatially-segregated surface alloys on steels. Continue reading to learn more about Rich Johnson...

posted On Monday, September 10, 2018 in Blog

Q&As with Rich Johnson

Rich Johnson

Rich, explain what a typical day looks like for you as AHT’s metallurgist.

It all starts with a solid cup of coffee. But seriously, I will typically review all incoming orders for processing requirements and to ensure all paperwork is correct. New orders require process development, which involves reviewing historical data trends, published literature, and any applicable specifications. In addition, I’ll review the status of the metallurgical lab and support with any unique projects or samples that require more attention. I try to make time each day to review new research and literature articles to stay abreast on industry trends. And as needed, I’ll reach out to customer to discuss new projects, current order results, or to follow up on past development trials.

Where did you go to college?

I received a bachelor's degree in chemical engineering and in materials science from the University of Michigan and a master's degree in materials science and engineering from Stanford University. 

What do you like best about working at AHT?

The family atmosphere. There’s a genuine care for each other, both inside and outside the walls of AHT. I’ve always been attracted to smaller companies where this dynamic is most prominent, and that’s definitely true here at AHT. Even with four locations, we interact well enough to function as one tight-knit group.

When you’re not working, how do you like to spend your free time?

When I’m not chasing around my two little ones, I love a good DIY project around the house. I also spend at least 30 minutes a day staying fit, whether it’s weightlifting or cardio. Lastly, I’m an avid homebrewer – to the point where I’ve engineered a fairly sophisticated system for making beer.

What new projects are you currently working on?

I’m working on introducing a new corrosion resistance technique to complement our ASTM B117 salt spray testing. We’re in the process of ordering a potentiostat unit that can evaluate corrosion potentials rapidly (1-2 hours) via ASTM G61 Cyclic Polarization. What does all that mean? It means a rapid, standardized, and accurate method of determining how well your parts will hold up in corrosive environments. We plan to offer this as a certified metallurgical service, as well as utilizing the data to drive process development. Stay tuned for more info!

What is one thing people may not know about Rich Johnson?

In high school, I won a local tournament for the arcade game, Dance Dance Revolution.

What advice would you give our customers?

Try to ask us as many questions as possible, whether they’re general, technical, or something in between – we enjoy the interaction with our customers. The more communication we have upfront, the better we can achieve your expectations. This ultimately leads to customer satisfaction!

What professional accomplishment are you most proud of?

Coming from two start-up experiences, it’s a great moment to watch something get scaled from a lab setting to a full-scale production environment. And in one case, seeing a product launch! The validation of all those long hours and obstacles to overcome makes all of the efforts worth it. 

Now, a series of quick random questions:

Favorite Book: Lord of the Rings

First Job: Gym attendant at the YMCA

Favorite Food: Pizza - with everything on it.

Person That Has Influenced You: Akram Boukai (My University of Michigan research professor and founder of Silicium Energy – the first start up I worked at.)

Favorite Quote: ”UNLESS someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.” – Dr. Seuss (The Lorax)

Best Vacation: Rehoboth Beach, DE. (Be sure to check out Dogfish Head Brewing Co.)

Have a question for Rich Johnson? Email him at johnsonr@ion-nitriding.com or call him at 319-291-3412.

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