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  September 4, 2000

In Memoriam:
Julian F. Johnson, 1923-2000

Professor emeritus Julian F. Johnson who died on June 24 in Las Vegas at the age of 76 is being remembered here as an individual who was quiet, but persistent in what he liked to see accomplished.

Johnson joined UConn's chemistry department and the Institute of Materials Science in 1968 and became associate director of IMS in 1971. He retired in 1989. He will be best remembered for his energy in fostering the development of the Polymer Science Program and the IMS.

"He was the most intellectual person I've had the pleasure of knowing," says Sam Huang, a professor of chemistry. "We worked together on collaborative research and shared more than 15 Ph.D. students.

"Julian was always thinking about his students. His students were essentially his children," recalls Huang, referring to the fact that Johnson did not have children of his own.

During his University career, Johnson was mentor to some 30 doctoral and more than a dozen master's degree students and published more than 300 papers.

He was a visiting scientist at both IBM and Avery International and was the recipient of numerous awards, chief among them the ACS National Award in Chromatography and Electrophoresis. He was a fellow of the American Physical Society and the American Chemical Society.

Born in Baxter Springs, Kan., Johnson received his bachelor of science degree in chemistry from the College of Wooster in Ohio in 1943. He then entered the U.S. Navy where during World War II he served as an engineering officer aboard several destroyer escorts in both the Atlantic and Pacific campaigns. He earned a Ph.D. in chemistry from Brown University in 1951.

Prior to joining UConn, Johnson worked for the Chevron Research Co. in Richmond, Calif., where he conducted research in separations, polymer physics and standard physical measurements.