Dr. Lonnie G. Johnson
Founder & Chairman
Dr. Lonnie Johnson is the CEO and Founder of Johnson R&D, where he invented the first JTEC device. JTEC Energy was spun out of Johnson R&D in 2020, and Dr. Johnson remains the Founder and Chairman of the new company. He is also CEO of Johnson Battery Technologies, which has developed a next-generation battery technology. Johnson is an engineer and inventor who holds more than 100 patents and whose technologies have been listed as world-class by media such as CNN, Popular Mechanics and TIME.
Dr. Johnson began his career as a research engineer at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. He joined the U.S. Air Force, where he was awarded multiple medals and helped develop components in the stealth bomber program. While in the Air Force, Johnson served as: Acting Chief of the Space Nuclear Power Safety Section at the Air Force Weapons Laboratory; Advanced Space Systems Requirements Officer at Strategic Air Command (SAC) HQ; Chief of the Data Management Branch, SAC Test and Evaluation Squadron at Edwards Air Force Base. Dr. Johnson then joined NASA. He served as Senior Systems Engineer at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, where one of his inventions was incorporated in the Galileo mission to Jupiter. He also contributed to the Mars Observer project and the early stages of the Cassini (Saturn) project. While at NASA, he received multiple achievement awards for his work in spacecraft system design.
In 2011, Johnson was inducted into the State of Alabama Engineering Hall of Fame.
Johnson is most well known as the inventor of the Super Soaker squirt gun, which became one of the most popular toys in the world and has generated billions of dollars in retail revenue under the license. Super Soaker has received multiple industry awards, including Outdoor Toy of the Year.
Propelled by the success of the Super Soaker, Johnson founded Johnson R&D, where he spearheads development of technological advances in clean energy and batteries.
In 2008, Johnson was awarded the Breakthrough Award from science magazine Popular Mechanics for his work related to JTEC.
Dr. Johnson also hosts and sponsors the national FIRST® Robotics Competition, a program that inspires young people’s interest and participation in science and technology.
Johnson holds a M.S. in Nuclear Engineering, a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering, and an honorary doctorate in science.
Michael McQuary ("McQ")
President & CEO
McQ began his career with nearly a decade at Mobil Corporation. He was the President & COO of startup MindSpring Enterprises, which grew to be the second largest ISP in the world. After MindSpring merged with EarthLink, McQ continued as President and COO. He is the founder of Brash Music, a forerunner of digital music distribution. McQ bought UNS (Usenetserver), an Internet Usenet News Service, and acted as CEO. In 2008, he founded Wheego, an affordable electric car company, and began selling cars through 22 dealers. After an unsuccessful partnership with Foxconn to build Electric Cars in China, the company pivoted to utilizing Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning to develop software for self-driving autonomous cars.
McQ holds a BA from the University of Virginia and an MBA from Pepperdine University.
Board of Directors
Mike McQuary | CEO
Lonnie Johnson, Ph.D. | Inventor
Bert Ellis | CEO Ellis Capital
David Ratcliffe | Retired Chair/CEO Southern Company, Chair Georgia Research Alliance
Technical Advisory Board
Kurt Jacobus, Ph.D | Managing Director GRA Venture Fund, Adjunct Professor Ga Tech
Matt McDowell, Ph.D. | Professor, GA Tech School of Materials Science and Engineering
Dr. Brian Benicewicz | Professor, Univ. South Carolina Polymer Nanocomposite Research