Department Head: 1930-1935
After working for industry for nearly three years and academia for 18 years, F. Ellis Johnson became Iowa State’s second EE department chair in 1930. Johnson’s main area of expertise was electric power transmission.
Johnson held a bachelor’s of arts degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison (1906) and had an electrical engineering certificate (1909). Before coming to Iowa State, he worked as a station wireman for the Seattle-Tacoma Power Company in 1909, foreman for the Vancouver Power Company and BC Electric Railway in 1910. He also served an instructor at the Rice Institute from 1912 to 1915, and then instructor at the University of Kansas, where he eventually became its Department of Electrical Engineering chairperson.
After he left Iowa State, he did stints as dean of engineering at the University of Missouri-Columbia (1935 to 1938) and University of Wisconsin-Madison (1938 to 1946). Johnson returned to industry to work as educational director at General Electric until he retired in 1950.