Fred M. Johnson – Founder of the Johnson Forensic Labs

Plan ahead, very important to plan, and set realistic goals. Also, having colleagues you can meet with and discuss with them.

Dr. Fred M. Johnson received his Ph.D. in physics from Columbia University and is a Fellow (nominated by a Nobel Laureate) of the American Physical Society. His experience includes working in two industrial research laboratories. He performed research on plasma physics and energy conversion devices while working at RCA Labs in Princeton. NJ. Thereafter, he worked at a subsidiary of Xerox Corporation where he was Chief Scientist and head of a department involved with advanced laser research. Some of his pioneering government-sponsored research projects include non-linear optics, coherent Raman scattering, infrared conversion, and remote sensing by spectroscopy.

He was hired as Chairman of the Physics Department at California State University, Fullerton, where he taught physics for 21 years to undergraduate students. In 1974, he was named “Outstanding Professor.”

Dr. Johnson is the author of a college textbook and over 60 scientific publications, in refereed journals. He is on the Instructional review board and a committee for the College of Optometry and a consultant for ANSI. He is also a member of a large number of technical societies.

Professor Johnson was course coordinator for a three-day course on the Bio­mechanics of Injury from Traffic Collisions at the National Institute of Forensic Studies and an instructor for a one- week certificate course in Forensics at CSUF extension services. Since1993, he has been retained in approximately 500 cases as a forensic expert specializing in safety, accident reconstruction and biomechanics of injuries. Dr. Fred Johnson owns Johnson Forensics Labs and sells slip and fall devices to businesses and to the government.

Where did the idea for Johnson Forensic lab come from?

It comes from my experience as an expert witness, and from being a member of ASTM F13 committee, which deals with safety and walkway surfaces, in particular. This includes measurements of the coefficient of friction. I noticed that being the only Professor of Physics at the organization that the quality of the science was not only inferior but junk science. Something better had to be created, so I did that by creating a superior product to measure the coefficient of friction.

What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?

Every day is different. At the moment I am doing research on my products, and sometimes I have demonstrated the product.

How do you bring ideas to life?

I found an engineer who developed a unique product and I teamed up with a salesperson that knows my work and is selling the item. We are now selling these tribometers all over the world.

What’s one trend that really excites you?

Solving complex problems, and finding solutions to the most complicated problems. I am an Astronomer/Physics, and I don’t accept things readily. Others are too afraid to examine things. I make use of the cross-fertilized from one area to another. For me, it is the technique of forensics that I apply to Astronomy, but to any field of science, where theories from the 19th century are accepted, and not challenged. I don’t have to worry about challenging the norm because I don’t have to worry about Tenure, others are too afraid.

What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?

I am willing to take chances, and I am challenging the establishment.

What was the worst job you ever had and what did you learn from it?

Of the 600 cases I had, you learn from experience on how people act, and what makes them tick. Being assigned a case that was a bad case was the worst job.

As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?

Plan ahead, very important to plan, and set realistic goals. Also, having colleagues you can meet with and discuss with them.

What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?

Being focused, and keeping your ultimate goal in mind and not get distracted is critical. One more is careful with finances.

What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?

The medical technology field is the best field to get into.

What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?

I don’t know. You can’t do much with 100 dollars these days.

What software and web services do you use? What do you love about them?

That isn’t my field. We have our own software for the product. We use a tablet for our product.

What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?

Buy my Astronomy book,Voyage into Astronomy-We are not alone in the universe. 2015, Lawyer and Judges Publishing Company, Inc. My book has the clues to where we are, who we are and how we got here. I think more people should have a real knowledge about Astronomy, not the ‘exotic’ discoveries that don’t tell you anything. It doesn’t give you the real picture.

What people have influenced your thinking and might be of interest to others?

I had some very good teachers in college and at Columbia University. My parents also had quit a bit of influence on me, particularly my mother.


Fred Johnson on Twitter – @drfmjohnson