Don Johnson

Hello, In 1974 “environmental issues” were starting to become apparent to the general population. A number of us students of course, had our own ideas. Richard Archer put together a “class” and we came up with a number of things and showed them off in a spring exhibition. For may years after SIU I stayed away from the environmental scene, focusing mainly on the design and construction of recreational boats. However that experience eventually brought me back to environmental services when I was hired by a company (Elastec Inc.) that produced oil skimmers. My job was to develop an aluminum boat line to deliver equipment into oil spills. I spent 3 months in the gulf during the BP spill of 2010. That spill prompted the X Prize group to hold a competition to come up with an improved oil skimmer. I was the project manager/team leader to design and build a skimmer to enter into the competition. There were about 350 entries from 12 different countries. My team won the competition by developing and building a skimmer that, when tested, picked up 4680 gallons per minute of oil off the surface of the water at a 90% efficiency. If you google “Don Johnson oil clean up” there are more articles about it. After that I turned my sights on litter and designing different equipment and ways to stop trash from going form ditches to streams to rivers to oceans. Then covid hit and I decided it was time to retire. So now I have 35 acres out here in Hamilton County … southern Illinois … thank you for helping bring back some memories of the Department … good old days … smiles dj
Design at Southern Illinois University