Bernard Johnson

All Fellows

Our Fellows

Bernard Johnson

2019 Climate Fellow
Founder of ClearFlame Engines with Julie Blumreiter

Bernard Johnson 2019 Climate Fellow

Bold Idea 

Provide access to goods and electricity without harming the environment by modifying diesel engines to use clean, locally sourced biofuels.


ClearFlame co-founders Dr. BJ Johnson and Dr. Julie Blumreiter make adjustments to a prototype system installed on the company work truck. Photo credit: Wes Agresta – Argonne National Laboratory

ClearFlame CEO BJ Johnson works with ClearFlame intern Maxwell Miller on prototype controller circuit boards. Photo credit: Wes Agresta – Argonne National Laboratory

The diesel engine is critical to global economies and quality of life, moving 70 percent of the world's goods, but it also poses a massive environmental challenge. ClearFlame modifies diesel engines to use clean-burning, locally sourced biofuels. Its solution drastically reduces emissions without sacrificing the performance needed in both developed and developing nations. ClearFlame’s renewable redesign of the combustion engine will allow it to play a vital role in applications where electric vehicles are challenged, opening additional pathways to lower the carbon footprint of the transportation sector.


BJ Johnson is CEO and co-founder of ClearFlame Engines, a start-up company that provides cleaner, more powerful engines for heavy-duty applications. BJ leads business development, fundraising, and strategic planning operations for ClearFlame, while also supporting the engineering team. BJ received his Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from Stanford in 2015 while developing the technology used by ClearFlame. BJ also earned an MS and BS (with distinction) in mechanical engineering from Stanford. At Stanford, BJ was supported by fellowships from the National Science Foundation, the Achievement Rewards for College Scientists (ARCS) program, and Stanford's School of Engineering. BJ was also a member of the USA Swimming national team, representing the United States at world championships, and also participating as a leader in USA Swimming diversity camps. BJ is a 2019 Echoing Green Fellow.

Learn More
More Like This

Bold Idea and summary information may only be accurate as of the awarding of the Fellowship. Echoing Green attempts to maintain current Experience information, but for their most recent status it may be best to contact the Fellow directly.

More Fellows
Kevin Lee A Single Drop for Safe Water
Marie So Ventures in Development
Adarsh Kumar Livelihood Equity Connect (LEC)
Amanda Alexander Detroit Justice Center
Priya Haji Free At Last
Katrina Klett Elevated Honey Co.