History That Natters capital campaign Back to History Center

John C. Sommerer

James H. Stith John C. Sommerer is the first Director of Science and Technology and the Chief Technology Officer of the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Md., the largest of the DOD University Affiliated Research Centers. JHU/APL provides DOD and NASA with essential capabilities in Combat and Guided Missile Systems, Theater Air Defense, Space Science and Engineering, Strategic Systems Test and Evaluation, Submarine Security, Information Technology, Modeling & Simulation, and Research & Development.

As Director, John ensures APL's technological strength will meet current and future challenges in light of rapidly advancing technology and the globalization of technology and technical capabilities. Additionally, Sommerer ensures the Lab's technical strategy is aligned with its various business area goals. He helps form partnerships with outside organizations, JHU academic departments, and with other universities and high-tech laboratories to augment APL's skills and expertise so that the Lab can better meet a sponsor's needs.

As CTO, Dr. Sommerer manages the Laboratory's research and development program and S&T strategy; oversees its Office of Technology Transfer and its support of the educational programs of the University's Whiting School of Engineering.

He serves on APL's Executive Council. He has been with JHU/APL since 1980, holding technical and management positions in three of its Departments, and leading development of APL's most recent strategic plan for its core mission areas.

Dr. Sommerer received bachelor's and master's degrees in systems science and mathematics from Washington University in St. Louis, a master's degree in applied physics from The Johns Hopkins University, and a Ph.D. in physics from the University of Maryland. Prior to assuming executive responsibilities, he established an international reputation in nonlinear dynamics and complex systems, making both theoretical and experimental contributions to the field. His personal research has been featured on the covers of both Science and Nature.

Dr. Sommerer has served on several technical advisory bodies for the US Government and is currently Vice Chair of the Naval Research Advisory Committee, senior technical advisory body to the Secretary of the Navy, Chief of Naval Operations, and Commandant of the Marine Corps. He has received a number of awards, including being named Maryland's Distinguished Young Scientist in 1994. He has also served as a Director of the Jim Rouse Entrepreneurial Fund, and as an Advisor to the Howard County, Maryland new business incubator, NeoTech.



How you can help: