Dr Ian Johnston
is an academic engineer and applied mathematician with a
passion for taking science to the masses. He was scientific
expert and Richard Hammond's aid on 'Battle of the Geeks'
(BBC's 21st Century version of 'The Great Egg Race'), was
academic consultant to "Electric Dreams" and has
been academic consultant to "Bang Goes The Theory" since
He toured with the "Bang Goes The Theory" Roadshow
in 2010 and 2011, appearing on-stage with the show's presenters
and on-pavement as the irrepressible Dr Megaphone (Stand Up
and Shout about Science).
In 2011 he appeared with Johnny Ball and Adam Hart-Davis in
a team of media scientists on "Celebrity Eggheads".
He believes that engineering is about to enter its most exciting
phase for years: a new scientific and industrial revolution
in which humanity must learn how do everything again, but this
time in a sustainable way. This breakthrough is going to take
the brightest, keenest, most imaginative and creative minds
for generations, and we have to start enthusing people of all
ages and backgrounds now.
Ian states that he doesn't just work in television for fame
and world travel. If the shows persuades one more person to
take up engineering and help solve the world's problems, he'll
be happy. A million would be better, though.
He was born and grew up in Glasgow and now lives in Galloway
(south-west Scotland) with his wife Jane, son Sandy and more
classic cars than he cares to contemplate, some of which work.
After studying engineering science at Oxford, Ian graduated
and started research on artificial knee joints. After a couple
of years he ran away from academic life to enter full time
training as a ballet dancer - returning to the fold a year
later when money and talent ran out simultaneously. He is still
an active amateur dancer and performs in any show willing to
have him. Any free time left is spent sailing around the West
Coast of Scotland in Jumblie, his beloved Victoria 26 sailing
Since 1991 he has worked for the Open University as a Staff
Tutor (lecturer) in Technology, which means that he jointly
overseas academic aspects of the presentation of technology
faculty courses throughout Scotland.
His official research is in superconductivity, in which he
has gained his doctorate. However, he finds informal research
just as entertaining and rewarding: his two most famous inventions
are the world's most flippable drinks mat (the Aeromat, designed
in 2003) and the Technotowel (2004), a bath towel which doesn't
fall off when you answer the door to the vicar after a shower.
Neither of these have made it into production yet, but he remains
open to offers.
From November 2005 until June 2006 he was seconded to work
as Director/CEO of the Active Training and Education Trust,
an educational charity which runs residential holidays for
children. In 2006 he founded the EcoWeek Trust, which runs
green-themed residential holidays for children at and with
the Centre for Alternative Technology in Wales and in the Peak
For press and media enquiries or to book Dr Ian Johnston for
speaking engagements, presenting, voiceovers and live events
8 Blenheim Court, Brook Way, Leatherhead, Surrey, KT22 7NA
Tel: +44 (0)1372 361 004
Fax: +44 (0)1372 374 417