DURHAM, N.C. – Robert Clark, senior associate dean at Duke University’s Pratt School of Engineering, will take over as the interim replacement for Kristina Johnson.

Johnson resigned from Duke earlier this week to become provost and senior advisor of academic affairs at Johns Hopkins University in September.

A graduate of Stanford, Johnson is a leader in liquid crystal electro optics, with some 44 patents or patents pending based on her research.

Duke plans to conduct a national search to replace Johnson.

Clark is chair of the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science and Thomas Lord Professor of Mechanical Engineering. He joined Duke’s faculty in 1992. Clark received a PhD in mechanical engineering at Virginia Polytechnic Institute.

At Duker, Clark also serves as founding director of the Center for Biologically Inspired Materials and Material Systems. He is a specialist in bionanomanufacturing.

Johnson assumes the Johns Hopkins post on Sept. 1. It is the second ranking position at the university.

While at Duke since 1999, Johnson oversaw a 20 percent growth in the engineering student body and recruited more than 50 faculty members. She also directed the program to build a new center for interdisciplinary engineering, medicine and applied sciences.

“Kristina Johnson has been a transformational dean of engineering at Duke and a lively contributor to the larger university community,” said Duke President Richard Brodhead said. “She is a person of great positive energy that inspires those around her. We’ll hate to see her go, but are delighted to see her talents recognized with these new challenges and responsibilities.”