Bernard Johnson

Bernard Johnson

Founder of ClearFlame Engines

2019 Climate Fellow

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.