Bethany Johnson returns to SmithGroup as Science & Technology Studio Leader in Chicago

SmithGroup, one of the nation’s largest integrated design firms, hired Bethany Johnson to lead the Science & Technology studio at the firm’s Chicago office. She returns to SmithGroup from Stantec (formerly VOA Associates Incorporated), Chicago, where she was the workplace studio operations manager.

In her role as Science & Technology studio leader, Johnson will focus on expanding the Chicago office’s project portfolio and support SmithGroup’s existing research and development (R&D) and higher education client initiatives.

“Bethany’s passion for the sciences and her well-rounded experience provides valuable insights to our R&D clients,” said Tim Tracey, SmithGroup Chicago office director. “Her understanding of our integrated design process ensures value added solutions for some of our most complicated projects.”

With a background in architecture spanning more than 15 years, Johnson has collaborated on award-winning local, national and international projects. In her previous role at SmithGroup, she designed spaces for significant institutions such as Argonne National Laboratory’s Advanced Protein Characterization Facility, Loyola University Chicago’s Center for Translational Research and Education Building, and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign’s Electrical and Computer Engineering Building. At Stantec, Bethany orchestrated the global design team for the proposed Lucas Museum of Narrative Art in Chicago. During her tenure with Adrian Smith+ Gordon Gill Architecture she focused on Masdar Corporate Headquarters, a net-zero energy facility.

“I’m most proud of these multi-faceted projects given the type, size, location, diverse stakeholders and delivery methodologies,” said Johnson. “Ongoing communication and the creation of lasting client relationships is very important to me. These connections are as essential as the finalized building itself,” she continued.

Johnson’s project experience also helps SmithGroup envision its Lab2050 initiative, which is a research endeavor to dig deep into scientific trends, technologies and eco­nomics that will shape design concepts of laboratory environments in the coming decades.

Johnson has a Master’s of Architecture degree from the University of Illinois, and a Bachelor’s of Science in Design from Arizona State University. Johnson focused her studies on digital processes, sustainability and environmentally responsible design.

Johnson is a resident of the Buena Park neighborhood of Chicago. She’s affiliated with the American Institute of Architects, Chicago Architecture Foundation and the U.S. Green Build Council.

For more information about SmithGroup, please visit our Company Fact Sheet.