Roy Johnston


External positions

Professor, Beijing Univ Chem Technol

15 Nov 2014 → …

Professor, Shanxi University

23 Nov 2013 → …

Research interests

Computational Chemistry

Computational Nanoscience

Global Optimisation

Nature-inspired Computation

Education/Academic qualification

  • Doctor of Philosophy, University of Oxford

    Theoretical Studies of Polyhedral Molecules

    1 Oct 1983 - 30 Sep 1986
  • Bachelor of Arts, University of Oxford


    1 Oct 1980 - 30 Sep 1983

Professional Qualifications

  • Royal Society University Research Fellow (University of Sussex),

    1 Sep 1989 - 31 Jul 1995
  • SERC Postdoctoral Fellow (University of Arizona, USA),

    1 Aug 1988 - 31 Jul 1989
  • SERC Postdoctoral Fellow (Cornell University, USA),

    1 Aug 1987 - 31 Jul 1988

Willingness to take PhD students


PhD projects

Roy Johnston’s research is in the area of theoretical/computational chemistry. One major strand of his group’s research involves the application of biologically inspired computational methods (such as genetic algorithms, ant colony optimisation and artificial neural networks) to chemical problems (eg, cluster geometry optimisation and protein folding). Another important research area for the group is the study of the structures, growth, dynamics and the chemical and physical properties of metal nanoparticles and bimetallic nanoalloys, using many-body potential energy functions and density functional theory calculations.

Professor Johnston is interested in supervising doctoral researchers in the following areas:

Modelling the structures, dynamics and reactivity (including catalytic activity) of bimetallic nanoalloy clusters
Exploring and analysing energy landscapes for protein folding and aggregation and other self-assembly processes
Chemical applications of natural computation