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Erik Nelson

Erik Anders Nelson has worked in the engineering and construction industry since 1996, first as an estimator for a large contractor and soon after as a bridge engineer. He then went on to work as a structural engineer in the building industry and has since helped design 300+ structures over the past 15 years ranging in scale from small projects such as houses and one-story commercial structures to large projects such as baseball stadiums and high rises.

Nelson has worked on numerous projects that have complex geometries with innovative structural systems, such as the Linked Hybrid project in Beijing. Although most of his work involves new buildings and renovations, he has extensive experience in forensic investigations and failure analysis including non-linear analysis. He has also been involved in the design of large dynamic structures for the entertainment industry such as Cirque du Soleil's show Ka and the Sentosa Crane Ballet.

At RISD, Nelson teaches in the Architecture department, and also teaches engineering courses at UMass - Dartmouth and MIT. His courses include Steel, Concrete, Masonry, High Performance Structures, BIM Revit Architecture and Revit Structure, Statics and Strength of Materials. He continues to publish articles in Structure, Civil Engineering and Modern Steel Construction. He also writes steel connection programs in excel/VBA.

Nelson is the Vice President of the Structural Engineers Association of Rhode Island (SEARI) and a member of ASCE, AISC and AIA. He serves on the board of directors for RI-MOSA (Rhode Island Museum of Science and Art) and BRACE (Building Research and Community Exchange). In addition, Nelson is an active member of the ASCE-SEI committee on Philosophy and Engineering and the Rhode Island Revit Users Group (RIRUG). He is a modal law structural engineer and registered professional engineer in seven states (Illinois, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Maine and New York).

Nelson holds a master's degree from MIT (Structural Engineering) and bachelor's degrees from Lake Forest College (Physics) and Washington University in St. Louis (Civil Engineering).

  • BA, Lake Forest College
  • BS, Washington University
  • ME, Massachusetts Institute Technology