1999 Distinguished Service Award: John Nelson

// Mechanical Engineering

Tags: alumni, Engineers' Day, John Nelson, ME E-Day

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John P. Nelson
President and CEO
Affiliated Engineers, Inc.
MSME ’76

Throughout his 23-year career with Affiliated Engineers, Inc. (AEI), one of the state’s premier engineering firms, John S. Nelson has managed and directed the designs of major research facilities nationwide, as well as utility plants, office/data center facilities, hospitals and many public buildings. Today, as president and CEO of the company, Nelson is particularly known for his innovative mechanical design of lab spaces in commercial and educational buildings. He also is keenly interested in analyzing energy use and converting processes or systems to conserve energy.

He has programmed and planned the mech-anical and electrical systems for a variety of facilities, and translated program requirements into system designs. Under Nelson, AEI has been the MEP engineer of such buildings as Genetech, Inc., San Francisco, with 300,000 square feet of research and vivarium space; the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle, with 515,000 square feet of laboratory, animal-holding and health-resources space; and countless UW-Madison health-care, research and educational facilities including the college’s new Engineering Centers Building.

Nelson’s professional associations reflect his commitment to increasing his knowledge and improving his field. He has been an appointed member of committees under the National Academy of Science and the National Academy of Engineering; Nelson is also a member of the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration & Air-Conditioning Engineers; and the Association of Energy Engineers. He is a member of the UW-Madison Mechanical Engineering Board of Visitors, and is a UW-Extension instructor of laboratory mechanical design.

Nelson came to Madison in 1975 from Peoria, Illinois, where he received a BS in mechanical engineering from Bradley University. He earned his MS in mechanical engineering from UW-Madison a year later. When he’s not working on a design project, Nelson spends time with his two golden retrievers and buys, repairs and restores old Chevrolet pickup trucks.