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NSF & Congress

Dr. Priscilla P. Nelson's Brief Biography

Dr. Priscilla Nelson is Director of the Civil and Mechanical Systems (CMS) Division in the Directorate for Engineering at the National Science Foundation (NSF). She has been at NSF since 1994, and previously served as Program Director for the Geotechnical Engineering program, and as Program Manager for the NEES (Network for Earthquake Engineering Simulation) project which represents an $82 million federal investment in earthquake experimentation equipment to be completed between FY2000 and FY2004.

Dr. Nelson was formerly Professor of Civil Engineering at The University of Texas at Austin. Her undergraduate degree is from the University of Rochester in Geological Sciences, and she has received three earned advanced degrees including Master's degrees in both Geology (Indiana University) and Structural Engineering (University of Oklahoma). In 1983, she received her PhD from Cornell University in Geotechnical Engineering. Dr. Nelson has a national and international reputation in geological and rock engineering, and the particular application of underground construction. She has more than 15 years of teaching experience and more than 120 technical and scientific publications to her credit.

Dr. Nelson is Past-President of the Geo-Institute of the American Society of Civil Engineers, and a lifetime member and first President of the American Rock Mechanics Association. Among many professional affiliations, she is an active member of the American Underground-Construction Association, the Association of Engineering Geologists, and the International Tunnelling Association. She has served as a member of several National Research Council boards and committees.

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