Full Name
Priscilla Nelson
Job Title
Colorado School of Mines
Speaker Bio
Dr. Priscilla P. Nelson came to the Colorado School of Mines in 2014 as Professor and Department Head of Mining Engineering at the Colorado School of Mines. She currently serves as Director for Education and Outreach for the Tailings Center, and as Associate Director for Education, Workforce Development and Diversity of the US DOT-funded Tier 1 Center for Underground Transportation Infrastructure. She previously was Provost and Professor of Civil Engineering at the New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT), program director and senior advisor at the US National Science Foundation (NSF), and Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at The University of Texas at Austin. She has an international reputation in geological and rock engineering, and has been involved in the underground construction industry for over 45 years. She worked for the US DOE and the State of Texas on the Superconducting Super Collider project, and she served two terms on the U. S. Nuclear Waste Technical Review Board, appointed by Presidents Clinton and Bush.

Dr. Nelson has published more than 180 technical and scientific publications, and she is a Distinguished Member of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), former president of the Geo-Institute of ASCE, a lifetime member and first president and Fellow of the American Rock Mechanics Association, and Fellow of American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). Dr. Nelson has received many honors and awards, including election to The Moles (1995) and induction into Tau Beta Pi as an Eminent Engineer (2007). In 2008 she received the Kenneth Andrew Roe Award from the American Association of Engineering Societies (AAES), and she was the 2011 recipient of the ASCE Henry L. Michel Award. In 2015 she was identified as one of the 100 Global Inspirational Women in Mining (by WIM/UK), and also was appointed to the Committee on Geological and Geotechnical Engineering of the National Academies. In 2016 she was appointed Chair of the Mine Safety and Health Research Advisory Committee of NIOSH/CDC. In 2018 she received the Outstanding Educator award from Underground Construction Association of SME.

She received her BS degree in geology from the University of Rochester (1970) and two master’s degrees in geology (Indiana University, 1976) and structural engineering (University of Oklahoma, 1979). In 1983, she received her PhD degree from Cornell University.
Priscilla Nelson