Dave Nelson, PE

Dave Nelson


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  • Senior Research Engineer, Civil, Environmental, and Geospatial Engineering
  • Adjunct Assistant Teaching Professor, Construction Management
  • MS, Teaching, University of Maine
  • MS, Mechanical Engineering, Boston University
  • BS, Civil Engineering, University of Illinois


Dave Nelson has over 30 years of experience in engineering and teaching, including a career in the US Air Force that included a tour as the NATO program manager for construction of US Air Force/NATO facilities in the northern part of Europe (Norway, Denmark, northern Germany and the UK) and culminated in a position as an Assistant Professor in the AF Academy Civil Engineering Department and head of the Construction Practices Track. Dave Nelson has also worked with the Maine Department of Transportation where he was involved in the Downeaster project to re-introduce passenger rail service from Portland ME to Boston and numerous other projects dealing with re-use and preservation of the rail network in Maine. He has also worked as a high school teacher of math, physics and physical sciences.

In his current position he conducts and supports research and educational activities for the Michigan Tech Transportation Institute’s (MTTI) Rail Transportation Program (RTP) and multi-disciplinary rail education through the Civil, Environmental, and Geospatial Engineering Department. The primary functions of his position include developing research and educational proposals, managing research projects and educational activities, supervising a diverse group of students involved in rail educational activities and research projects, publishing research results, developing rail educational materials and teaching rail courses. He is an active member of AREMA Committee 24 and TRB AHB60.

Links of Interest

Research Interests

  • Rail Activities
  • Railroad Crossing Research

Teaching Interests

  • Railroad Engineering
  • Rail Seminar
  • Transportation Engineering
  • Senior Design