International Research Office director selected

Published Oct. 17, 2017
Dr. Andrew J. Nelson, SSTM

Dr. Andrew (Andy) J. Nelson is director of the U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center’s Construction Engineering Research Laboratory (CERL) in Champaign, Illinois. As the CERL director, he is responsible for the activities of a highly interdisciplinary team of approximately 300 federal and contracted staff conducting research in materials and structures, energy, training lands and heritage, emergency and operational support, warfighter engineering and installation readiness.

Dr. David W. Pittman, director of the U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center in Vicksburg, Mississippi, has appointed Andrew (Andy) Nelson to succeed Dr. Russell S. Harmon as director of the ERDC International Research Office in London.   

“The IRO is important to facilitate international collaboration and awareness of cutting-edge ERDC research. I believe we are all stronger through partnership and teamwork, and the IRO serves to support our own science and engineering research through cooperation. These partnerships enhance value for the U.S. Army and reinforce our internal research programs,” said Nelson. “I plan to build on the great work of the past IRO leadership. I'm looking forward to continuing to grow ERDC partnerships with foreign research organizations, and positioning ERDC as an international leader for research and development in civil and military engineering. I look forward to expanding ERDC outreach to support overseas military activities and seeking out new opportunities for cooperative research through NATO, the Department of Defense and other funded programs.”

Nelson most recently served as the Energy Branch chief at the Construction Engineering Research Laboratory in Champaign, Illinois. He served as the ERDC liaison officer to the Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Installations, Energy, and Environment from October 2016 to April 2017, and has been involved in research across a diverse range of topics, including energy efficiency of fixed facilities and contingency structures, enhanced chemical and biological protection for facilities and development of gray water treatment and reuse technologies.  He has worked actively with government, academic and commercial research communities to develop solutions for Army needs, facilitating multiple government-industrial partnerships.  

As director of the IRO, Nelson will work under the supervision of the Enterprise Business Development Office.  He will act as the focal point for ERDC international science and technology engagements.  His duties will include developing and enhancing ERDC relationships with international science and technology organizations, engaging with military, academic and civilian organizations to form collaborative opportunities and organize international visits and meetings with key international partners. 

Nelson’s educational background includes a bachelor’s degree in physics, with a minor in religion, from Illinois Wesleyan University. He also holds a master’s in environmental engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and is currently a doctoral candidate in the same department. 

His past awards include the Army Commander’s Award for Civilian Service, the Army Achievement Medal for Civilian Service, multiple ERDC research and development Achievement Awards, the ERDC Award for Outstanding Achievement in Student Outreach, the ERDC Outstanding Team Effort Award, and the American Environmental Engineering and Science Professor’s Master’s Thesis Award.
 Nelson’s experience also includes a year working as a visiting researcher with the Aircrew and Collective Protection Team at the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory at Porton Down, United Kingdom, through the U.S. Army Engineer and Scientist Exchange Program.

“My wife and I are both avid travelers, and greatly enjoyed our time living in the English countryside when I was stationed at Porton Down. While we know that life in London will certainly be different from the countryside, we are looking forward to spending an extended period of time in the United Kingdom and the opportunity to travel more broadly.”