Richard E. “Rick” Nelson, P.E., M.ASCE, co-chair of the Pipelines 2016 Conference this past July, has died at 65. Nelson was a vice-president and director of conveyance technology for CH2M Hill in Kansas City.
Nelson was among the first members of ASCE’s newest institute, the Utility Engineering and Surveying Institute, serving as chair of UESI’s Underground Pipelines Asset Management Committee.
Nelson was part of CH2M Hill for nearly 12 years. Previously, he spent more than a decade with Black and Veatch, helped launch RJN’s Kansas City office, and worked at George Butler and Associates.
“Rick was a consummate professional, and his dedication to our craft was an inspiration to his fellow travelers here at CH2M Hill. He had a way of seeing directly to the core of any topic and acted decisively to resolve technical issues and to build team solutions,” said Scott C. Williams, P.E., M.ASCE, principal technologist for the firm. “Above all, it was Rick’s people skills that endeared him to us. Rick was an honest, open, hilarious straight-shooter who treated those around him with fairness and compassion. Rick will be sorely missed, but he leaves behind a legacy of service, humor, and great character.”
Nelson grew up in Lake Forest, IL, and was a lifelong Chicago sports fan.
He earned a bachelor’s degree in biology from Bradley University and his master’s in environmental engineering from the Illinois Institute of Technology.
He is survived by his wife, Kathy, daughter, Katie, son, Josh, and five grandchildren, Audrey Caroline, Mark Joshua, Henry Joseph, Jackson Riley, and Sloan Hanson.