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Kevin D. Nielsen, Ph.D., P.E., M.ASCE

2020–2023 Technical Region Director

Vision Statement

I have been involved in ASCE/EWRI since early in my educational career while pursuing my first engineering degree in college. Immediately after graduating, I became involved in the local chapter through participation in monthly meetings. Over 20 years ago, I became involved at the national level and have held numerous Task Committee, Technical Committee, Council, and Governing Board positions. I have also been involved in several other professional organizations such as AWWA, National Society of Professional Engineers, and WEF.

Through my long and extensive experience in ASCE and EWRI, I have gained a valuable appreciation for the organization. I have also been a strong advocate in articulating the responsibility of engineers to protect the health, welfare, and safety of society and the environment. This has been an integral part of the academic classes I have taught and the young engineers I have mentored. Through my experience in other professional organizations, I have also gained an important perspective of the unique role ASCE plays in the professional community. Many professional organizations provide a means to network with potential clients and identify job opportunities. This often creates a situation of competition among professionals rather than collaboration. However, ASCE provides a unique setting that is collaborative between academia, consulting, municipal, state and federal agencies. This allows us to unite our diverse perspectives and experience in promoting the engineering profession and the ASCE vision of "civil engineers are global leaders, building a better quality of life".

I have over 10 years in academia and over 30 years in private consulting. In addition, I have worked closely with several municipal, state and federal agencies. This experience provides me a unique perspective to better understand and integrate the collective strengths and needs of each member and potential member of ASCE. I have demonstrated that I can clearly articulate the organizational needs and motivate others to positive actions. My connection to younger professionals and the ability to excite them about the opportunities in engineering will assist in recruiting more young professionals into ASCE.

One of the greatest needs facing humanity is the availability of clean water, sanitation, and other infrastructure needs to enhance the well-being of the global community. I have worked on several international service projects to address the needs of developing countries. These projects gave me the opportunity to see firsthand that our work is not about concrete and rebar, dams and spillways, water and wastewater plants, or a variety of the other things we build but that it is about the health, welfare, and safety of society and the environment.

I am proud to be part of the engineering profession and assist with the mission of ASCE to "deliver value to our members, advance civil engineering, and protect the public health, safety, and welfare". I will be a strong voice and advocate as a Technical Region Director to assist in helping ASCE remain healthy and strong into the future. One of the key areas to accomplish this is to increase the involvement of younger members in the society. This can be accomplished by understanding their needs and ensuring ASCE is making the necessary adjustments to provide an environment where they feel welcome and can thrive. In addition, I feel it is critical to develop a stronger relationship between the technical and regional structures so that we can leverage off the strengths of both organizations. As a Technical Region Director, I would make these two items high priority with regards to what I would hope to accomplish if elected.


Education

  • Ph.D., Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Iowa
  • M.S., Civil and Environmental Engineering, Utah State University
  • B.S., Civil and Environmental Engineering, Utah State University (magna cum laude)

Work Experience

  • CH2M HILL (now Jacobs), 1984-present
    • Global Technology Leader for Advanced Hydraulics and CFD with responsibilities to respond to the most demanding and challenging hydraulic design projects all across the globe
    • Over 35 years of experience as hydrologic, hydraulic, and water resources engineer
    • Extensive experience conducting hydraulic and hydrological analyses for water supply, hydroelectric power, irrigation, fish hatchery, river systems, wastewater, stormwater and transportation projects
    • Expert in the detailed analysis of transients associated with pump stations and hydropower operations
    • Expert in the application of Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) for evaluating complex hydraulics
    • Extensive experience conducting CFD and physical model hydraulic analyses for Combined Sewer Overflow (CSO) and tunnel projects including the analysis of various dropshaft alternatives and major terminal pump stations
    • Provided expert witness testimony for a variety of hydrologic, hydraulic, and water resources issues
  • Iowa Institute of Hydraulic Research (IIHR), 1996-2000
    • Research engineer performing detailed physical hydraulic model studies
    • Guest lecturer for graduate and undergraduate courses including Mechanics of Sediment Transport, Open Channel Flow, Project Design and Management, and Principles of Hydraulics.
  • Carroll College, 2000-2006
    • Associate Professor in the Math and Engineering Department
    • Assisted with obtaining the first ABET accredited engineering program for Carroll College
    • Taught upper level civil engineering courses in fluid mechanics, hydraulics, hydrology, environmental engineering, water and wastewater treatment, transportation, senior project design, and engineering economics
    • Taught courses in international perspectives in engineering that included trips to Italy featuring ancient engineering achievements and discussions with the local engineers dealing with rising water challenges in Venice, stabilization of the Leaning Tower of Pisa, and the failure of Vajont Dam in 1963
    • Was the faculty advisor for the ASCE student chapter and Engineers without Borders

ASCE Involvement

Society-level

  • Environmental and Water Resources Institute (EWRI)
    • Past President, 2020
    • President, 2019
    • President Elect, 2018
    • Vice President, 2017
  • EWRI Hydraulics and Waterways Council
    • Technical Council ExCom, 2015-2017
    • Past Chairman, 2014-2015
    • Chairman, 2011-2014
    • Vice Chairman, 2009-2011
    • Secretary, 2007-2009
  • EWRI Hydraulic Structures Technical Committee
    • Chairman, 2006-2008
    • Vice Chairman, 2004-2006
    • Secretary, 2002-2004
  • Vice Chairman, ASCE/EWRI Teaching of Hydraulic Design Task Committee, 1997-2000
  • Chairman, EWRI Engineering for Fish Passage and Enhancement Task Committee, 2004-2006
  • Secretary, EWRI Two Phase Flow in Urban Water Systems Task Committee, 2017-present

Local-Level

  • Member, ASCE local chapter in Boise, Idaho, 1984-1996
  • Member, ASCE Student Chapter at Utah State University 1982-1984

Other Volunteer Activities

  • Led the site identification, design, and manual labor construction of a small dam to provide irrigation and domestic water supply to a village in Kenya, 2011
  • Idaho Society of Professional Engineers
    • State President-Elect, 1996
    • State Secretary/Treasurer, 1995
    • State Convention Committee Chairman, 1992
    • SW Chapter President, 1993
    • SW Chapter Vice President, 1992
    • SW Chapter Secretary, 1991

Awards

  • Idaho Society of Professional Engineers Young Engineer of the Year, 1991
  • Outstanding Junior Engineer, Utah State University, 1982