John D Nelson

Dr. John D Nelson

Engineering Analytics, Inc.
1600 Specht Point Rd.
Fort Collins , CO 80525
Mobile: 970-222-6054
Office: 970-488-3111
Fax: 970-488-3112

Dr. John Nelson was a founding partner of Engineering Analytics, Inc. and currently serves as Principal Engineer at EA. He has testified in Federal Court, District Court, arbitration, and deposition on well over 100 occasions. Dr. Nelson has over 50 years of experience in Geotechnical Engineering. He Is Professor Emeritus of Colorado State University having served on the faculty for 39 years. He was a founding partner of Shepherd Miller, Inc., prior to forming Engineering Analytics after retiring from CSU.

Dr. Nelson has a broad range of experience dealing with expansive and collapsible soils and mill tailings dams, He also has experience regarding landslides and slope stability, compacted fills, soft soils, seepage and water movement in soils, and design of embankment dams.

He is the senior author of two books, including Foundation Engineering for Expansive Soil and Expansive Soils: Problems and Practices in Foundation and Pavement Engineering. He has served as expert witness on numerous cases dealing with construction defects related to expansive soil, collapsible soil and slope stability.

He has also testified in cases relating to dams and mill tailings management. He was the Chief Technical Reviewer for the USNRC for the Church Rock tailings dam failure. He is the engineer of record for the design of raises of tailings dams in Arkansas and New Mexico. He testified in Federal Court on litigation involving failure of a tailings dam in Idaho. He was also the designated expert for litigation involving seepage from large tailings impoundments in Arizona. Most recently he served as the designated expert regarding the Mount Polley Tailings Dam Failure in British Columbia.

He is the author of more than 100 technical papers and reports.

Areas of Expertise
  • Civil Engineering
  • Forensic Engineering
  • Geology
  • Geotechnical Engineering
  • Hydrology & Groundwater
  • Professional Engineering
  • Safety

Expert Background
Q: Please list your professional accreditations, degrees, licenses, and certificates granted:
A: B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. - Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago, Ill.
Professional Engineer, P.E. in Colorado, New Mexico, Illinois, Montana, Minnesota, Arkansas, Wyoming; P. Eng. in British Columbia, Canada
D. GE. - Diplomate in Academy of GeoProfessionals.
Q: Please list your affiliations or memberships in any professional and/or industry organizations:
A: Fellow, American Society of Civil Engineers (Life Member)
International Society for Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering
Southeast Asia Society for Geotechnical Engineering
Q: Please list any teaching or speaking experience you have had, including subject matter:
A: Professor, Colorado State University for 39 years. Taught Geotechnical Engineering graduate and undergraduate courses in a wide variety of subjects including Advanced Geotechnical Engineering, Design of Dams, Foundation Engineering, Earth and Earth Retaining Structures, Soil Dynamics, and others.
Also, have presented technical papers at National and International Conferences on Geotechnical Engineering
Q: Have any of your accreditations ever been investigated, suspended or removed? (if yes, explain)
A: No
Q: On how many occasions have you been retained as an expert?
A: About 100 +/-
Q: For what area(s) of expertise have you been retained as an expert?
A: Construction defects relating to foundations on expansive or collapsing soils, Tailings dam failures, Seepage from dams or impoundments, Landslides, Compaction of soils in fills, Stability of Excavations, Foundation heave due to frozen soils.
Q: In what percentage of your cases were you retained by the plaintiff?
A: In Construction Defects cases I was retained about 95% by plaintiffs.
Q: In what percentage of your cases were you retained by the defendant?
A: In cases relating to Tailings Dams and Impoundments I was almost always retained by the defendants.
Q: On how many occasions have you had your deposition taken?
A: About 100 +/-
Q: When was the last time you had your deposition taken?
A: November 2016
Q: On how many occasions have you been qualified by a court to give expert testimony?
A: About 15 +/-
Q: On how many occasions have you testified as an expert in court or before an arbitrator?
A: About 25 +/-
Q: For how many years have you worked with the legal industry as an expert?
A: More than 30 years
Q: What services do you offer? (E.g.: consulting, testing, reports, site inspections etc.)
A: Consulting, Soil Testing, Opinion Reports, Site Inspections, Design of Remediation Plans
Q: What is your hourly rate to consult with an attorney?
A: Upon Request
Q: What is your hourly rate to review documents?
A: Upon Request
Q: What is your hourly rate to provide deposition testimony?
A: Upon Request
Q: What is your hourly rate to provide testimony at trial?
A: Upon Request
Q: Please list any fees other than those stated above (E.g.: travel expenses, copy fees, etc.)
A: Travel Expenses plus administrative fees.


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