Rick Nelson

President
Experience
Mr. Nelson started his career working for a large forensic engineering firm, Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates. He worked on investigation and repair design for numerous building structures. Rick then moved to Thornton Tomasetti, another large structural engineering firm that did both new construction and forensic engineering. Rick worked on many projects, including a number of building collapse investigations, and design of retail structures, such as the Woodlands Mall in the Houston area. Rick worked on a large hanger for the U.S. Government. Rick subsequently formed a new engineering firm, Nelson Jones, in 2005. Nelson Jones primarily focused on forensic engineering and repair design for various clients, including building owners, insurance companies, and attorneys. Rick and Nelson Jones have an extensive background of expert witness work, including being retained as an expert witness on over 1,000 properties. In 2021, Rick acquired a structural design firm, and merged the two entities. The firm is now called The Structural Alliance.
Education
M.S.- Civil Engineering - The University of Texas at Austin - 1997 B.S. - Civil Engineering - Brigham Young University - 1996
Licensure
Mr. Nelson was first licensed as a licensed Professional Engineer in Texas in 2002. Mr. Nelson is currently licensed in Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, and Texas.

Representative Experience

Personal representative experience may cover multiple employement engagements

Industrial Warehouse Fire

Mequite, Texas

Industrial warehouse caused by equipment fire. Fire-damaged steel joists roof framing, steel deck, and concrete tilt wall panels.

TSA investigation determined the extent of the repair parameters.

A repair using steel beams instead of steel joists was also provided for the owner to help minimize downtime.

Developer
Architect
Cost
Developer
Structured system
Foundation system
Industrial Warehouse Fire
Mequite, Texas

Ski Resort Distress

When building a residence next to a ski resort, snow load would obviously be an important factor. Another significant factor is the weight of the building materials. We were asked to determine the cause of cracking in a multi-family residential project. The cracks were first noticed after a major snowstorm. Distress was concentrated in areas around where an owner had cut out and modified portions of the structural framing and added very heavy architectural elements. The combination of heavier loading and weaker structure led to distress in other units in the complex after a heavy snowstorm, including wallboard cracking and sticking doors.

Developer
Architect
Cost
Developer
Structured system
Foundation system
Ski Resort Distress

Scuba Diving

Rick's favorite hobby is Scuba Diving. Any chance he gets, he is in the tropics under water seeing new creatures and old friends. He has logged nearly 200 dives over 30 years. When his kids were old enough, they all joined in, and like to go out together.

Developer
Architect
Cost
Developer
Structured system
Foundation system
Scuba Diving

Structure Collapse

West Texas

TSA was retained to investigate the cause of a structural failure that collapsed. TSA performed a 3D analysis of the existing structure and found a number of design defects. TSA designed a new structural system.

Developer
Architect
Cost
Developer
Structured system
Foundation system
Structure Collapse
West Texas

Server Room / Tornado Wall

When a financial services company was looking to install their new data center, they had an unusual request. They wanted to provide a tornado wall to resist missile impact (flying debris) from a tornado. TSA personnel performed a load review of the proposed data center loading and designed an impact-resistant wall capable of resisting the pressures and missile impact loads from an F3 tornado. The wall consisted of steel channels used like wall studs, steel plate, and wood sheathing (to slow down the missile impacts). The design included consideration of converting dynamic impact loads into static forces for design purposes. The design was implemented but hasn't yet had to face a test.

Developer
Architect
Cost
Developer
Structured system
Foundation system
Server Room / Tornado Wall

Poor Roof Drainage = Ponding Failure

Dallas, Texas

This roof collapse happened in a massive warehouse. TSA engineers field documented distress and established the parameters of the repair zone.

This unique structure was partially built with 3D space trusses.

Existing structural drawings were not available. Existing structural conditions had to be field measured and identified.

Following the investigation, TSA provided repair designs and performed engineering construction phase services to fix the building.

Developer
Architect
Cost
Developer
Structured system
Foundation system
Poor Roof Drainage = Ponding Failure
Dallas, Texas

55 E. Erie

Chicago, Illinois

Rick was part of the design team for this project. It is the fourth tallest all-residential building in the United States. Rick designed the floor of transfer girders. Transfer girders large beams that support main building columns from above, and transfer the forces to other building columns below. The girder were massive. They were typically about 6 feet wide and 17 feet deep. The design loads on the girders were up to 6 million pounds because they supported the upper 40 stories of the structure.

Developer
Architect
Cost
Developer
Structured system
Foundation system
55 E. Erie
Chicago, Illinois
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