[MERRITT ISLAND, Fla.] — RS&H welcomes aerospace leader Andrew Nelson to serve as vice president of its aerospace group. Nelson will be responsible for leading the aerospace and spaceports markets for the engineering and architecture firm and helping continue RS&H’s long history of designing facilities that help clients advance space exploration and commercialization.
“Andrew has exactly the qualifications and experience that RS&H needs to succeed in the fast-paced commercial space sector and meet our operational objectives,” said RS&H Executive Vice President Rodney Bishop. “The commercial aerospace industry is rapidly evolving, and it’s vital for RS&H to understand the pressure and need for speed in delivering innovative solutions to our clients.”
Prior to joining RS&H, Nelson excelled for over 30 years in the aerospace, aviation and space industry, domestically and internationally, as an engineer, analyst, strategist, business developer, fundraiser, trusted advisor and corporate thought leader. From his first role as an engineer on the nation’s space launch ranges, to advising foreign government leaders on how best to create robust space-friendly marketplaces, or leading a pioneering rocket engine developer, and recently helping blue chip investors understand the complexities and risks associated with commercial space, Nelson has developed a reputation for innovative and cost-effective problem solving in technically challenging and rapidly changing environments.
A key part of Nelson’s practice and mission since 2008 has been helping to grow and mature the commercial space industry, first as chief operating officer and vice president of business development, and later as president, of XCOR Aerospace, a pioneering propulsion and commercial space vehicle developer. Nelson then opened his own firm, Nelson Aerospace Consulting Associates. In both roles he helped facilitate spaceport licensing and infrastructure planning/buildout at numerous domestic and international sites while leading national security, civil, and commercial space go-to-market strategies. During this time, he was an active participant in the early Commercial Spaceflight Federation operations and a founding member and officer of the ASTM F47 Commercial Space Standards Committee; roles he continues today in addition to other industry leadership positions.
Nelson started his career on the Eastern Missile Test Range at Cape Canaveral after graduating from Ohio University with a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering where he worked at the famed OU Avionics Engineering Center on NASA and USAF satellite communications projects. Nelson joined the MITRE Corporation as a leader in the avionics and air traffic control sector leading avionics development programs and serving as the US DOD representative to the US Delegation to the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), among others. Nelson was recruited by Booz Allen and Hamilton, where he eventually led the International Aviation & Space Practice from offices in London and Paris where he executed numerous senior government and C-Suite strategy, technology and implementation programs in the space and aviation arena around the globe. After Booz Allen, Nelson earned his MBA from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and later worked at two major Wall Street firms before returning to aerospace with XCOR.
Josh Saltsman, PE, Aerospace Equipment Leader at RS&H, welcomes Nelson to the Aerospace team. “Andrew is a well-respected leader within the commercial space sector, and we are fortunate to have him join RS&H. Our team is looking forward to a superb partnership to work with and learn from Andrew as we expand our aerospace market and build upon our strong foundation.”
With RS&H, Nelson will continue his role as a solutions-orientated partner and creative leader for clients and team, while bringing the extensive resources and heritage space design, engineering, and implementation infrastructure capabilities of RS&H to a broader array of aerospace companies, spaceports, and government clients seeking to succeed in the rapidly evolving and expanding commercial space sector.
Employee-owned, RS&H is one of the nation’s leading architecture, engineering and consulting firms whose associates work hard every day to create a more connected future where everyone can thrive. We offer an exceptional journey from start to future for clients in aerospace, aviation, corporate, federal, health and science, and transportation. Our integrated teams translate experience into insight, turn challenges into opportunities and build relationships that are as strong as the buildings and infrastructure we deliver together. RS&H can be reached at 1.800.741.2014 or rsandh.com.
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