J. Keith Nelson


 Place and Country of Birth

Oldham, UK


 Current Appointments (since 2009)

Professor Emeritus

            Department of Electric Comp. & Syst. Eng.,
            Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute,
            Troy, NY



2 Children



Professional Electrical Engineer

           C.Eng. Registration # 12005205


Recent Employment History


 2003 [Sabbatical leave]

 1993 [Sabbatical leave]







Philip Sporn Professor of Electric Power Engineering

Visiting Professor
    University of Leicester, UK
Visting Research Officer
    National Grid Company, UK
Chairman of Electric Power Engineering Dept.
     Rensselaer Polytechnic Inst.
Professor of Electric Power Engineering
     Rensselaer Polytechnic Inst.
Research Manager, General Electric,
    Corporate Research and Development
Reader in Electrical and Electronic Eng.
    University of London, UK
Lecturer in Electrical Engineering,
    Queen Mary College, London, UK



B.Sc.(Eng) in Electrical Engineering [with First Class Honors],

     -- University of London, 1965

Ph.D. in Power Engineering,

     -- University of London, 1969


Non-degree preparation


Chartered Professional Engineer: Reg. # 236275, 1962

FAA Certified and current Commercial Pilot (#3475560) (AMEL)

General Electric Professional Engineering Management Course, 1980.



General Electric [several divisions]
Electric Power Research Institute
US Foreign Relations Coordination Unit
American Electric Power
United Technologies
Allen Stewart PLC
Doble Engineering Co.
Danish Ministry of Education
Intermagnetics General
Applied Advanced Technologies Inc.
British Columbia Hydro
British Petroleum
Medtronic Corp.
University of Texas, Austin
Los Alamos Nat. Lab.

Cooper Power
Siebe North Inc.
United Nations
Long Island Lighting Co.
Eaton Corp.
Asea Brown Boveri
Norton Company
CEPEL (Brazil)
ORC International
National Institute of Standards & Technology
NY Power Authority
Knolls Atomic Power Lab.
Hamilton Sundstand

    A separate Consulting Website is available which highlights areas of activity.



Author (or coauthor) of over 250 technical papers, book chapters, or patents (separate comprehensive listing available). Full text copies of recent publications are also viewable. In Early 2010, he published the first book on Nanodielectrics.

Author of numerous unrefereed contract reports, book reviews, company internal technical reports, standards documents, etc.


Scientific and Professional Activities

  • Institution of Engineering and Technology (formally the Institution of Electrical Engineers): Corporate Member, 1972; Fellow, 1986.
  • Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers: Senior Member, 1979, Fellow 1989
  • Administrative Committee of the Dielectrics and Electrical Insulation Society, IEEE, 1983-88, 1991-present (VP [Technical] 1991-2, VP [Admin] 1993-4, President 1995-6)
  • Program Committee for NAS/NRC Insulation Conference, 1979-83
  • Board and Executive Committee (Chairman 1988-90) of the IEEE CEIDP Conference, 1990-present
  • Member of the IEE Professional Group Committee on Transmission and Distribution Plant, 1974-77
  • Chairman of the IEEE DEIS Education Committee, 1983-91
  • IEEE Educational Activities Board, 1985-88, 2013
  • CIGRE US national expert and member of the Working Group 12/15-02 on flow electrification
  • IEEE PES subcommittee on digital measurements of partial discharges (1987-95)
  • IEEE Technical Activities Board, 1985-86, 2012-13
  • IEEE TAB Meetings Council, 1996
  • Chairman, IEEE DEIS Membership Development Committee, 1997-2009
  • IEEE DEIS Awards Committee, 2009-present
  • IEEE Distinguished Lecturer, 2007-present
  • IEEE TAB/PSPB, 2011
  • IEEE DEIS Schenectady Chapter Founding Chairman, 2012
  • IEEE TAB Management Committee, 2013-16
  • IEEE Goverance Committee, 2013-14
  • IEEE Foundation Signature Programs Evaluation Committee, 2017-19
  • Refereeing panels for: IET, IEEE, Inst. of Physics, NSF, and J. of Electrostatics and others
  • Evaluator for the Accreditation Board in Engineering and Technology (ABET), 2007- 2023
  • IEEE Director, 2011-12

Honors and Awards

  • Eastern Electricity National Scholarship, 1962
  • IEE Snell Premium, 1972
  • British Council Research Worker's Award, 1974 and 1976
  • Royal Society Award, 1976
  • J.R. Beard Award, 1972
  • General Electric Patent Award, 1983
  • DEIS Fellowship, 1983
  • Japan Soc. Prom. Sci. Fellowship, 1987
  • IEEE Whitehead Memorial Lecturer, 1993
  • Edison Electric Institute Power Engineering Educator Award, 1994
  • American Association for Non-destructive Testing Fellowship Award, 1997
  • IEEE Forster Distinquished Service Award, 1998
  • IEEE Millennium Medal, 2000
  • IEEE Hans Tropper Memorial Lecturer, 2002
  • RPI Outstanding Professor Award, 2007
  • Ziyu Liu Memorial Lecturer, 2012
  • IEE Japan Inuishi Memorial Lecturer, 2014
  • Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award, 2017
  • IEEE DEIS Dakin Distinguished Technical Contributiom Award, 2022



Who's Who in America. 1984-

American Men and Women of Science. 1991-

Who's Who among America's Teachers, 2002-


Teaching Experience


Courses have been given at all undergraduate and graduate levels as well as specialized industrial short courses. Subject areas include:

  • Physical Electronics
  • Electric Power Engineering (several specializations)
  • Gaseous Electronics and Insulation Science
  • High Voltage Engineering
  • Electromagnetic Fields
  • Engineering Modeling and Design + several basic electrical engineering courses.

Numerous Ph.D. and D.Eng. supervisions in both the UK and the USA.


Research Experience


Recent areas of research activity include:

  • Development on nano-dielectrics for HV insulation
  • Dielectric phenomena
  • Insulation design for power equipment
  • Electrokinetic effects in flowing fluids (Electrification)
  • Electrostatics
  • Fundamental gas discharge physics
  • Superconductivity applied to power system equipment
  • Distributed Generation
  • Development of computer-based diagnostic instrumentation
  • Large scale computer simulation in connection with some of the above.

At a departmental level, spearheaded initiatives in power electronics and power system component modeling.

Extensive previous experience as Manager of the Electric Field Technology Programs at the General Electric R & D Center.

Computer Languages: Algol, Fortran, Basic, MatLab and 8085 Assembly.


Extra Curricular Activities


Vestry of St. Stephen's Episcopal Church (1987-91 & 2004-06)


Certified Scuba Diver



Last updated: Oct 2023


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