2016 40 Under 40: Michael Nelson, LEED AP BD+C, GGP, 35

Associate, Senior Electrical Designer, Interface Engineering, Portland, Ore. BS Engineering, Oregon State University MBA, Marylhurst University

By Jack Smith, Content Manager, and Amara Rozgus, Editor-in-Chief May 16, 2016

Michael Nelson, LEED AP BD+C, GGP, 35

Associate, Senior Electrical Designer, Interface Engineering, Portland, Ore.

BS Engineering, Oregon State University

MBA, Marylhurst University

Nelson began his electrical engineering career at a large MEP firm designing semiconductor-fabrication plants, microprocessor-design facilities, and other designs in high-tech industries. He quickly specialized in electrical system modeling and breaker coordination. However, he wanted an opportunity to apply his growing interest in sustainable design to a broader spectrum of projects. He got his wish while working for a smaller consulting firm that specializes in the unique Hawaii market. He designed his first photovoltaic (PV) system in 2006 on Kauai. Nelson later joined Interface Engineering in 2008 to continue pursuing this passion for renewable energy designs. He is firmly committed to energy efficiency, environmentally responsible design, and LEED-certified projects. He has also become a leader in PV system design and commissioning. He has supported Doctors Without Borders through the design of a mobile PV system to power a remote health clinic in the Republic of Congo. Nelson has also volunteered with the STEM Student Mentorship Program to promote STEM in public schools. Having recently returned from Australia, he spent a week on a remote eco-island as part of an adventure on the Great Barrier Reef, where he took part in turtle-egg hatching and worked with local biologists to give the hatchlings a viable first chance at life. Nelson and his wife love to spend weekends on the nearby Oregon coast with their two Corgis tagging along. He also loves to work on cars, build cars, take them apart, and put them back together. He has won numerous car shows and photos of a few of his builds have appeared in magazines.