Retired Machine Shop employee is remembered by Gregory Shipman

December 14, 2011

Jeff Nelson (Center)


On December 12, 2011, Jeffrey Nelson, long time member of the Geophysical Institute Machine Shop, passed away. Jeff started his career with the GI on January 19, 1981 and retired 29 years later on April 30, 2011. In those years he went about his job quietly, efficiently and with little fanfare. Quality work and peer respect was his desired reward. In the nine years I have known him he continually delivered on the first and unfailingly received the latter.


Jeff had the unique distinction of working with the last three managers of the Machine Shop. He continually and constantly demonstrated his high level of skill, craftsmanship and dedication in all assigned tasks and responsibilities. I would have no hesitancy in saying his positive impact on me was and is tremendous.


He began his career here as a mechanic and eventually became responsible for maintaining the G.I. Vehicle Fleet. He also contributed further to the Shop and the G.I. as a skilled maintenance mechanic servicing and repairing machinery, small motors and pumps.


In his last eight years in the shop, Jeff accepted and expanded his role by using machining skills to become a precision prototype machinist. He quickly became proficient on our Computer Numerical Control equipment. In his last five years, Jeff programmed, set-up and fabricated parts for many of the projects completed in the shop – including a six cubic foot Magnetometer Calibrator, the latest version of the G.I. Pin-Bone Machine and Interferometer. Jeff was also instrumental in helping with the programming and machining of components for the Chaparral Physics Infrasound Group.


Jeffrey Nelson successfully combined craftsmanship and mechanical knowledge with computerized technical skills to become an exceptional asset to the Geophysical Institute. 


He was the type of individual one would always enjoy seeing, speaking with and listening to. Jeff was a constant source of information, advice and a fountain of knowledge. Daily he was a quiet, reserved employee, associate and friend. I am richer for having known him and he was, is and will always be— an inspiration.



Gregory K Shipman

G.I. Machine Shop 



Photo: Jeff Nelson (middle) standing with Gregory Shipman (right) and Tim Manning, all of the GI Machine Shop. Photo by Lester Lefkowitz.


A card for Jeff's daughter will be in the GI Director's Office, please stop by to offer your condolences.