Albert L. “Boots” Nelson was born of ranching parents in Jackson, Wyoming in 1933. In 1951, after graduating from Jackson/Wilson High School, he enrolled at UW in the College of Engineering and Applied Science. Boots’ education was interrupted by military service during which he served as a ski and outdoor survival instructor in the Army Mountain Training Command. In 1956, Boots and his fianceée Bev were married and they returned to Laramie to complete his degree program.
While in college, Boots worked part time at Banner Associates, a Laramie engineering firm. The experience molded his career. Leaving Banner in 1962, he became a field engineer for Questar in Vernal, Utah. In 1964, he founded Nelson Engineering with offices in Green River and Jackson. Growing into one of the top engineering firms in the State of Wyoming, Nelson Engineering also opened offices in Idaho.
Boots served as Director and then President of ACEC Wyoming and was also active in the Wyoming Engineering Society (WES) where he served as president. In 1993, one of his projects was named WES project of the year and it went to a national ACEC competition, an event he became involved with shortly after his participation. The ACEC Engineering Excellence Award Ceremony is known as the “Oscar Awards of Engineering.” The program, judging, and award ceremony is managed by the ACEC-EEA Committee. Boots served on that committee for the next ten years, and was chairman for two of those years. He is the first ACEC Wyoming member to be named a Fellow of ACEC.