Nelson C. Baker, Ph.D.

Dean of Professional Education

Dr. Nelson Baker, dean of Professional Education at the Georgia Institute of Technology and associate professor in the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, leads a multifaceted operation at Georgia Tech Professional Education. The academic division is comprised of the Global Learning Center, Georgia Tech-Savannah, the Language Institute, and an extensive program of professional education courses in science, technology, engineering, and math, with online professional master’s degrees, and an array of credit and non-credit distance learning courses. Georgia Tech Professional Education's programs served 13,000 individuals for 25,000 enrollments in FY14, with learners representing six continents and more than half the countries in the world. In the last year, degrees conferred through the online master's degree program facilitated by Professional Education accounted for approximately 8% of Georgia Tech's overall master's degrees conferred. 

Baker particularly seeks to create and assess ways in which technology impacts the learning of engineering students. His award-winning work has generated projects such as multi­lingual web-­based intelligent simulations for problem solving; intelligent tutors; student models; an online faculty assistant tool for creating course objectives; and a variety of technology-based assessments and virtual reality interfaces for education.In addition to his role as dean, Baker serves as  the U.S. principal investigator for a FIPSE Atlantis programme grant (P116J090074), an international activity exploring quality management and benchmarking of continuing engineering education programs; and also as a co-principal investigator on a five-year NASA project, Electronic Professional Development Network (ePDN), which develops and delivers STEM content to high school teachers.

In February 2012, Baker was appointed by Chancellor Huckaby to serve on the University System of Georgia's (USG) Distance Education Task Force  to create a framework to better coordinate and guide the future use of distance education for the 35 colleges and universities within the USG system. He served as president of the International Association for Continuing Engineering Education (IACEE) from 2009-2014, and is past-chair of the Georgia Board of Regents Administrative Committee on Public Service and Continuing Education. Baker also recently served as a board member for the University Professional and Continuing Education Association (UPCEA), and is an active member of ASEE and ASCE.

  • Intelligent learning environments for engineering
  • Applications of artificial intelligence and other computer-based techniques to solve engineering problems
  • Robotic applications to civil engineering
  • Ph.D., Civil Engineering, Carnegie Mellon University, 1989.
  • M.S., Civil Engineering, Carnegie Mellon University, 1985.
  • B.C.E., Civil Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, 1980.
  • National Science Foundation National Young Investigator, 1992-1998
  • Outstanding Innovative Use of Education Technology Award, Georgia Institute of Technology, 1997
  • Nominated for the American Society of Engineering Education George Westinghouse National Award, 1997.
  • Recipient of ENR Educator for Construction's Next Generation, 1996
  • Department of the Navy, Instructional Recognition Letter, January 1996.
  • W. Roane Beard Georgia Institute of Technology Outstanding Teacher Award, 1994
  • W.M. Keck Foundation Award for Engineering Teaching Excellence, 1994
  • Outstanding Faculty Member Award 1993 - 1994 as determined by the Georgia Tech Student Chapter of the American Society of Civil Engineers
  • Lilly Teaching Fellow, 1991 - 1992
  • ASCE Journal of Computing Best Paper, 1990
  • Outstanding Faculty Member Award 1989 - 1990 as determined by the Georgia Tech Student Chapter of the American Society of Civil Engineers