Paul Nielsen, PhD

1972 Hertz Fellow
Find me on LinkedIn

Dr. Paul D. Nielsen is the Director and Chief Executive Officer of Carnegie Mellon University’s Software Engineering Institute, a U.S. Department of Defense federally funded research and development center.

The SEI is a global leader in advancing software, cybersecurity, and artificial intelligence to support the nation by advancing the science, technologies and practices needed to acquire, develop, operate, and sustain complex systems that are innovative, affordable, trustworthy, and enduring.

Prior to joining the SEI in 2004, Nielsen served in the U. S. Air Force, retiring as a major general and commander of the Air Force Research Laboratory. During his Air Force career, Gen Nielsen served in research, engineering, and managerial positions in space, C3I, and science and technology. In addition, he had several joint assignments serving at the National Security Agency, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, the National Reconnaissance Office, the Office of the Secretary of Defense, and NORAD.

Nielsen is a member of the U. S. National Academy of Engineering and a Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, the Institute for Electrical and Electronic Engineers and the International Council on Systems Engineering. He was a member of the Air Force Scientific Advisory Board (2006-2010) and the Defense Science Board (2013-2021). He has served on many other boards, panels and studies and co-chaired the DSB’s 2015 Summer Study on Autonomy.

Hertz Foundation Role

Fellowships and Programs Council

Graduate Studies

University of California, Davis
A Computational Investigation of the Limits to Pease – Braginskii Collapse of a Z-Pinch

Undergraduate Studies

United States Air Force Academy


2010, Member, National Academy of Engineering