In Memorium – Nelson K. Rogers, MS IE 1956

Sep 17, 2013 | Atlanta, GA

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  • Nelson K. Rogers

For More Information Contact

Barbara Christopher
Industrial and Systems Engineering
404.385.3102

Georgia Tech engineering alumnus and Professor Emeritus, Nelson Kimball Rogers, MS IE 1956, passed away on September 15, 2013.

Rogers was born on May 17, 1928 in Flushing, New York, the son of Lewis Edward Rogers and Marion Nelson Rogers, both formerly of Cartersville. He was a graduate of Cartersville High School, the United States Naval Academy, and the Georgia Institute of Technology. He was a veteran of the Korean War. During his early career he was vice president of operations for the Sea-Land Corporation, where he was instrumental in building the industry’s first container ships. He also did considerable engineering consulting, most notably for Coca-Cola, and various marine transportation corporations as well as textile corporations.  

Rogers received a B.S. at the U.S. Naval Academy in Marine Engineering in 1950 and went on to complete an M.S. in IE at Georgia Tech in 1956. His career in the Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering (ISyE) began in 1965 as a lecturer.  Four years later he became an Associate Professor where he was actively involved in research, publishing and thesis student advising. In 1973, he took a position as the Associate Director of Undergraduate Programs. His responsibilities were vital to the ongoing thrust of excellence at ISyE and worked to enhance the reputation of the school. He won the “Outstanding Professor Awards” in ISyE the year of 1979, 1981 and 1984. He also won the “George C. Griffin Award – Outstanding Teacher at Georgia Tech” in 1985, awarded by the Georgia Tech Student Government. After spending twenty nine years at Georgia Tech, Rogers retired in 1993.

Professor Rogers is survived by his wife Marian Morris Rogers of Cartersville; son Edward Morris Rogers (Jeanette) of Roswell, GA; daughter Kimball Amanda Rogers (LaVon Napier) of Nashville, TN; son James Madison Rogers of Cartersville; granddaughter Kyla Louise Rogers of Atlanta, GA; grandson Matlock Nelson Rogers of St. Louis, MO; granddaughter Kirby Lee Rogers of Nashville, TN; brother Madison Leete "Pete" Rogers (Sally) of Cartersville; and nephew Lewis Charles Rogers (Lusiya) of Shanghai, China. If desired, memorials may be sent to Sam Jones Memorial United Methodist Church, 100 Church Street, Cartersville, GA 30120 or to the charity of your choice. Owen Funeral Home, Cartersville, GA is in charge of arrangements.

Comments from Faculty & Staff

“Nelson was appointed to his position as the undergraduate chair at or shortly after I was hired in 1971.  He was devoted to undergraduates and he seemed to know them all.  He was one of the last of a breed at Tech.” - Gary Parker, Professor Emeritus and former Graduate Associate Chair

“Nelson was a wonderful human being and was invaluable to the quality of the undergraduate program.  In the 1980s we had about 600-700 undergraduates in ISyE and he seemed to know every one of them.  Not once did I go to talk to him about an undergrad, whether because they were doing very well or doing very poorly, that Nelson did not know. He always knew how good a job we were doing in our teaching because he talked to so many students and they trusted him.  If your teaching got worse, he told you, and if your teaching got better, he told you. A typical Nelson Rogers story: one of our juniors was still doing well in her courses in the winter quarter, but was slipping a little and was not as perky as usual. Nelson knew that she had taken courses two summers in a row and saw that she was in danger of burning out. He arranged a good-paying summer job for her in the shipping business.  When she came back she was her old self, and she had an excellent senior year.  For Nelson, that was all part of a day's work.  I'll miss him.”  -Craig Tovey, David M. McKenney Family Professor

“Nelson retired quite some time ago, but there are still those around who remember him.  He was my ‘boss’ for many years.  He taught me many wonderful lessons about working with young people.  He influenced my method of advising undergraduate students.  He was a wonderful teacher, mentor, and friend.” -Patti Parker, Academic Advising Manager

“Nelson Rogers played a key role in the development of container shipping, but  after many years of ‘climbing the golden ladder’ and traveling the world, he choose to come to GT and work with Bob Lehrer to build the best IE department in the world.  He was a fixture, for sure, and there are literally thousands of ISyE alums who will join all Nels's friends in mourning his passing.” -Leon McGinnis, Professor Emeritus 

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