After graduation, she has made a brilliant career in the male-dominated steel industry. She started her career at the Norrbottens Järnverk that later became SSAB, in 1976. She has been CEO of SSAB Merox, and production manager in charge of the Metallurgy Division of SSAB Oxelösund, where she was part of the company management.
Elisabeth Nilsson was appointed CEO of Jernkontoret in 2005, and in 2010 she was appointed governor of Östergötland.
Elisabeth Nilsson was elected as a member of the Academy of Engineering Sciences in 2007, and she has several directorships, including Boliden, the Swedish Maritime Administration, Euromaint, 4th AP Fund and Sveaskog.
After graduation, Elisabeth Nilsson worked a few years as a lecturer at Luleå University of Technology. At the university she later, among other things, served on the board of the Centre for High Performance Steel. As CEO of Jernkontoret, she had an active cooperation with Luleå University of Technology in several areas, and in 2011 she was appointed commemorative alumnus.
Elisabeth Nilsson is one of the first rock engineers trained in Lulea and is a very good representative of Luleå University of Technology, Norrbotten and steel industry.