Nelson joined Google in 2007, and as VP of Engineering for the EMEA region, he is responsible for all engineering and product development activities. Prior to joining Google, he worked in various capacities at IBM for 15 years. Most recently, Nelson was an IBM Distinguished Engineer and Vice President of Information and User Technologies at IBM Research. He led an organization of researchers worldwide who worked on projects involving search, structured and unstructured information processing and analytics, natural language processing, conversational and multimodal interaction, business collaboration tools, visualization technologies and overall user experience. He was also an IBM Distinguished Engineer and Vice President, Information Integration for the IBM Software Group, for which he created a portfolio of products that grew into a several hundred million dollar business, brought several key technologies to market, and drove five key acquisitions in support of this segment. Nelson's career with IBM also included key roles in DB2 development, leading major SQL extensions, and driving worldwide database standards; in this capacity, he contributed to the design of SQL99 through more than 300 accepted proposals.
Prior to IBM, Nelson was an associate professor at the University of Kaiserslautern in Germany, where he was involved in research on object-oriented and knowledge base management systems.
Nelson received his Ph. D. in Computer Science from University of Kaiserslautern and also holds bachelor's and master's degrees in Computer Science from the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul in Brazil. He has published over 80 papers on database management and related topics, holds 13 patents, and is the author of book, An Approach to Knowledge Base Management.