Nelson has served the profession as the Simulation Area Editor of Operations Research and President of the INFORMS (then TIMS) College on Simulation. He has held many positions for the annual Winter Simulation Conference, including Program Chair in 1997 and Chair of its Board of Directors, representing the INFORMS Simulation Society.
While at Ohio State University, Nelson received the Alpha Pi Mu Outstanding Faculty of the Year Award in Industrial and Systems Engineering; the Charles E. MacQuigg Outstanding Teacher Award in the College of Engineering; and the Alumni Award for Distinguished Teaching among all faculty at Ohio State. At Northwestern University he has received the Graduate Teaching Award in IEMS many times, was named the McCormick Teacher of the Year in the School of Engineering in 1998, received the Northwestern University Alumni Association Excellence in Teaching Award among all NU faculty in 2003, and was awarded the 2004 Excellence in Teaching Operations Research Award by the Institute of Industrial Engineers Operations Research Division.
Further information can be found at his home site
Additional information about his research is at his Project Moses web site.