Bob is a degreed Aerospace Engineer, having graduated from Texas A&M University in 1970. He worked at McDonnell Douglas as an Aeronautical Loads Engineer on the F4 Phantom Fighter until 1973, then became employed at Allied Chemical's Nylon plant in Chesterfield, Virginia --an internationally recognized leader in Manufacturing Reliability at the time. Nelms eventually became part of Allied's Corporate Reliability Center, where he concentrated his attention on Failure Analysis until the Center was disbanded in 1986 -- whence he formed Failsafe.
His professional work initially focused on the physical causes of machinery failure. He developed an expertise in experimental stress analysis, including strain gage and photoelasticity studies. He also became involved in probabilistic reliability studies, including Weibull and other statistical analysis methods. But his passion emerged when it became obvious to him that human beings cause all physical failure. Since 1996, Bob has devoted most of his time trying to clarify the sensitive human issues at the root of all failure.