Nelson Vinagre graduated in Physical Education (UFRGS, 1998), with a Master's degree in Movement Sciences (UFRGS, 2002), and holds a PhD from the University of Göttingen (2013) in cooperation with the German Aerospace Agency (DLR).
His doctoral thesis focused on the study of paralympic alpine skiers, who underwent physiological testing on a treadmill and an evaluation process utilising a wind tunnel in order to assess physical performance and aerodynamic response. The results benefited the ski team through bringing an understanding of new training methods and equipment adaptation, which could be applied not only to this sport, but also in extreme environments or situations.
In his academic life, Nelson was for many years a university professor in Brazil, at UFRGS and ULBRA, establishing and teaching disciplines in Aquatic Rescue, Anthropometric Assessment and Physical Training. After completing his doctorate, he continues his teaching activities in Germany, contributing to a Master's degree at the Faculty of Sports, University of Göttingen, teaching a discipline related to physical assessment methods by equipment, with an emphasis on prevention and rehabilitation. He has also worked on a project in the area of Occupational Medicine, a collaboration between that University and German Social Security System.
Between 1988-2001, Nelson also completed technical training in piloting aircraft, becoming a certified private, commercial and agricultural pilot, and subsequently a flight safety agent, in Brazil.