Nathaniel Mills


Nathaniel Mills


Senior Technical Staff Member (STSM)


IBM Research Southbury, CT USA


I have consistently applied rapid application development resulting in products for commercial sales or to support customer engagements. Customers are the ultimate domain experts and I gravitate to applied research working closely with them for validation. I enjoy acting as a research entrepreneur in an environment that values real-world experience and is aggressive in turning concepts into assets. My research and development has resulted in commercially viable, revenue generating products, and successful customer engagements.

Assignment History:

2022 - Present
watsonx Conversational AI
RAG Data Pipeline

Designed and developed the Retrieval Augmented Generation (RAG) Data Pipeline to handle accumulation of training and test content for LLMs and to feed retrieval based search to generate document grounded responses for multi-turn conversations. Services include web content crawling with robots.txt validation and URL filtering; HTML transformation to both Markdown and Formatted Text; document decomposition into smaller "passages" to address LLM token limitations; document classification statistics; and markdown table expansion.

Major Telecom, Banking, Manufacturing
IBM Agent Assist, Data & AI Automation

Commercialized Asset: Real-time automated support agent assistance, monitoring voice and chat conversations to make recommendations for what Agents can say, do, or reference to address clients’ needs. Uses deep learning models based on conversation history to build recommendation models. PII is protected through semantic information masking. Web content is transformed and interpreted to glean procedures, conditionals, and document structure to drive document reference recommendations. Integration with 3rd Party Agent Platforms (LivePerson, Genesys Cloud, NICE).

Technologies: React, Carbon Design, MongoDB, Docker, WebSockets, Stanford NLP, System T, Apache PDFBox, Java EE, Node.js, ES6 JavaScript, HTML5, Selenium, Markdown

Open Source Contributions:

Developed and Open Sourced the following projects currently active and used in IBM products:

2015 – 2018
Major Aviation Manufacturer
Conversation Systems Research

Collaborative Research Engagement: Led all technical aspects of customer research engagement for prototype design and development of real-time conversation application for multi-person conversation system for situation awareness supporting shared context for evolving, asynchronously monitored situations. Involved real-time coordination and display of equipment health and safety status; weather monitoring, and impact; geographic awareness and destination planning; decision support, and assistance with operations procedures. Developed conversation workflow orchestration platform combining Cloud Functions, Watson Assistant, and multi-application routing to support conversation suspension / resumption to help clients address emergency diversions and unplanned itinerary changes. Created a graph-based conversation platform to field NLP queries and generate conversation to reduce results optimized on evolving situation awareness facet distribution. Integration of speech to text and ML-based conversation.

Technologies: Java / JavaScript, Watson Assistant, Watson Speech to Text / Text to Speech, ANTLR, WebSockets, Blazegraph, Kafka, Zookeeper, Node.js, Web Components, Cloud Functions, REST, Node-RED, Stanford NLP, WebSphere Liberty, DB2

2014 – 2015
Major Financial Institution
Visual Analytics Research

Project Description: Leading Governance, Risk and Compliance Visual Analytics First of a Kind customer engagement.

Technologies: OpenPages,, Web Components, WebSockets, Node.js

2013 - 2014
Major HR Vendor
Best Fit Expertise

Project Description: Lead all technical aspects of Best Fit Expertise. Coordinated multi-national efforts to design and develop aspects of expertise tracking at IBM.

Technologies: Smarter Workforce, SmallBlue, Social Q&A, Expediting Expertise, Expertise Locator, and Expertise 360.

2011 - 2013
IBM Cross Software Group Joint Program
Collaborative Decision-Making

Project Description: Chief Architect and Lead Designer for development of framework for Collaborative Decision Making. Allows teams to discuss and debate alternative solutions for complex issues resulting in sound decision making. Focuses on transparency of decision-making rationale, sentiment capture, and ratings aggregation to promote leading alternatives.

Technologies: IBM Social Networking and Deployment (SaND), DB2, WebSphere, REST, Lucene, UIMA, IBM Extreme Scale

2010 - 2011
Dept. of Energy Greater Philadelphia Innovation Center
Decision Support Data Warehouse

Project Description: Conceived, designed and developed decision support infrastructure and data warehouse to guide customers through decision trees, soliciting feedback and choices to assist with building component selection for smarter building / energy savings. Technologies: Decision Trees McMaster University

Energy Modeling/Simulation
i-BEE Research FoaK for Smarter Buildings Project Description: Conceived, designed and developed Building Management System data integration framework performing automated content retrieval, transformation, and summarization into a normalized repository to feed energy modeling and simulation analytics.

2009 - 2010
Condition Monitoring Collaborative Innovation Market Test

Project Description: Chief Architect, Technical Lead, Knowledge Engineer to provide condition monitoring and automated recommendations for heavy equipment in mining and quarry and aggregates industries using PAC, Maximo, WebSphere, DB2. Conceived, designed and developed Analytic Application layer to review, correlate, and find patterns in electronic vehicle data, fluids analysis, and inspection data to generate Maximo Work Orders and associated recommended actions for preventative maintenance and improved availability of mission critical equipment. Developed > 25,000 rules. Managed technical delivery team. from GBS and S&D. Provided Condition Monitoring, Diagnostic / Prognostic Subject Matter Expertise.

2006 - 2009
US Army Heavy Brigade Combat Team
Vehicle Health Management System (VHMS)

Project Description: Chief Architect, Technical Lead for multi-division IBM team providing Condition Based Maintenance subject matter expertise in delivery of Portal, SOA Services, and Vehicle Data Repository. Expanded prior role from CoBRA to collaborate with other Army divisions (ARDEC, TARDEC, TACOM, LOGSA) to integrate the System Integrate Lab (SIL) with existing Army programs for Asset Management, Work Order Processing, and Repairs to augment vehicle operational data analysis.

CoBRA: Condition Based Reliability Analysis

Project Description: Chief Architect, Technical Lead for COBRA, a condition-based maintenance plus initiative for the Heavy Brigade Combat Team (managing tanks, tracked and wheeled fighting vehicles). Using PAC and other IBM assets, conceived, designed and developed an end-to-end SOA application carrying distributed operational data from vehicles to a vehicle data repository, accessible by Web Services on an Enterprise Service Bus (ESB) driving a Web Portal accessed by US Army, and 3rd Party analytics and web developers.

2004 - 2006
US Government Agency*

Project Description: Team Lead for the User Experience for Investigative Reasoning and Reporting. Designed/Developed custom communications infrastructure.

  • Top Secret/SCI Clearance through 2017

2000 - 2004 Ford, US Army, GM, Daimler Chrysler, International Truck
Automated Analysis Initiative (AAI)

Project Description: Conceived, designed, developed multifaceted reasoning framework for complex systems operational analysis of high-volume time series and event data for diagnostics and prognostics. First-of-a-Kind engagements with US Army and International Truck. Less formal engagements with other automotive companies. Work commercialized as Research Asset: Parametric Analysis Center (PAC) 6949-20L in 2005

1997 - 2000
IBM Asset
Page Detailer

Project Description: Conceived, Designed, Developed Page Detailer -- a client-based TCP/ IP, HTTP/S and web performance monitor providing decomposed visibility of scheduled communications activities used to interact with servers. Page Detailer shipped with WebSphere Studio and is available for download at

Employment History:

12/1997 - To date
IBM, United States of America
Senior Technical Staff Member, T.J. Watson Research Center, Yorktown, NY

  • 17 Patent Applications, 8 Patents Granted, 3 Pending
  • Outstanding Technical Achievement Award for Collaborative Decision Making (CDM)
  • Research Accomplishment Award for Parametric Analysis Center
  • Outstanding Technical Achievement Award for Parametric Analysis Center (PAC)
  • Research Accomplishment Award for Page Detailer
  • Outstanding Technical Achievement Award for Page Detailer

10/1988 - 12/1997
Class Objects, United States of America

  • Service engagements to develop network management products (MAXM for ITM, Star Patrol for Gandalf, SNMPView for Proteon);
  • Developed and sold Service Point/32 allowing companies to integrate their network management products with IBM's NetView;
  • Developed NetImpact for Availability Management of MVS applications / SNA networks. Investors and multi-national sales. Two years consulting to IBM Research prior to being hired in 1997.

06/1979 - 10/1988
Avant Garde Computing, United States of America
Director Product Development, R&D, Product Manager

  • Lead team of 15 hardware and 15 software engineers in R&D developing hardware, real-time OS, and application software for first of its kind "manager of managers" system (Net/Command).
  • Managed 15 systems engineers responsible for pre/post-sales support and product implementation for Network Performance Monitoring systems throughout North America and Europe.
  • Chief Architect, Managed 12 software developers for time and materials service engagements. Technical Sales.
  • Lead designer / developer of manufacturing / distribution software products: JOSH (Job Shop), MOBS (Complex Manufacturing / MRP II), DAWN (Distribution) for sale to first time mini-computer users.



  • Preferred Responses for User-Agent Support Conversations
  • A system and a method for predicting a personalized URL document to assist a conversation
  • System Optimization based on iterative specification of operational constraints;
  • US20220165200: Unstructured Extensions to RPA;





Top collaborators

Sachin Joshi

Sachin Joshi

Distinguished Engineer, Manager - Conversational Platforms
Jatin Ganhotra

Jatin Ganhotra

Research Software Engineer - Dialog Systems, IBM Research AI