Derek Heeren

Derek Heeren, Ph.D., P.E.

Assistant Professor of Irrigation Engineering, Water for Food Global Institute Faculty Fellow
Academic Degrees
  • Ph.D., Biosystems Engineering, Oklahoma State University, July 2012
  • M.S., Agricultural Engineering, South Dakota State University, May 2008
  • B.S., Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering, South Dakota State University, May 2004

  • 60% Research
  • 40% Teaching
Areas of Research and Professional Interest
International Activities
Fountain Wars Student Club
Courses Taught

About Derek Heeren

Derek leads a research and teaching program at UNL which focuses on irrigation engineering and vadose zone hydrology. He obtained his doctorate while working as a Research Engineer in the Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering Department at Oklahoma State University. He received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in agricultural engineering from South Dakota State University. Before graduate school, Derek spent two years working at a geotechnical engineering firm in the St. Louis, Missouri, area. Derek grew up in southeastern South Dakota on a farm that included corn, soybean, alfalfa, dairy, and beef production. During high school he developed an interest in conserving natural resources while participating in FFA land judging and natural resources competitions.

Honors and Awards

  • Advisor for recipient of the University of Nebraska Presidential Fellowship. 2016-2017. J. Burdette Barker. Awarded to only three students at UNL. (news video)
  • ASABE Superior Paper Award, 2016, for the refereed journal article: Heeren, D. M., G. A. Fox, and D. E. Storm. 2015. Heterogeneity of infiltration rates in alluvial floodplains as measured with a berm infiltration technique. Transactions of the ASABE 58(3): 733-745. 
  • New Faces of Engineering recognition by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, 2012.
  • U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) STAR Graduate Fellowship, 2011-2012.

Selected Publications

Recent Conference Proceedings (26 total):

Refereed Journal Articles (22):