Faculty Spotlight

"The only one who never makes mistakes is the one who never does anything" -- Theodore Roosevelt

Forrest Kievit

What is your position at UNL?:

I am an Assistant Professor and Bioengineer in the Department of Biological Systems Engineering and find myself surrounded by a fantastically diverse expertise of faculty, from hydrology and agronomy to test and biomedical engineering. My research focuses on better understanding the interaction between nanomaterials and the diseased brain including brain cancer and brain injury, and using this knowledge to develop nanoparticle-based delivery vehicles to improve treatment. I am excited to begin teaching courses in thermodynamics and medical imaging.

What drew you to UNL?:

The truly supportive and collaborative culture at UNL was quite apparent upon first visiting with faculty, students, and staff on campus. Then hearing about the resources available to new and established faculty solidified the University’s vision in fostering success. I believe it is this environment that allows the University of Nebraska to maintain excellence in teaching while continuing to conduct high quality, timely research. This balance is what drew me to UNL.

What aspect of working in an educational setting do you enjoy the most?:

I love the opportunity to help students along their path towards their career goals both in the classroom and in lab to give them the knowledge and skills needed to succeed. It is quite rewarding to work with students who share the same interests and excitement as me, and be able to combine their training with making real research progress.

What are the most challenging and the most rewarding parts of your job?:

The most challenging part of my job has been having to turn down many interesting and exciting opportunities to maintain focus and make progress. UNL is rich with incredible seminars, training sessions, funding opportunities, meetings, luncheons, and potential collaborators. It is very difficult to not take advantage of all of them. The most rewarding part of my job is getting to work with students who are passionate about the same things I am. It is a lot of fun to learn from each other while working together towards a difficult research goal.

What is something that most people don't know about you?:

I was trained in wildland firefighting. One of the opportunities we had in AmeriCorps was to get our Red Card in case we were needed to help with wildfires on federal land. It was amazing feeling the power produced by the water pump through the hose, and was absolutely grueling building a fireline and then tediously looking for hot spots during our training fire.

What is your life like outside of work?:

Outside of work you can find me spending time with my wife, Erin, and our 4-year-old son, Huxley, playing with all his favorite “things that go” and exploring the various family activities in Lincoln. I also enjoy backpacking and mountain climbing, and hope to one day get back into brewing beer.

Do you have any advice for current of prospective students?:

Get involved in activities that will help pave a path into your career, whether it be research, design, testing, etc. You are surrounded by faculty and students who are incredibly passionate about what they do. Use this rich environment as an opportunity to gain experience and learn more about your specific field of interest, or find out you’re actually more interested in something else!