Derek Heeren Ph.D., P.E.

Irrigation Engineer, Assistant Professor

Office: 241 L.W. Chase Hall 
Phone: (402) 472-8577
Email: derek.heeren@unl.edu


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

Derek is part of the Robert B. Daugherty Water for Food Institute (WFI). The WFI at the University of Nebraska "is a research, policy analysis and education institute committed to helping the world efficiently use its limited freshwater resources, with a particular focus on ensuring the food supply for current and future generations."


60% Research
40% Teaching

Research Interests
  • Variable rate irrigation
  • Deficit irrigation
  • Nutrient leaching
  • Streambank erosion
Teaching Interests
  • Soil conservation and watershed management
  • Irrigation engineering and management 
  • Modeling vadose zone hydrology
Professional Recognition
  • US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) STAR Graduate Fellowship
  • New Faces of Engineering recognition by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers
Selected Publications
Refereed Journal Articles
  • Heeren, D. M., A. R. Mittelstet, G. A. Fox, D. E. Storm, A. T. Al-Madhhachi, T. L. Midgley, A. F. Stringer, K. B. Stunkel, and R. D. Tejral. 2012. Using rapid geomorphic assessments to assess streambank stability in Oklahoma Ozark streams. Transactions of the ASABE 55(3): 957-968.
  • Midgley, T. L., G. A. Fox, G. V. Wilson, D. M. Heeren, E. Langendoen, and A. Simon. 2012. Streambank erosion and instability induced by seepage: In-situ constant-head seepage experiments. Journal of Hydrologic Engineering.
  • Midgley, T. L., G. A. Fox, and D. M. Heeren. 2012. Evaluation of the Bank Stability and Toe Erosion Model (BSTEM) for predicting lateral retreat on composite streambanks. Geomorphology 145-146: 107-114, doi: 10.1016/j.geomorph.2011.12.044.
  • Penn, C. J., J. M. McGrath, G. A. Fox, E. W. Rounds, and D. M. Heeren. 2012. Trapping phosphorus in runoff with a phosphorus removal structure. Journal of Environmental Quality 41.
  • Heeren, D. M., G. A. Fox, R. B. Miller, D. E. Storm, A. R. Mittelstet, A. K. Fox, C. J. Penn, and T. Halihan. 2011. Stage-dependent transient storage of phosphorus in alluvial floodplains. Hydrological Processes 25(20): 3230-3243, doi: 10.1002/hyp.8054.
  • Miller, R. B., D. M. Heeren, G. A. Fox, D. E. Storm, and T. Halihan. 2011. Design and application of a direct-push vadose zone gravel permeameter. Ground Water 49(6): 920-925, doi: 10.1111/j.1745-6584.2010.00796.x.
  • Heeren, D. M., T. P. Trooien, H. D. Werner, and N. L. Klocke. 2011. Development of deficit irrigation strategies for corn using a yield ratio model. Applied Engineering in Agriculture 27(4): 605-614.
  • Fox, G. A., D. M. Heeren, R. B. Miller, A. R. Mittelstet D. E. Storm. 2011. Flow and transport experiments for a streambank seep originating from a preferential flow pathway. Journal of Hydrology 403: 360-366, doi: 10.1016/j.jhydrol.2011.04.014.
  • Mittelstet, A. R., D. M. Heeren, D. E. Storm, G. A. Fox, M. J. White, and R. B. Miller. 2011. Comparison of subsurface and surface runoff phosphorus transport rates in alluvial floodplains. Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment 141: 417-425.
  • Fox, G. A., D. M. Heeren, and M. A. Kizer. 2011. Evaluation of a stream-aquifer analysis test for deriving reach-scale streambed conductance. Transactions of the ASABE 54(2): 473-479.
  • Heeren, D. M., R. B. Miller, G. A. Fox, D. E. Storm, T. Halihan, and C. J. Penn. 2010. Preferential flow effects on subsurface contaminant transport in alluvial floodplains. Transactions of the ASABE 53(1): 127-136.
  • Fox, G. A., D. M. Heeren, G. V. Wilson, E. J. Langendon, A. K. Fox, and M. L. Chu-Agor. 2010. Numerically predicting seepage gradient forces and erosion: Sensitivity to soil hydraulic properties. Journal of Hydrology 389(3-4): 354-362.

Curriculum Vita for Derek Heeren