Passion for a subject can take a person to unexpected places – just ask Jeff Forrest. A former commercial pilot flying “traffic watch” for a radio station, Forrest’s passion has taken him beyond aviation into the realm of aerospace, and into academia. He has piloted glider, seaplane, and corporate jets. He has also developed an air charter service and an aviation-training program for K-12 students.
Already possessing graduate degrees in aviation management and aerospace systems management, Forrest (Ph.D. ’06) arrived at Nova’s Graduate School of Computer and Information Sciences. His doctoral studies focused on information policy and aviation information systems. “I felt at home from day one at Nova. The faculty were outstanding, and the coursework was right up my alley.”
His dissertation involved knowledge diffusion and barriers to sharing safety information in aviation. “Dr. Steven Zink was a valuable mentor. His core interest for my topic turbo-charged my dissertation.”
Forrest currently serves as Chair of the Aviation and Aerospace Science Department at Metropolitan State College of Denver. He has achieved full professorship and claims that “reinventing myself and becoming successful in my academic career has been my most rewarding experience thus far.”
Forrest also serves as a Principle Investigator in several grants, including space commercialization, a usability grant involving motion detection with the National Science Foundation, and a Science, Technology, Energy, and Mathematics (STEM) educational grant. His experience with designing and managing educational and research oriented projects within aviation, aerospace, and Earth science for over 25 years have facilitated this research.
He has published a major book on aviation security, which serves both aviation and airport management. He has also written about using various instructional technologies for pilot training, and is preparing a book on space commercialization.
Looking back at his Nova experience, Forrest advises current students to “take advantage of the time you’re given. Value every class, and get to know your professors. College is a time for exploration and reflection. Whether it relates to a job skill or client encounter, you never know when a classroom experience or conversation is going to pay off.”
Anyone interested in knowledge diffusion or usability as it relates to aviation and aerospace may contact Forrest at firstname.lastname@example.org.