Brian was born and raised in the Great Plains of eastern Nebraska. He received his BS in Mechanical Engineering from Kansas State University and his MS from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Brian’s master’s research focused on developing first-principles based models of magneto-structural phase transformations in magnetic shape memory alloys and he has continued this work during his PhD program. Brian has also ventured away from the comforts of computational work and into the unforgiving world of the experimentalist. There he is studying phase transformations in magnetic shape memory alloys at high-pressures. When he isn’t doing research, he enjoys working on his novel (a future New York Times best seller), and learning about history, especially if pirates are involved. Eventually, after a long career in the engineering field, Brian hopes to retire near a beach where he can find some pirate treasure.