Thomas C. Piechota, Ph.D., PE is the first Vice President for Research at Chapman University effective September 1, 2016. Previously, Dr. Piechota held the position of Vice President for Research and Economic Development at the University Nevada, Las Vegas since 2012, and Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering since 1999.
The position is new for Chapman and reflects the university’s extensive growth in research, scholarship and creative activities. This emphasis will continue to enhance Chapman’s national stature and focus on student experience. Dr. Piechota has been recognized for his efforts in teaching, research and as an administrator where he has helped advance the research enterprise through increases in research funding, outside partnerships and entrepreneurial activities. In 2003, Dr. Piechota received a National Science Foundation CAREER Award for the project, "Improved Hydrologic Drought Forecasting Using Climate Information." From 2008-2013, Dr. Piechota was the Co-PI on a $20 million National Science Foundation funded studies on climate change impacts in Nevada. Dr. Piechota was an invited Lead Author on the Southwest Chapter of the National Climate Assessment in 2013. Finally, Dr. Piechota was part of the 2013 Solar Decathlon team that took second place in world competition and first in the U.S.
Dr. Piechota received his B.S. degree in Civil Engineering from Northern Arizona University, his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Civil and Environmental Engineering from UCLA, and certificate from the Harvard Institute for Educational Management. He has authored or coauthored more than 100 journal articles, book chapters, conference proceedings and reports, and has served on review panels for the National Science Foundation, city and state boards and committees, and various federal agencies. Dr. Piechota is a registered Civil Engineer in the State of California. Dr. Piechota’s teaching and research interests are in the fields of water resources, climate change, sustainability, surface water hydrology, hydroclimatology, droughts, water resources planning, and stormwater quality in urban environments.