Dean Andrew Lyon lecturing
Fowler School of Engineering

» Message from the Dean


Welcome to Chapman’s Dale E. and Sarah Ann Fowler School of Engineering. As Interim Dean, it is my pleasure to lead our team forward in an innovative and immersive educational experience. It’s an exciting opportunity to be a part of a school that is “starting up” and doing things in different ways that meet the contemporary needs of students and employers. We have physical spaces for learning and a curriculum that is radically different from anything else in academia or engineering. 

In Fowler Engineering, we have embraced methods of instruction based on participation and collaboration. From day one, we challenge students to start solving real-world problems. To work as part of a team. To think like entrepreneurs as they learn not through abstract studies, but through concrete, hands-on practice. Our foundational Engineering 101 curriculum immerses students in all our various disciplines to design and fabricate new devices and systems that are limited only by our students’ creativity. Through Chapman’s Grand Challenges Initiative, students have the opportunity to work with truly interdisciplinary teams — not just fellow engineers, but students in other sciences, social sciences, arts, and humanities, providing them with an unparalleled experience in collaborative problem-solving that will benefit them throughout their careers. 

Our faculty represent the very best combination of theoretical knowledge and practical experience. Students work closely with faculty as they pursue impactful research questions, explore complex problems, and find solutions that reach far beyond the classroom.

As part of our forward-thinking strategy, we have designed a curriculum that is nimble and dynamic, able to respond to the rapid rate of technological evolution. The world is always changing, and we are preparing students who are ready to change with it.

The design of the Keck Center for Science and Engineering and the Swenson Family Hall of Engineering facilitates these dynamic educational experiences. Open spaces, cutting-edge maker labs, and interactive meeting spaces foster the atmosphere needed to create a truly collaborative learning environment. Forget the classroom — our students will be surrounded with hands-on opportunities from the beginning of their educational careers.

 I am proud of our team, and the progressive, synergistic approach to learning that is at the heart of the Fowler School of Engineering. Everything Fowler - first-rate faculty, a forward-thinking curriculum, and an immersive learning environment designed for collaborative learning — has one single purpose: To launch a new generation of students who are amazing innovators, leaders, and creators – and who are the most sought-after in the country.

Thomas C. Piechota, Ph.D., PE
Interim Dean, Fowler School of Engineering

About the Dean

Dr. Thomas Piechota has over 20 years of experience as an engineering, educator and currently serves as the Interim Dean of the Dale E. and Sarah Ann Fowler School of Engineering at Chapman University. He served as the Vice President for Research at Chapman University from 2016 – 2021. Prior to arriving at Chapman, he spent 16 years at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas as a Professor in Civil and Environmental Engineering and as the Vice President for Research. He has been recognized for his efforts in teaching and research in water resources, hydrology, and climate change, and as an administrator advancing the research enterprise. He received the National Science Foundation CAREER Award for the project, "Improved Hydrologic Drought Forecasting Using Climate Information", was the Co-Investigator on the $20 million National Science Foundation study on climate change impacts in Nevada, and was an invited Lead Author on the Southwest Chapter of the National Climate Assessment in 2013. He is currently a Fellow of the American Society of Civil Engineers and a licensed Civil Engineering in California.

Connect with Dean Piechota on Social Media 

Follow on Instagram

Connect on LinkedIn

Meet the Rest of Our Team

Learn how to contact the dedicated team serving Fowler School of Engineering.

Leadership and Staff