“We were honored to partner with Chapman University in constructing a both beautiful and highly functional hall for its newest academic program, the Fowler School of Engineering,” said Aimee Siemianowski, Project Executive, C.W. Driver Companies. “Our long history of constructing higher education and research facilities for Chapman University and colleges across the state enabled us to deliver a cutting-edge facility designed to foster collaboration, reconfiguration, and blur the lines between teaching and education.”
The Swenson Family Hall of Engineering occupies three consecutive floors and includes research and teaching labs, equipment for fabrication, an extensive makerspace and robotics lab, an open faculty suite, a variety of student and faculty collaboration spaces, and a dean’s suite. The upper floors are connected by a grand staircase with surrounding seating areas that encourage connection and conversation. The lower level is a collaborative student space traversed by a gallery or “ideation path” that connects the facility to the rest of the Keck Center for Science and Engineering. Research pods, teaching labs, and study alcoves can be found on the second floor, while the third floor is dedicated to a faculty suite with workspaces, collaboration zones, and meeting rooms.
The namesake for the hall is a dedication to Jim Swenson and the Swenson Family Foundation for their $5-million donation to Chapman University. Jim Swenson, who passed away in 2018, was the pioneer of Details Inc., the fastest quick-turnaround engineering prototype circuit board shop in the nation.