Fred DePiero Retirement Reception

Join us as we celebrate Fred DePiero's retirement and the end of an era!

Reception Details

Thursday, June 6, 2024

4:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.

Bonderson Engineering Project Center (Bldg. 197)

Celebrating Fred's Accomplishments


After a career spanning almost three decades, Professor Fred DePiero will embark on a new journey and retire. In his time at Cal Poly, Fred was instrumental in the success of the Computer Engineering department and the College of Engineering as a whole.

     Fred DePiero joined Cal Poly in 1996 as a faculty member in the Electrical Engineering Department and Computer Engineering Program under department chair Marty Kaliski. He taught both undergraduate and graduate courses on topics such as digital signal processing, digital filters and image processing, and discrete systems. In 2005, Fred was one of three recipients of the Cal Poly university-wide Distinguished Teaching Award. As a researcher, he co-directed the Cal Poly Remote Technologies Group, innovating in computer integrated systems. Fred served as associate chair for the Electrical Engineering Department and their graduate coordinator.

     In 2006, Fred joined the College of Engineering Dean’s Office, serving as an associate dean until 2017. During his tenure as associate dean, he worked with four different deans and led 13 programs through ABET accreditation, including the CPE program. Fred fostered a strong safety culture within the college, working to centralize and standardize engineering facilities and laboratory safety protocols. He took a leadership role in many initiatives, advocating for students across the college. Fred is most proud of his support for transfer students: he partnered with each engineering department to increase transfer enrollment in all majors. Over the years, working with transfer students, he has come to a deep appreciation for their talents and the challenges they face. Fred was also instrumental in the expansion of engineering academic advising to support success for all students. He supervised both Engineering Advising and the Multicultural Engineering Program, which provides resources for first-generation and underserved students. He celebrated student accomplishments, helping establish and facilitate the College of Engineering student project expo.  

     Fred was a key part of college outreach, from new Cal Poly students to middle schoolers. He served as a college and department ambassador, welcoming new and prospective students. When interacting with students, he advocated for engineering, encouraging all he met to consider STEM-related majors. As associate dean of the College of Engineering, Fred helped to permanently establish the Engineering Possibilities in College (EPIC) summer program for middle and high school students. The EPIC program aims to attract more female, first-generation, and low-income students to engineering disciplines and inspire attendees to see themselves as engineers. Today, EPIC is permanently staffed, and Fred’s effort will allow the program to continue in perpetuity.

     After his assignment in the Dean’s Office, Fred played a pivotal role in shaping the Computer Engineering Department. His special brand of energy and passion truly fostered a supportive, encouraging culture for students. His infectious sense of enthusiasm was most evident in his discrete systems class as students who took his course expressed an unmatched level of excitement. As far as Fred’s impact on computer engineering, his invaluable wealth of knowledge and experience provided guidance during the  department’s eventual formation. The dynamic, positive work environment his colleagues enjoy today can be attributed in part to his leadership and influence.

     Fred’s excellence in teaching and dedication has been recognized with 24 awards during his time at Cal Poly. But, the distinction he is most proud of came in 2004-2005 when he was honored with the Cal Poly Distinguished Teaching Award.

     Fred continues to be a tireless advocate for student success and a tremendous colleague, mentor, and friend to all those who know him. We celebrate his remarkable legacy and wish him the very best in the next chapter of his life, as his schedule opens to embrace his other passions of canoeing, photography, and SCUBA diving. Please join us for a retirement reception on Thursday, June 6, from 4-6 p.m. in the Bonderson Engineering Project Center.