NPU's Dean of Engineering - Dr. Thawi Iwagoshi

Northwestern Polytechnic University Dr. Thawi Iwagoshi Dean School of Engineering

Dr. Iwagoshi is the Dean of the School of Engineering at NPU. His interest in computer programming started during high school, when he learned to write programs that ran on an Apple II machine at a friend’s house. He came to the United States at the age of 15 to pursue undergraduate study in Engineering at The Ohio State University, where he later received a full scholarship and stipend to continue with graduate studies until he completed his research work and earned a PhD.


With a dream of working in the high-tech industry, he packed up his belongings and drove from Ohio to California to explore opportunities in the Silicon Valley.  At that time, he had the chance to meet with Dr. George Hsieh, the former president of NPU, and discuss the advantages of combining his engineering research background with computer science knowledge. Following Dr. Hsieh’s advice, he joined the MSCS program to further advance his programming skills, and he was later asked to teach courses at NPU.


Dr. Iwagoshi began his career as a software engineer at Hewlett Packard. He later joined a startup company as a partner to build a framework that helped businesses convert paper documents and manual office processes into an automated workflow management system with digital records. He also partnered with a friend to start an international importing and wholesaling business. In May 2014, Dr. Iwagoshi returned to teach computer science courses at NPU. He enjoys sharing knowledge and experience with students to help them learn both the theory and practical aspects of the subjects.

Be kind and considerate to other people and living things. Put yourself in their position and treat them the way you want to be treated.

He is a believer in NPU’s mission to “provide quality higher education to help individuals of diverse backgrounds, interests, and skills achieve their full academic and career potential.” He says that the best part about working at NPU is that he has the opportunity to give back what he has gained and have a positive influence on young people as they begin the journey into their professional lives.


Dr. Iwagoshi shifted his role from adjunct faculty to the Dean in January 2017. He feels that his combined experience as a faculty member, entrepreneur, leader, engineer, researcher, and student helps him do the job well.


He shares, “I take pride in my ability to quickly earn the respect, trust, and friendship from the people I meet or work with. Integrity, sincerity, a strong work ethic, and perseverance are important values to practice and live by. The knowledge and technical skills learned in the classroom will change as a person changes career or retires from work; however, our people skills and character will continue to be valuable for the rest of our lives.”


His vision is to see NPU be recognized as a top-tier university that provides strong computer science and engineering programs in which faculty and students make major impacts in their professional fields. He would also like to bring in external funding for research activities that will foster creativity and robust scholarship as well as garner recognition through publications in journals and online forums.


Northwestern Polytechnic University Dr. Thawi Iwagoshi NPU