In Summary

A range of new scholarships and prizes will be available from this year for students studying Aviation at Swinburne University of Technology thanks to the generosity of the Piers Fowler Trust.

Piers Fowler, who died in 2013, had been part of general and commercial aviation for over 20 years.  He combined a love of both flying and teaching with skill and commitment throughout his years in aviation.   

Six scholarships and prizes will be made available through the Piers Fowler Trust: Piers Fowler Exchange Scholarship, Aviation Tour Scholarship, Flight Instructor Scholarship, Professional Development Initiative, Leadership Prize and Undergraduate Research Grant.

“Piers spent some time at Swinburne Aviation, both as a student and teacher,” Swinburne Vice-Chancellor, Professor Linda Kristjanson said.

“It was the wish of his family that a Trust be established in recognition of his time with Swinburne and to continue what he would most like to do – share the skills and learning of aviation with other pilots, be they trainees or qualified.

“It is envisaged that the scholarships and prizes will greatly foster students’ learning and development in the area of Aviation and Aviation (Management), and will provide support to students who are motivated and financially disadvantaged.

“Scholarships are an important part of the learning environment at Swinburne, as they create opportunity and stimulate excellence.” 

The Piers Fowler Scholarships are additional to the existing aviation scholarships, the Sir Reginald Ansett Scholarship – Aviation and the Australian Federation of Air Pilots and the Australian Air Pilots Mutual Benefit Fund Scholarships.

Piers made his first solo flight from Moorabbin when he was 16-years-old, and within 12 months he was flying freight across Bass Strait. The highlight of Piers’ career was his 15 years at Qantas, after joining the airline in 1996. At Qantas he flew the Boeing 747-300 Classic and Boeing 767, rising to the rank of Training First Officer Boeing 737 Fleet by 2007.  His logbook records over 7,000 hours and his passion for flying and Qantas remained with him always.

Piers held a Bachelor of Science degree, and was within one subject of completing his Masters in Organisation Leadership.

Swinburne is a leader in the area of aviation education, delivering innovative aviation flying and aviation management programs for the past 22 years.

Swinburne graduates hold positions in Australia and the world’s major airlines including Qantas, Virgin Australia, Jetstar, Emirates and Cathay Pacific. Aviation graduates also pursue careers in many other exciting and diverse areas of the industry such as flight instructors, charter pilots, search and rescue pilots, customs/surveillance pilots and the Royal Flying Doctors Service.

Swinburne’s Aviation Department has in recent years placed significant importance in developing sustainable and innovative research activity. This has been done through the recruitment of research qualified staff, investment in research infrastructure and development of an Honours program.

More information on the Piers Fowler Scholarships can be found here.