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G. P. "Bud" Peterson

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

G. P. Peterson
11th President of the Georgia Institute of Technology
In office
April 1, 2009 – September 1, 2019
Preceded byG. Wayne Clough
Succeeded byÁngel Cabrera
Chancellor of the University of Colorado Boulder
In office
July 15, 2006 – March 31, 2009
Preceded byPhil DiStefano
Succeeded byPhil DiStefano
Personal details
George Paul Peterson

(1952-09-01) September 1, 1952 (age 67)
Palo Alto, California
Other namesBud Peterson
Alma materTexas A&M University
Kansas State University
Known forContributions to
phase change heat transfer
Scientific career
FieldsMechanical Engineering
InstitutionsGeorgia Institute of Technology
University of Colorado at Boulder
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Texas A&M University
ThesisAnalytical and experimental investigation of a dual passage, monogroove heat pipe (zero-g devices, two-phase flow mathematical models) (1985)
Doctoral advisorMario Colaluca

George P. "Bud" Peterson (born Sept. 1, 1952) is the former president of the Georgia Institute of Technology.[1][2][3][4] Peterson is a graduate of Kansas State University, where he earned B.S. degrees in Mechanical Engineering and Mathematics and an M.S. in Engineering, and Texas A&M University, where he earned a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering. On Jan. 7, 2019, Dr. Peterson announced his upcoming retirement from Georgia Tech, effective summer of 2019.[5][6] His successor, Ángel Cabrera, assumed the office Sept. 1, 2019, after serving for seven years as president of George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia. In September 2019, the University System of Georgia Board of Regents voted to name Peterson President Emeritus and Regents Professor of Mechanical Engineering for the standard three-year term. The Board of Regents also awarded him tenure.[7]

Prior to his position as Georgia Tech's 11th president, Peterson served as the chancellor of the University of Colorado at Boulder,[8] the provost of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and associate vice-chancellor and executive associate dean of Engineering of Texas A&M University.[9]

Peterson was named as the sole finalist for the position of president of Georgia Tech on Feb. 2, 2009,[10][11] and was accepted Feb. 25, 2009. He succeeded G. Wayne Clough and Gary Schuster (interim) when he took the position April 1, 2009.[12] He was officially installed as president at a Sept. 3, 2009, investiture ceremony.[13] Peterson shares his first name and middle initial with Georgia Tech's famous fictional student, George P. Burdell.

On Oct. 17, 2009, Dr. Peterson accepted the north end-zone goalposts from students and fans on his lawn after the No. 19 Yellow Jackets upset the fourth-ranked Hokies in Bobby Dodd Stadium at Historic Grant Field. This was the first time Georgia Tech beat a top 5 team at Grant Field (The Jackets beat No. 3 Miami on the road in 2005) since the 1962 Alabama game.[14]

Peterson presided during a time of great momentum at Georgia Tech.[15][16] By 2016, freshman applications had tripled since his arrival, resulting in the best-qualified and one of the most diverse freshman classes in Georgia Tech history for eight consecutive fall semesters. During his 10 years, enrollment increased by 69 percent (24 percent, undergraduates; 159 percent, graduate students). Under Peterson’s leadership, the Institute expanded collaborations and strategic partnerships with organizations such as Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, Emory University, and the CDC, as well as with business, industry, and government. Georgia Tech and Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta have established a Pediatric Technology Center, located in the Roger A. and Helen B. Krone Engineered Biosystems Building, which opened in 2015. The building has more than 200,000 square feet of multidisciplinary research space and is expected to drive innovation in the areas of biomedical science and human health.

Under Peterson, Georgia Tech created innovation neighborhoods around the campus. The most notable is Tech Square, which has become home to innovation centers for numerous companies.[17]

Another project completed during Peterson's tenure is Coda, a collaborative building with John Portman & Associates in which Georgia Tech is the anchor tenant. The 750,000-square-foot facility houses Tech’s computing center. Excavation was completed in August 2017,[18] and Coda officially opened May 23, 2019, with a ribbon-cutting ceremony.

The largest single scholarship endowment fund in Georgia Tech’s history has been established to honor Peterson and first lady Valerie H. Peterson. Totaling $17 million, the G.P. “Bud” Peterson and Valerie H. Peterson Scholarship Endowment Fund was announced at the June 2019 meeting of the Georgia Tech Foundation. The Fund was established to help students with demonstrated financial need from across the nation.[19][20][21]

Early life and education

Peterson was born in Palo Alto, California in 1952,[22] but spent his early life in Prairie Village, Kansas, a suburb of Kansas City. He attended Shawnee Mission East High School, where he lettered in football, basketball, and track.[23] He subsequently went to Kansas State, where he played American football first as a walk-on and later as a scholarship student-athlete with the Kansas State Wildcats. He started 26 games and lettered three years as a tight end/wide receiver from 1970 to 1974, catching 30 passes for 359 yards.[23][24]

Peterson graduated from Kansas State with a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering in 1975 and Mathematics in 1977.[25] Peterson stayed at Kansas State and received an M.S. in Engineering in 1980.[25][26] He then went to Texas A&M University, receiving a doctorate in Mechanical Engineering in 1985.[23][27]


Peterson worked at Black & Veatch Consulting Engineers in the summer following his graduation with his first bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering. After receiving his second degree (mathematics) in 1977, he worked as a math, chemistry and physics teacher at Wabaunsee County High School in Alma, Kansas, and later as a mathematics teacher at Shawnee Mission South High School in Overland Park, Kansas.[22]

After receiving his M.S., Peterson was an associate professor and head of the General Engineering Technology Department at Kansas Technical Institute in Salina, Kansas, from 1979 to 1981.[22] He was subsequently a visiting research scientist at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas, during the summers of 1981 and 1982.[28][29] While at NASA, Peterson developed a (still used) technique to determine the priming capability of high-capacity heat pipes in low gravity.[29]

In 1985, Peterson moved to the Mechanical Engineering department of Texas A&M University.[9] Initially an assistant professor, he became an associate professor in 1988 and a full professor in 1990. Peterson held other miscellaneous positions around this time; he became the head of the Thermal and Fluid Sciences Division in 1989, was the Halliburton Professor of Engineering in 1990-1991, the Tenneco Professor of Mechanical Engineering in 1991-2000, and was the head of the Mechanical Engineering department from 1993 to 1996.[22] From August 1993 to September 1994, Peterson also worked for the National Science Foundation as the program director for their Thermal Transport and Thermal Processing Program.[22] In 1996, Peterson was appointed Texas A&M's executive associate dean of Engineering and also served as the Associate vice chancellor for the Texas A&M University System.[22]

From July 2000 until June 2006, Peterson was the provost at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York. As provost at Rensselaer, he played a key role in the institutional transformation and the dramatic improvement in the quality, size, and diversity of the faculty – overseeing the hiring of nearly 40 percent of the faculty, increasing the total number of tenured and tenure-track faculty by 20 percent, and improving the diversity of the tenured/tenure-track faculty by more than doubling the number of under-represented minorities and increasing the number of women by 40 percent.

He was then the chancellor at the University of Colorado at Boulder from July 2006 until his departure for Georgia Tech in 2009. As the University of Colorado chancellor, Peterson led the development of a new university-wide strategic plan, Flagship 2030, which defined a vision for the university for the next 20 years. In his nearly three years as chancellor, freshman applications increased by 35 percent, the number of underrepresented minorities in the freshmen class increased by 38 percent, sponsored research increased by more than 18 percent, and private philanthropy for the university increased by nearly 80 percent.

Peterson was appointed in 2008 by President George W. Bush, and again in 2014 by President Barack Obama, to serve as a member of the National Science Board, which oversees the National Science Foundation and advises the president and Congress on national policy related to science and engineering research and education. In the spring, he was elected for a two-year term to chair the NCAA Board of Governors, the organization’s highest governing body. He also serves on the Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics.[citation needed]

While president at Georgia Tech, he was accused of a lack of due process by students. This resulted in lawsuits that resulted in students who were accused of sexual misconduct being reinstated and winning settlements.[30][31] As a result of the events, Tech dropped it's 47 million dollar request for funding.[32]

On Sept. 23, 2017, Peterson announced a fund he created for donors to contribute money for student mental health and wellness initiatives. Peterson stated the fund was set up following discussions with student organizations and others in the wake of the fatal campus police shooting of Georgia Tech student Scout Schultz that occurred the weekend prior to the announcement.[33][34]

In late 2018 and early 2019, a number of ethic lapses and conflict of interest allegations by several top Georgia Tech administrators were revealed, leading to several resignations.[35][36] There were also security breaches that exposed the data of 1.3 million individuals.[37] In early January 2019, Peterson announced his planned retirement as president of Georgia Tech in summer 2019.[38][39]

On Feb. 2, 2020, Peterson was appointed as a board member on the American University of Sharjah's (AUS) Board of Trustees.[40]


  • Peterson, G. P., An Introduction to Heat Pipes: Modeling, Testing and Applications, John Wiley & Sons, New York, NY, September 1994, 356 pp. ISBN 978-0-471-30512-5
  • Sobhan, C. B. and Peterson, G. P., Microscale and Nanoscale Heat Transfer, CRC Press Inc., New York, NY, 2007, 410 pp. ISBN 978-0-8493-7307-7
  • Peterson, G. P. and Li, C. H., Fundamentals of Thermal Transfer Phenomena in Nanoparticle Suspensions, in progress.


  1. ^ "Georgia Tech Presidential Search". Georgia Institute of Technology. February 9, 2009. Archived from the original on February 27, 2009. Retrieved February 9, 2009.
  2. ^ White, Gayle (February 9, 2009). "Georgia Tech names 1 finalist for president job". Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Archived from the original on June 4, 2011. Retrieved February 9, 2009.
  3. ^ Anas, Brittany (February 9, 2009). "CU chancellor finalist for Georgia Tech presidency". Daily Camera. Retrieved February 13, 2009.
  4. ^ Tabita, Craig (February 13, 2009). "At Last: Presidential Finalist Named". The Technique. Archived from the original on February 23, 2009. Retrieved February 13, 2009.
  5. ^ "Georgia Tech President Peterson Announces Plans to Retire as President". Retrieved January 7, 2019.
  6. ^ "Georgia Tech President Peterson announces plans to retire as president | Communications | University System of Georgia". Retrieved December 3, 2019.
  7. ^ "Former Georgia Tech President Peterson Granted Emeritus Status". Retrieved December 3, 2019.
  8. ^ "President G. P. "Bud" Peterson, PhD Search". Georgia Institute of Technology. February 9, 2009. Archived from the original on June 7, 2010. Retrieved September 14, 2010.
  9. ^ a b "Office of the Chancellor: Biography". University of Colorado. Archived from the original on September 22, 2008. Retrieved February 9, 2009.
  10. ^ Tabita, Craig (February 9, 2009). "CU chancellor Peterson named sole finalist for presidency". Retrieved February 9, 2009.[dead link]
  11. ^ Fain, Paul (February 9, 2009). "Georgia Tech Taps Colorado-Boulder Chancellor as President". Chronicle of Higher Education. Retrieved February 9, 2009.
  12. ^ "Peterson Named President of Georgia Institute of Technology" (Press release). Georgia Institute of Technology. February 25, 2009. Archived from the original on March 24, 2009. Retrieved February 25, 2009.
  13. ^ "Georgia Tech Celebrates Investiture" (Press release). Georgia Institute of Technology. September 3, 2009. Archived from the original on April 3, 2012. Retrieved September 10, 2009.
  14. ^ Video on YouTube
  15. ^ "The Peterson Legacy". Retrieved December 3, 2019.
  16. ^ Retrieved December 3, 2019. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  17. ^ Beilin, Holly (August 5, 2019). "Outgoing Georgia Tech President Bud Peterson Reflects On Innovation, Cooperation, and Waffle House As An Economic Growth Engine". Hypepotamus. Retrieved December 3, 2019.
  18. ^ Kahn, Michael (August 17, 2017). "Portman's CODA hits rock bottom in Midtown as excavation wraps up". Curbed Atlanta. Retrieved January 9, 2019.
  19. ^ "$17 Million Need-Based Scholarship Endowment Honors the Petersons". Retrieved December 3, 2019.
  20. ^ "$17M Need-Based Scholarship Endowment at GT Honors Former President Peterson". Metro Atlanta CEO. Retrieved December 3, 2019.
  21. ^ "Georgia Tech". Retrieved December 3, 2019.
  22. ^ a b c d e f "G.P. Peterson Curriculum Vitae" (PDF). University of Colorado. Archived from the original (PDF) on July 3, 2012. Retrieved February 9, 2009.
  23. ^ a b c "2008 Colorado Track and Field Media Guide" (PDF). University of Colorado. 2008. Retrieved February 9, 2009.
  24. ^ Brown, Zak (November 2, 2006). "Modern system: That's the ticket at CU". Daily Camera. Retrieved February 9, 2009.[dead link]
  25. ^ a b "Biographical Sketch: G. P. "Bud" Peterson" (PDF). University of Colorado Chancellor Search. Archived from the original (PDF) on September 18, 2006. Retrieved February 9, 2009.
  26. ^ Peterson, George Paul (1980). Improvement of inspection performance (M.S.). Kansas State University. OCLC 7076894.
  27. ^ Peterson, George Paul (1985). Analytical and experimental investigation of a dual passage, monogroove heat pipe (zero-g devices, two-phase flow mathematical models) (Ph.D.). Texas A&M University. OCLC 15509079 – via ProQuest.
  28. ^ Ensslin, John C (May 12, 2006). "CU chancellor hopeful Peterson does his homework". Rocky Mountain News. Archived from the original on February 1, 2013. Retrieved February 9, 2009.
  29. ^ a b "Dr. G. P. "Bud" Peterson". 2004. Archived from the original on March 19, 2006. Retrieved February 9, 2009.
  30. ^ "Lawmakers grill Tech leaders on student hearings, punishment". The AJC. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. January 25, 2016. Retrieved January 25, 2016.
  31. ^ "Georgia Tech settles two lawsuits involving sexual assaults". The AJC. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. July 25, 2016. Retrieved July 25, 2016.
  32. ^ "Tech drops $47M building request after rebukes on students' due process". The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. February 4, 2016. Retrieved February 4, 2016.
  33. ^ Stirgus, Eric. "Georgia Tech president creates fund for student mental health initiatives". ajc. Retrieved October 13, 2017.
  34. ^ Stirgus, Eric. "Tech death puts spotlight on campus mental health services". ajc. Retrieved September 24, 2017.
  35. ^ Eric Stirgus, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. "Georgia Tech president rebuked for ethical lapses under his watch". ajc. Retrieved July 13, 2019.
  36. ^ Eric Stirgus, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. "Another Georgia Tech official resigns after ethics probe findings". ajc. Retrieved July 13, 2019.
  37. ^ Chelsea Prince, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. "Data breach exposes up to 1.3M Georgia Tech faculty, students". ajc. Retrieved April 2, 2019.
  38. ^ "Georgia Tech President Peterson Announces Plans to Retire as President". Retrieved July 13, 2019.
  39. ^ Ellis, Lindsay (January 7, 2019). "Georgia Tech President to Retire After Controversy Over Administrators' Ethical Lapses". The Chronicle of Higher Education. ISSN 0009-5982. Retrieved July 13, 2019.
  40. ^ "Sharjah Ruler chairs AUS board meeting". American University of Sharjah. February 2, 2020. Retrieved February 2, 2020.

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This page was last edited on 20 July 2020, at 17:02
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