G. P. "Bud" Peterson


G. P. Bud Peterson Mechanical Engineering
B.S., Kansas State University, 1975
B.S., Kansas State University, 1977
M.S., Kansas State University, 1980
Ph.D., Texas A&M University, 1985


G.P. "Bud" Peterson is a professor at the Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering at Georgia Tech University. Previously, he served for 10 years as the 11th President of Georgia Tech from April 1, 2009 to Aug 31, 2019. He also served as Chancellor at the University of Colorado-Boulder, Provost at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York, and Program Director at the National Science Foundation for the Thermal Transport and Thermal Processing Program. He has held various positions at Texas A&M University, among them Executive Associate Dean of Engineering and Associate Vice Chancellor for Engineering for the Texas A&M University System. Prior to his service at Texas A&M, he was a Visiting Research Scientist at NASA-Johnson Space Center, Associate Professor and Head of the General Engineering Technology Department at Kansas Technical Institute, and taught mathematics, physics and chemistry at Shawnee Mission South High School and Wabaunsee County High School, both in Kansas.

Throughout his career, Dr. Peterson has played an active role in helping establish national education and research agendas. He has served on numerous industry, government, and academic task forces, including the Office of Naval Research, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the Department of Energy, the National Research Council, and the National Academy of Engineering. He has also served as a member of the Board of Directors and Vice President for Education for the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics and Co-Chair of the Government Relations Committee of the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities. Dr. Peterson currently serves as a member of the National Science Board, the US Council on Competitiveness, the National Advisory Council on Innovation and Entrepreneurship, and the Advanced Manufacturing Partnership Steering Committee.

As Chancellor of the University of Colorado, Dr. Peterson led the development of a new university wide strategic plan, Flagship 2030 that defined a vision for the university for the next 20 years. In his nearly three years as Chancellor, freshman applications increased by 35%, the number of under-represented minorities in the freshmen class grew by 38%, sponsored research by more than 18% and private philanthropy for the university by nearly 80%.

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% of the faculty, increasing the total number of tenured and tenure-track faculty by 20%, 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%. In addition, during his tenure as Provost, the quality, size and diversity of the student body increased, with the number of full-time Ph.D. students growing by 25%.

Dr. Peterson's research interests have focused on the fundamental aspects of phase change heat transfer, including the heat transfer in reduced gravity environments, boiling from enhanced surfaces, and some of the earliest work in the area of flow and phase change heat transfer in microchannels. Early investigations focused on applications involving the thermal control of manned and unmanned spacecraft. More recent investigations have included fundamental applications of phase change heat transfer to the field of biotechnology, including treatment of cancerous brain tissue.

A Fellow of both the American Society of Mechanical Engineers and the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Dr. Peterson is the author or co-author of 16 books or book chapters, more than 205 refereed journal articles, more than 170 conference publications and has 11 patents either issued or pending. He is a member of several professional organizations and the recipient of numerous national and international honors and awards for both teaching and research.

Peterson was appointed to the National Science Board in 2008 and 2014.