G. P. "Bud" Peterson

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For other people named George Peterson, see George Peterson.
George P. "Bud" Peterson
Georgia Tech President G.P. "Bud" Peterson
Born (1952-09-01) September 1, 1952 (age 62)
Palo Alto, California
Residence Flag of the United States.svg U.S.
Nationality Flag of the United States.svg American
Fields Mechanical Engineering
Institutions Georgia Institute of Technology
University of Colorado at Boulder
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Texas A&M University
Alma mater Texas A&M University
Kansas State University
Doctoral advisor Mario Colaluca
Known for Contributions to
phase change heat transfer

George P. "Bud" Peterson (born September 1, 1952) is the 11th 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.

Prior to his position at Georgia Tech, he served as the chancellor of the University of Colorado at Boulder,[5] the provost of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and associate vice-chancellor and executive associate dean of Engineering of Texas A&M University.[6]

Early life and education[edit]

Peterson was born in Palo Alto, California in 1952,[7] 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.[8] 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.[8][9]

Peterson graduated from Kansas State with a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering in 1975 and Mathematics in 1977.[10] Peterson stayed at Kansas State and received an M.S. in Engineering in 1980.[10] He then went to Texas A&M University, receiving a doctorate in Mechanical Engineering in 1985.[8]


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.[7]

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.[7] He was subsequently a visiting research scientist at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas, during the summers of 1981 and 1982.[11][12] While at NASA, Peterson developed a (still used) technique to determine the priming capability of high-capacity heat pipes in low gravity.[12]

In 1985, Peterson moved to the Mechanical Engineering department of Texas A&M University.[6] 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.[7] 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.[7] 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.[7]

From July 2000 until June 2006, Peterson was the provost at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York. He was then the chancellor at the University of Colorado at Boulder from July 2006 until his departure for Georgia Tech in 2009.

Georgia Tech[edit]

Peterson was named as the sole finalist for the position of president of Georgia Tech on February 2, 2009,[13][14] and was accepted on February 25, 2009. He succeeded G. Wayne Clough and Gary Schuster (interim) when he took the position on April 1, 2009.[15] He was officially installed as president at a September 3, 2009, investiture ceremony.[16] Peterson shares his first name and middle initial with Georgia Tech's famous fictional student, George P. Burdell.

On October 17, 2009 Dr. Peterson accepted the north endzone goalposts from students and fans on his lawn after the #19 Yellow Jackets upset the #4 Hokies at Bobby Dodd Stadium. This was the first time Georgia Tech beat a top 5 team at Grant Field (The Jackets beat #3 Miami on the road in 2005) since the 1962 Alabama game.[17]


  • 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. 2009-02-09. Archived from the original on 2009-02-27. Retrieved 2009-02-09. 
  2. ^ White, Gayle (2009-02-09). "Georgia Tech names 1 finalist for president job". Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Retrieved 2009-02-09. 
  3. ^ Anas, Brittany (2009-02-09). "CU chancellor finalist for Georgia Tech presidency". Daily Camera. Retrieved 2009-02-13. 
  4. ^ Tabita, Craig (2009-02-13). "At Last: Presidential Finalist Named". The Technique. Retrieved 2009-02-13. 
  5. ^ "President G. P. "Bud" Peterson, PhD Search". Georgia Institute of Technology. 2009-02-09. Retrieved 2010-09-14. 
  6. ^ a b "Office of the Chancellor: Biography". University of Colorado. Retrieved 2009-02-09. 
  7. ^ a b c d e f "G.P. Peterson Curriculum Vitae" (PDF). University of Colorado. Retrieved 2009-02-09. 
  8. ^ a b c "2008 Colorado Track and Field Media Guide" (PDF). University of Colorado. 2008. Retrieved 2009-02-09. 
  9. ^ Brown, Zak (2006-11-02). "Modern system: That's the ticket at CU". Daily Camera. Retrieved 2009-02-09. 
  10. ^ a b "Biographical Sketch: G. P. "Bud" Peterson" (PDF). University of Colorado Chancellor Search. Retrieved 2009-02-09. 
  11. ^ Ensslin, John C (2006-05-12). "CU chancellor hopeful Peterson does his homework". Rocky Mountain News. Retrieved 2009-02-09. 
  12. ^ a b "Dr. G. P. "Bud" Peterson". coolingzone.com. 2004. Archived from the original on 2006-03-19. Retrieved 2009-02-09. 
  13. ^ Tabita, Craig (2009-02-09). "CU chancellor Peterson named sole finalist for presidency". Retrieved 2009-02-09. 
  14. ^ Fain, Paul (2009-02-09). "Georgia Tech Taps Colorado-Boulder Chancellor as President". Chronicle of Higher Education. Retrieved 2009-02-09. 
  15. ^ "Peterson Named President of Georgia Institute of Technology" (Press release). Georgia Institute of Technology. 2009-02-25. Retrieved 2009-02-25. 
  16. ^ "Georgia Tech Celebrates Investiture" (Press release). Georgia Institute of Technology. 2009-09-03. Retrieved 2009-09-10. 
  17. ^ Video on YouTube

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