Peterson Named President of Georgia Institute of Technology

Dr. G.P. “Bud” Peterson, chancellor of the University of Colorado at Boulder, was named today as the eleventh president of the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta by the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia.

Peterson will assume his new post on April 1, 2009, according to Board of Regents Chair Richard Tucker. He replaces G. Wayne Clough, who stepped down on June 30 to become the 12th Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C.

“Dr. Peterson’s credentials are excellent and we were very impressed with what he has achieved in his time at the University of Colorado,” said Tucker. “His leadership experience and his outstanding engineering credentials are a good fit with Georgia Tech.”

University System Chancellor Erroll B. Davis Jr. said that Peterson’s appointment “provides the high caliber leadership that will allow Tech to continue to build and expand upon its national and international reputation.”

“I am honored by the opportunity to serve as President of the Georgia Institute of Technology,” said Peterson. “As an engineer, this is, of course, a great professional fulfillment. But as someone who has spent a majority of his career as an educator, it also presents an opportunity to continue to have an impact on higher education nationally. Georgia Tech is at the forefront of innovation and discovery in a time in our nation’s history where both are great necessities, and I am privileged to be a part of these efforts. Val and I are looking forward to meeting and getting to know the entire Georgia Tech community.”

Peterson’s academic career has been spent at three institutions, not counting a one-year assignment with the National Science Foundation in 1993-94. He worked for 19 years at Texas A&M, where he served as head of the Department of Mechanical Engineering for three years (1993-96) and executive associate dean of engineering for four years (1996-2000). Peterson also had the title of associate vice chancellor for the Texas A&M University System from 1996-2000.

He was recruited to Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York, as provost in July 2000. Peterson served in this capacity until 2006 when he accepted the position of chancellor at the University of Colorado at Boulder.

Peterson is widely published in the field of phase change heat transfer and is a fellow of both the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) and the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA). He was recently appointed to the National Science Board.

Early in his career, Peterson taught mathematics and science in several Kansas high schools. Later, he went on to work as a research scientist for the NASA-Johnson Space Center in Houston, and in the private sector for Black & Veatch Consulting Engineers in Kansas City, Missouri.

Peterson earned bachelor of science degrees in mechanical engineering and mathematics from Kansas State University, Manhattan. He earned a master of science degree in engineering from Kansas State University and a Ph.D. in the same discipline from Texas A&M University, College Station. He was a “walk on” receiver on the Kansas State football team, who earned a scholarship and started at the position for three varsity seasons. He and his wife, Val, have four grown children.

The Georgia Institute of Technology is one of the world's premier research universities. Ranked seventh among U.S. News & World Report's top public universities and the eighth best engineering and information technology university in the world by Shanghai Jiao Tong University's Academic Ranking of World Universities, Georgia Tech’s more than 20,000 students are enrolled in its Colleges of Architecture, Computing, Engineering, Liberal Arts, Management and Sciences. Tech is among the nation's top producers of women and minority engineers. The Institute offers research opportunities to both undergraduate and graduate students and is home to more than 100 interdisciplinary units plus the Georgia Tech Research Institute.

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