President, Georgia Institute of Technology
Dr. G.P. “Bud” Peterson became the 11th president of Georgia Tech on April 1, 2009. Under his leadership Georgia Tech has developed a 25-year strategic plan, launched the public phase of Campaign Georgia Tech, experienced increased enrollment, expanded innovative collaborations and strategic partnerships, expanded the campus infrastructure, and increased national visibility.
Peterson came to Georgia Tech from the University of Colorado at Boulder, where he served as chancellor. Prior to that, he served as provost at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in New York, and on the faculty and in leadership positions at Texas A&M University for 19 years. He has worked for NASA and the National Science Foundation (NSF).
Throughout his career, Peterson has played an active role in helping to establish the national education and research agendas, serving on many industry, government, and academic task forces and committees. He has served on a number of national accreditation agencies, with a focus on improving and assessing outcomes for higher education. He also has served on congressional task forces, research councils, and advisory boards, 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.
A distinguished scientist, he 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 NSF and advises the President and Congress on national policy related to science and engineering research and education. In 2010 he was named by U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke as a member of the National Advisory Council on Innovation and Entrepreneurship. President Obama appointed him to the Advanced Manufacturing Partnership (AMP) steering committee in 2011, and to the AMP 2.0 steering committee in 2013. He serves on NCAA’s Division 1 board of directors as the ACC representative.
Peterson is a fellow of both the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) and the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA), and received the AIAA Distinguished Service Award in 2011. His research has focused on phase change heat transfer in both the cooling of electronic devices and spacecraft thermal control. He is widely published, authoring or co-authoring 16 books or book chapters, 210 refereed journal articles, and more than 170 conference publications. He also holds a total of nine patents, with two others pending.
Peterson earned a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering, a second bachelor's degree in mathematics, and a master's degree in engineering, all from Kansas State University. While an undergraduate at Kansas State, he lettered three years as a tight end/wide receiver for the Wildcats football team.
He earned a PhD in mechanical engineering from Texas A&M University. He and his wife, Val, have four adult children, two of whom are Georgia Tech alumni.
A top ten public research university in the U.S., Georgia Tech has outstanding programs in architecture, business, computing, engineering, liberal arts, and the sciences. With more than 21,500 students and 140,000 living alumni who work in business, industry, and government throughout the world, Georgia Tech has become internationally recognized for the quality of its educational and research programs. Under Peterson’s leadership, Georgia Tech accepted an invitation in 2010 to become a member of the Association of American Universities (AAU), the first university to be invited to membership in nine years.
Georgia Tech’s research strategy focuses on creating transformative opportunities, strengthening collaboration, and maximizing economic and societal impact. With research expenditures of more than $730 million, the Institute is among the nation’s top 10 in research expenditures for universities without a medical school.