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Climate Change Institute

Michael Peterson

Professor, Climate Change Institute & Mechanical Engineering

Michael Peterson

Contact Information

(207) 581-2129

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208 Boardman Hall
Orono, ME  04469

Research interests

Mick Peterson is the Libra Foundation Professor of Engineering in the Mechanical Engineering Department at the University of Maine.  Mick grew up in Leadville Colorado and watched the start of a transition from a resource to services based economy which is ongoing in Maine.  He received his BS degree from General Motors Institute and did graduate work at Cornell University and Yale University and received M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from Northwestern University.  After completion of his undergraduate degree he worked for General Motors and later for General Dynamic doing submarine acoustics work.  He has spent his academic career working in both areas of science and engineering as well as working extensively with private companies in his research.  His teaching efforts focus on the applications of engineering principles to design problems from the real world.  From his academic work he has received 3 patents, published more than 50 refereed journal publications and more than 100 conference proceedings.  Most importantly he has advised 35 graduate students who have gone on to start businesses and build careers that have strengthened the technical workforce.  He has been on the faculty of University of Maine since 1999, fulfilling a long held dream of living in the most beautiful state in America. 


In 2007 Mick met with a broad range of faculty at the University of Maine to look at what the university could do to support tidal energy and alternative energy in Maine.  The tidal energy work complements long term collaboration on heat pumps and energy conservation in Maine.  However, tidal energy has a unique potential in Maine and was being considered seriously by private companies as an investment opportunity.  Out of this effort grew the Maine Tidal Power Initiative, a research group that was initially supported by Ocean Renewable Power Company, but now receives support from private as well as federal funding.  The focus of this effort is to understand the opportunities and risks for Maine in this area and to ensure that investments made benefit the people and employers of Maine.  Current work with the Climate Change Insitutue is focused on measuring the carbon footprint in schools, buiinesses and homes and working to build a system which can provide support for rational investment decisions for renewable energy and energy conservation.


  • Bridge, J. W., Peterson, M. L., McIlwraith, C. W., Beaumont, R. M., 2010. Temperature Effects on Triaxial Shear Strength of Granular Composite Sport Surfaces. Journal of ASTM International, Vol. 7, Issue 9, 2010.
  • Pries, M., Militz, H., Goodell, B., Xie, X., Qian, Y., Peterson, M. L., Lopez-Anido, R., 2010. A Note on Reinforcement of Polymer Matrix Composites Using Carbon Residues Derived From Woody Biomass. Journal of Composite Materials Online, Vol. 44 , p. 1883-1892, 2010.
  • Peterson, M.L., Reiser II, R. F., Kuo, P., Radford, D. W., McIlwraith, C. W., 2010. Effect of temperature on race times on a synthetic surface, Equine Veterinary Journal. Vol. 42, p. 351-357, 2010.
  • Bridge, J.W., Peterson, M.L., Radford, D.W., McIlwraith, C.W., 2009. Thermal transitions in high oil content petroleum-based wax blends used in granular sport surfaces. Thermochimica Acta, Vol. 498, p. 106-111, 2010.
  • Lin, L., Wang, Z., Peterson, M. L., 2009. Conditions for Bifurcation of the Longitudinal Wave in a Porous Medium. Acta Acustica United with Acustica, Vol. 95. p. 373-378, 2009.
  • Lin, L., Peterson, M.L., Greenberg, A. R., McCool, B. A., 2009. In situ measurement of permeability. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America. Vol. 125, p. 123-125, 2009.
  • Xie, X., Goodell, B., Zhang, D., Nagle, D. C., Qian, Y., Peterson, M. L., Jellison, J., 2008. Characterization of carbons derived from cellulose and lignin and their oxidative behavior. Bioresource Technology, Vol. 100, p. 1797-1802, 2009.
  • Xie, X., Goodell, B., Qian, Y., Peterson, M. L., Jellison, J., 2008. Significance of the Heating Rate on the Physical Properties of Carbonized Wood. Horzforschung, Vol. 62,p. 591-596, 2008.
  • Peterson, M. L., McIlwraith, C. W., Reiser, R. F., 2008. System Development for In-Situ Characterization of Horse Racing Track Surfaces. Biosystems Engineering, Vol. 101, p. 260 – 269, 2008.
  • Peterson, M. L., McIlwraith, C. W., 2008. Effect of track maintenance on mechanical properties of a dirt racetrack: A preliminary study. Equine Veterinary Journal, Vol. 40, p. 602-605, 2008.
  • Thomason, J. J., Peterson, M.L., 2008. Biomechanical and Mechanical Investigations of the Hoof-Track Interface in Racing Horses. Veterinary Clinics of North America, Equine Practice, Vol. 24, p. 53–77, 2008.
  • Goodell, B., Xie, X., Qian, Y., Daniel, G., Peterson, M.L., Jellison, J., 2008. Carbon Nanotubes Produced from Natural Cellulosic Materials. Journal of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology, Vol.8, p. 1–3, 2008.
  • Winn, J. P., Woodward, B. L., Moore, M. J., Peterson, M. L., Riley, J. G., 2008. Modeling Whale Entanglement Injuries: An Experimental Study of Tissue Compliance, Line Tension and Dray Length. Marine Mammal Science, Vol. 24, p. 326-340, 2008.
  • Ramaswamy, S., Greenberg, A. R., Peterson, M. L., 2007. Ultrasonic Detection of Defects in Highly Porous Polymeric Membranes. Insight – Non-Destructive Testing and Condition Monitoring, Vol. 49, p. 651-656, 2007.
  • Turner, A. W., Kabche, J.P., Peterson, M. L., Davids, W. G., 2007. Tension/Torsion Testing of Inflatable Fabric Tubes. Experimental Techniques. Vol. 32, p. 47–52, 2008.
  • Kujundzic, E., Fonseca, A. C., Evans, E. A., Peterson, M. L., Greenberg, A. R., Hernandez, M., 2007. Ultrasonic Monitoring of Early-Stage Biofilm Growth on Membranes and Polymeric Surfaces. Journal of Microbiological Methods, p. 458-467, 2007.
  • Davids, W.G., Zhang, H., Turner, A. and Peterson, M. L., 2007. Beam Finite-Element Analysis of Pressurized Fabric Tubes. Journal of Structural Engineering, ASCE, Vol. 133, p. 990-998, 2007.
  • Lin, L., Peterson, M. L., Greenberg, A. R., 2007. Generation and propagation of ultrasonic plate wave in fluid-loaded porous polymeric membrane. Insight – Non-Destructive Testing and Condition Monitoring, Vol. 49, p. 213-216, 2007.
  • Brown, E.N., Peterson, M. L., Grande-Allen, K.J., 2006. Biological Systems and Materials: A Review of the Field of Biomechanics and the Role of the Society for Experimental Mechanics, Experimental Techniques, Vol. 30 p. 21-28, 2006.
  • Woodward, B. L., Winn, J. P., Moore, M. J., Peterson, M. L., 2006. Experimental Modeling of Large Whale Entanglement Injuries. Marine Mammal Science, Vol. 22, p. 299-310, 2006.
  • Davids, W., Botting, J., Peterson, M.L., 2006. Development and Structural Testing of a Composite-Reinforced Timber Highway Guardrail. Construction and Building Materials, Vol. 20, p. 733-743, 2006.
  • Puckett, A. D., Peterson, M.L., 2005. The contribution of individual longitudinal Pochhammer-Chree modes in observed experimental signals. Journal of Acoustic Society of America, Vol. 6, p. 268-273, 2005.
  • Puckett, A. D., Peterson, M.L., 2005. A semi-analytical model for predicting multiple propagating axially symmetric modes in cylindrical waveguides, Ultrasonics, Vol. 43, p. 197-207, 2005.
  • Ramaswamy, S., Greenberg, A. R., Peterson, M. L., 2004. Non-Invasive Measurement of Membrane Morphology via UFDR: Pore-Size Characterization, Journal of Membrane Science, Vol. 239, p. 143-154, 2004.
  • Puckett, A. D., Peterson, M. L., 2003. Technique for determining the pressure distribution on the face of a contact ultrasonic transducer. Experimental Techniques, Vol. 26, p. 37-39, 2003.
  • Reiser, R., Watt, J., Peterson, M. L., 2003. Cycling on Rollers: The Influence of Tire Pressure and Cross Section on Power Requirements. Sports Biomechanics, Vol. 2, p. 237-249, 2003.
  • Reiser, R. Peterson, M. L., Broker, J., 2003. Instrumented Bicycle Pedals for Dynamic Measurement of Propulsive Cycling Loads. Sports Engineering, Vol. 6, p. 41-48, 2003.
  • Puckett, A. D., Peterson, M. L., 2003. A time reversal mirror in a solid circular waveguide using a single time reversal element. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, Vol. 4, p. 31-36, 2003.
  • Tascioglu, C., Goodell, B., Lopez-Anido, R., Peterson, M. L., Halteman, W., Jellison, J., 2003. Monitoring Fungal Degradation of E-Glass/Phenolic Fiber Reinforced Polymer (FRP) Composites used in Wood Reinforcement. International Biodeterioration and Biodegradation, Vol. 51, p. 157-165, 2003.
  • Wang, Z.M., Peterson, M.L. Grigorenko, Y.M., 2003. Hybrid equilibrium finite elements for wave diffraction problems. Prikladnaya Mekhanika, Vol. 39, p. 135-144, 2003.
  • Radford, D.W., Peterson, M.L., Senan, A., and Fitzhorn, P.A., 2003. Application of Dynamic Mechanical Analysis to the Evaluation of Tire Compounds. Journal of Passenger Cars- Mechanical Systems, p. 2492, 2003.
  • Bruck, H.A., Evans, J.J. and Peterson, M.L., 2002. The Role of Mechanics in Biological and Biologically Inspired Materials. Experimental Mechanics, Vol. 42, p. 361-371, 2002.
  • Radford, D.W., VanGoethem, D., Gutkowski, R.M., and Peterson, M.L., 2002. Composite Repair of Timber Structures. Construction and Building Materials, JCBM Vol. 16, p. 417-425, 2002.
  • Woodward B. L., Peterson, M. L., Winn, J., 2002. Refining Crossbow Deployment Techniques of Suction Cup Attached Tags for Cetacean Field Studies. Marine Science Technology Journal, Vol. 36, p. 50-57, 2002.
  • Reiser, R. F. Peterson, M. L., Broker, J. P., 2002. Influence of Hip Orientation on Wingate Power Output and Cycling Technique. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, Vol. 16, p. 556-560, 2002.
  • Peterson, M.L., and Dayton, K., 2002. Experimental Ultrasonic Characterization of Machining Damage from Loose Abrasive Processes. Non-Destructive Testing and Evaluation, Vol. 17, p. 325-340, 2002.
  • Wang, Z. M., Peterson, M. L., 2001. Variational Principles for Softening Gradient Dependent Plasticity. International Journal of Solids and Structures, Vol. 38, p. 8685-8700, 2001.
  • Gutkowski, R. M., Shigidi, A. M. T., Vihn, T. A., Peterson, M. L., 2001. Field Studies of Strengthened Timber Railroad Bridge. Transportation Research Record, No. 1770, p. 139-148, 2001.
  • Reiser, R., Peterson, M. L., Broker, J., 2001. Anaerobic Cycling Power Output with Variation in Recumbent Body Configuration. Journal of Applied Biomechanics, Vol. 17, p. 204-216, 2001.
  • Peterson, M. L., Jeffrey, B. D., Gutkowski, R. M., 2000. Limitations in Size and Type of Detectable Defects in Rail Flaw Inspection. Insight, the Journal of the British Institute of Non-Destructive Testing, Vol. 42, p. 306-311, 2000.
  • Reiser, R., Peterson, M. L., Broker, J., 2000. Inertial Effects on Mechanically Braked Wingate Power Calculations. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, Vol. 32 p. 1660-1664, 2000.
  • Le, X., Peterson, M. L., 2000. Statistical Description of Preston's Coefficient for Loose Abrasive Processes. Machining Science and Technology, Vol. 4, p 59-80, 2000.
  • Reiser, R., Peterson, M. L., McIlwraith, C. W., Woodward, B., 2000. Simulated Effects on Racetrack Material Properties on the Vertical Loading of the Equine Forelimb. Sports Engineering, Vol. 3, p. 1-11, 2000.
  • Le, X., Peterson, M. L., 1999. A Method for Fatigue Based Reliability When the Loading of the Component is Unknown. International Journal of Fatigue, Vol. 21, p. 603-610, 1999.
  • Downs, J., Zhang, P., Peterson, M. L., 1999. A High-Speed High-Resolution Ultrasonic Inspection Machine. IEEE/ASME Transactions on Mechatronics, Vol. 4, p. 301-311, 1999.
  • Le, X., Peterson, M. L., 1999. Material Removal Rate in Flat Lapping. Journal of Manufacturing Processes, Vol. 1, p. 71-78, 1999.
  • Peterson, M. L., 1999. Prediction of Longitudinal Disturbances in a Multi-Mode Cylindrical Waveguide. Experimental Mechanics, Vol. 39, p. 36-42, 1999.
  • Peterson, M. L., Srinath, S., Lambert, T., Woodham, D., Schuller, M., 1999. Wavelet Display of Dispersion in Concrete Using Paul and Morlet Wavelets. Non-Destructive Testing and Evaluation, Vol. 15, p. 151-169, 1999.
  • Reiser, R., Peterson, M. L., 1999. Lower Extremity Power Output in Recumbent Cycling: A Literature Review. Human Power, Vol. 13, p. 6-12, 1999.
  • Peterson, M. L., Gutkowski, R.M., 1999. Evaluation of the Structural Integrity of Timber Bridge Structures. NDT&E International, Vol. 32, p. 43, 1999.
  • Peterson, M. L., Le, X., McKinley, D., 1998. Monitoring the Material Removal Rate in Flat Lapping. Journal of Advanced Materials, Vol. 30, p. 41-55, 1998.
  • Peterson, M. L., Gutkowski, R. M., Srinath, S., Mittlestadt, C., 1998. A Method for Predicting In-situ Strength of Timber Beams Based on Higher Order Elastic Coefficients. Forest Products Journal, Vol. 48, p. 89-93, 1998.
  • Peterson, M. L., Srinath, S., Murphy, J., 1998. A Waveguide Based Acoustic Microscope. Ultrasonics, Vol. 36, p. 855-863, 1998.
  • Landis, E. N., Selleck, S.F., Peterson, M.L., Shah, S.P., Achenbach, J.D., 1998. Ultrasonic Investigation of Concrete with Distributed Damage. ACI Materials Journal Vol. 95, p. 27-36, 1998.
  • Peterson, M. L., 1997. A Method for Increased Accuracy of the Measurement of Phase Velocity. Ultrasonics, Vol. 35, p. 17-29, 1997.
  • Peterson, M. L., Ellis, M. E., 1997. Advanced Visualization for Interpretation of C-Scan Data. Materials Evaluation, Vol. 55, p. 548-554, 1997.
  • Beardsley, B., Peterson, M. L., Achenbach, J.D., 1995. A Simple Scheme for Self-Focusing of an Array. Journal of Non-Destructive Evaluation, Vol. 14, p. 169-179, 1995.
  • Peterson, M. L., 1994. A Signal Processing Technique for Measurement of Multi-Mode Waveguide Signals: An Application to Monitoring of Reaction Bonding in Silicon Nitride. Research in Nondestructive Evaluation, Vol. 5, p. 239-256, 1994.


Ph.D. Northwestern University

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