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Peters earns alumni award from Pitt

By Susan Trulove

Spectrum Volume 19 Issue 29 - April 24, 1997

Leonard K. Peters, vice provost for research and dean of the Graduate School since 1993, has been named a distinguished alumni of the University of Pittsburgh School of Engineering. His degrees are all in chemical engineering from Pitt. The award recognizes Peters' professional achievements.

Before coming to Virginia Tech, he was vice chancellor for research and graduate studies at the University of Kentucky's Lexington campus, acting vice president for research and graduate studies, and a visiting senior scientist with the atmospheric sciences department of Battelle Pacific Northwest Laboratory.

His achievements in administration include special doctoral and post-doctoral programs for women in disciplines in which they are underrepresented, a visiting-scholars program for faculty members from regional universities to pursue research with faculty members at doctoral-granting institutions, a substantial expansion of tuition-remission scholarships for graduate students at Virginia Tech, and initiation of a new-research-stimulation program at Tech.

Peters chairs the Oak Ridge Associated Universities Board of Directors and is chair-elect of the Council of Graduate Schools Board of Directors.

As a professor of chemical engineering at Virginia Tech, Peter's research specialization is atmospheric transport and chemistry. He is a member (since 1978) of the measurement-of-air-pollution-from-satellite (MAPS) science team for NASA, which is monitoring carbon monoxide from man-made and natural sources and its movements and interactions with other atmosphere chemicals to form carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas. Peters and colleagues developed urban-scale, regional-scale, and global-scale three-dimensional computer models to analyze the fates of gases in the atmosphere and to help predict the results of actions suggested to curtail harmful gases. Peters developed a nationally recognized research program in atmospheric modeling.

He is a member of the American Association of Aerosol Research, Air and Waste Management Association, Association for Women in Science, American Society for Engineering Education, Sigma Xi research honor society, and American Institute of Chemical Engineers.