David Peters

David Peters

Pronouns: He/him/his
The McDonnell Douglas Professor of Engineering

Mechanical Engineering & Materials Science

  • Phone
  • Office
    Jubel Hall, Room 203F


PhD, Stanford University, 1974
MS, Washington University, 1970
BS, Washington University, 1969


Studies aeroelasticity


Dynamics, Vibration, Aeroelasticity, Applied Aerodynamics, Rotary-Wing Systems


Professor Peters's research projects in rotor wake modeling seek to correctly model the dynamic motions that profoundly influence vehicle dynamics of airplane propellers, helicopters and tilt rotors.

His other research interests include aeroelastic modeling of helicopter rotors and wind turbines with unsteady aerodynamics and nonlinear structural deformations and response to stalling.


Professor Peters first joined the faculty of Washington University in St. Louis (WashU) in 1975. Prior to that, he was an associate engineer at McDonnell Douglas Astronautics Co. in St. Louis from 1969-1970 and a research scientist in the Army Air Mobility R&D Laboratory from 1970-1975.

Professor Peters left WashU to join the faculty of Georgia Tech in 1985 but returned in 1991. Professor Peters served as the Chair of the WashU Department of Mechanical Engineering from 1982-1985 and from 1997-2007.

Currently, Professor Peters is the Associate Director of Georgia Tech/Washington University in St. Louis Center of Excellence for Rotor Technology. He is also an adjunct professor at Georgia Tech.

Additionally, Professor Peters is the recipient of the following awards: Nikolsky Lectureship of AHS International (the Vertical Flight Technical Society), 2008; Reed Aeronautics Award of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, 2011; Spirit of St. Louis Medal of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, 2013; Vertical Flight Society's Dr. Alexander Klemin Award, 2019.