Kara Peters


  • 919-515-5226
  • Engineering Building III (EB3) 3156

Dr. Peters’ long-term goal is to contribute to the advancement of nondestructive evaluation and structural health monitoring techniques for composite aerospace structures. The advancements tend to increase safety and improve performance of structural systems.

Dr. Peters teaches Mechanics of Composite Structures (MAE 537). Her presentation in this course has a fundamental flavor. She also teaches Photonic Sensor Applications in Structure (MAE 546). In this course, Dr. Peters surveys composite structures in the aerospace industry, and gives students an understanding of the current state-of-the-art. Dr. Peters teaches Aerospace Structures I and II (MAE 371 and MAE 472). In these courses, she outlines the current state-of-the-art of aircraft structures and describes some of the advancements being anticipated in the near future.

Dr. Peters works closely with her students to help them develop strong experimental problem-solving skills. Her students bridge the gap between optics and mechanics and work in a hands-on, experimental environment. They fabricate the composite structures themselves, from learning how to embed sensors into composite materials to learning how to make different kinds of optical interfaces.

When she is not in the lab, Dr. Peters enjoys hiking and climbing.

New! NSF Sponsored Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) Site: Composites for Extreme Environments



Aerospace Engineering

University of Michigan


Applied Mathematics

University of Michigan


Aerospace Engineering

University of Michigan


Aerospace Engineering

University of Virginia

Research Description

Dr. Peters is interested in structural health monitoring, optical fiber sensors, and composite materials. Currently, she is designing and integrating optical sensors into composites (woven, laminates, sandwich structures, and joints) and is studying self-healing composite sandwich structures.


Composition and structure of porcine digital flexor tendon-bone insertion tissues
Chandrasekaran, S., Pankow, M., Peters, K., & Huang, H. Y. S. (2017), Journal of Biomedical Materials Research. Part A, 105(11), 3050-3058.
A spectral profile multiplexed FBG sensor network with application to strain measurement in a Kevlar woven fabric
Guo, G. D., Hackney, D., Pankow, M., & Peters, K. (2017), In Sensors and smart structures technologies for civil, mechanical, and aerospace systems 2017. (Proceedings of SPIE-the International Society for Optical Engineering, 10168).
The adhesive effect on ultrasonic Lamb wave detection sensitivity of remotely-bonded fiber Bragg grating sensors
Wee, J., Hackney, D. A., Bradford, P. D., & Peters, K. J. (2017), In Sensors and smart structures technologies for civil, mechanical, and aerospace systems 2017. (Proceedings of SPIE-the International Society for Optical Engineering, 10168).
Bi-directional ultrasonic wave coupling to FBGs in continuously bonded optical fiber sensing
Wee, J., Hackney, D., Bradford, P., & Peters, K. (2017), Applied Optics, 56(25), 7262-7268.
Announcing the 2016 Measurement Science and Technology Outstanding Paper Awards
Foss, J., Peters, K., & Yang, W. Q. (2017), Measurement Science & Technology, 28(7).
Simulating increased Lamb wave detection sensitivity of surface bonded fiber Bragg grating
Wee, J., Hackney, D. A., Bradford, P. D., & Peters, K. J. (2017), Smart Materials & Structures, 26(4).
Interrogation of a spectral profile division multiplexed FBG sensor network using a modified particle swarm optimization method
Guo, G. D., Hackney, D., Pankow, M., & Peters, K. (2017), Measurement Science & Technology, 28(5).
Dynamic polarization microscopy for in-situ measurements of collagen fiber realignment during impact
Wu, X. Y., Huang, H. Y. S., Pankow, M., & Peters, K. (2017), In Mechanics of biological systems and materials, vol 6. (Conference Proceedings of the Society for Experimental Mechanics Series, ) (pp. 61-66).
Fiber-optic temperature profiling for thermal protection system heat shields (vol 55, 114101, 2016)
Black, R. J., Costa, J. M., Zarnescu, L., Hackney, D. A., Moslehi, B., & Peters, K. J. (2016), Optical Engineering, 55(11).
Fiber Bragg gratings as transient thermal gradient sensors
Hackney, D. A., Peters, K. J., Black, R. J., Costa, J. M., & Moslehi, B. (2016), Optical Engineering, 55(11).

View all publications via NC State Libraries


IPA Assignment Agreement for Dr. Kara J. Peters
National Science Foundation (NSF)(9/08/15 - 9/07/17)
Spectral Profile Multiplexing of FBG Sensors to Enable Low-Power Optical Sensor Networks
National Science Foundation (NSF)(9/01/15 - 8/31/18)
High-density fiber Bragg Grating Sensor Networks for NDE of Composite Materials
American Society for Nondestructive Testing, Inc.(8/15/15 - 8/14/16)
High Repetition-Rate Shape Sensing Using Fiber Bragg Gratings (HISS)
US Dept. of Defense (DOD)(9/09/15 - 9/08/18)
REU Site: Summer Internships in Composites for Extreme Performance
National Science Foundation (NSF)(2/01/15 - 1/31/18)
High Sensitivity Fiber Bragg Grating Sensors through Carbon Nanotube Coatings and Adhesives
US Navy-Office Of Naval Research(5/15/14 - 5/14/17)
Angelfish: Initial Planning and Project Management
Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA)(6/19/14 - 1/31/16)
Damage Detection in Adhesively-Bonded, Stiffened Panels
US Navy - Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR)(5/01/14 - 9/01/15)
Dynamic Structure-Property Evolution at the Tendon-to-Bone Insertions
National Science Foundation (NSF)(5/15/14 - 4/30/17)
Nondesctructive Inspection (NDI) of Additively Manufactured Parts
National Institute of Standards & Technology(2/26/14 - 4/30/16)