Kara Peters

Professor, Director of Graduate Programs, Associate Dept. Head

  • 919-515-5226
  • Engineering Building III (EB3) 3116

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. She served as the program director for the Mechanics of Materials and Structures program at the National Science Foundation from 2015-2018. She is an Associate Editor of the journal Smart Materials and Structures and the ASME Journal of Nondestructive Evaluation, Diagnostics and Prognostics of Engineering Systems. She is also on the editorial board of the journal Measurement Science and Technology.

Dr. Peters teaches Mechanics of Composite Structures (MAE 537). Her presentation in this course has a fundamental flavor. 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.

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.


A structural-based computational model of tendon-bone insertion tissues
Kuznetsov, S., Pankow, M., Peters, K., & Huang, H.-Y. S. (2020), MATHEMATICAL BIOSCIENCES, 327. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.mbs.2020.108411
Announcing the 2019 Measurement Science and Technology Outstanding Paper Awards
Yang, W., Peters, K., Christensen, K., Jakoby, B., Morris, S., Yacoot, A., & Iakovidis, D. (2020), MEASUREMENT SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY, 31(8). https://doi.org/10.1088/1361-6501/ab7efb
Dynamic Modeling of Passively Draining Structures for Aerial-Aquatic Unmanned Vehicles
Stewart, W., Weisler, W., Anderson, M., Bryant, M., & Peters, K. (2020), IEEE JOURNAL OF OCEANIC ENGINEERING, 45(3), 840–850. https://doi.org/10.1109/JOE.2019.2898069
Optimization of sensor placement for guided waves based SHM using fiber Bragg grating sensors
Soman, R., Wee, J., Peters, K., & Ostachowicz, W. (2020), SENSORS AND SMART STRUCTURES TECHNOLOGIES FOR CIVIL, MECHANICAL, AND AEROSPACE SYSTEMS 2020. https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2558393
Self-referencing ultrasound detection of fiber Bragg grating sensor remotely bonded at two locations
Wee, J., Alexander, K., & Peters, K. (2020), SENSORS AND SMART STRUCTURES TECHNOLOGIES FOR CIVIL, MECHANICAL, AND AEROSPACE SYSTEMS 2020. https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2559252
Survivability of integrated fiber Bragg grating sensors in ballistic protection fabrics for high velocity impact testing
Hackney, D., Goode, T., Seng, F., Pankow, M., Schultz, S., & Peters, K. (2020), OPTICAL FIBER TECHNOLOGY, 60. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.yofte.2020.102356
Ultrasonic Lamb wave measurement sensitivity of aligned carbon nanotube coated fiber Bragg grating
Wee, J., Hackney, D., Wells, B., Bradford, P. D., & Peters, K. (2020), JOURNAL OF PHYSICS-PHOTONICS, 2(1). https://doi.org/10.1088/2515-7647/ab525e
Finite Element Modeling of Pulse Phase Thermography of an Approximate Model of Low Velocity Impact Induced Damage in Carbon Fiber Reinforced Polymer Structures
Valle, S. H., & Peters, K. (2019), COMPUTATIONAL IMAGING IV. https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2513434
High-Speed Interrogation Approach for FBG Sensors Using a VCSEL Array Swept Source
Guo, G., Pankow, M., & Peters, K. (2019), IEEE SENSORS JOURNAL, 19(21), 9766–9774. https://doi.org/10.1109/JSEN.2019.2927901
Preferential directional coupling to ultrasonic sensor using adhesive tape
Wee, J., Hackney, D., & Peters, K. (2019), OPTICAL ENGINEERING, 58(7). https://doi.org/10.1117/1.OE.58.7.072003

View all publications via NC State Libraries


High Efficiency Generation of Acoustic Modes in Optical Fibers
US Navy-Office Of Naval Research(7/01/20 - 6/30/23)
EAGER: Measurements of Bi-Material Interface Behaviors Under Dynamic Loading Conditions
National Science Foundation (NSF)(8/15/19 - 7/31/21)
Phase III IUCRC North Carolina State University: Center for Integration of Composites into Infrastructure
National Science Foundation (NSF)(12/15/19 - 11/30/24)
Design of Acoustic Couplers for Sensing Applications
US Navy-Office Of Naval Research(1/14/19 - 1/13/22)
Investigation of Lamb Wave Interactions with Guided Modes in Optical Fibers
US Navy-Office Of Naval Research(7/01/18 - 6/30/21)
3D Micro Laser Doppler Vibrometer to Characterize Ultrasonic Waves in Naval Structures
US Navy-Office Of Naval Research(6/15/18 - 6/14/19)
Optimization of Structural Lamb Wave Coupling to Fiber Bragg Grating Sensors
US Navy-Office Of Naval Research(8/16/17 - 8/15/21)
Aerodynamic Forces on Slender Body in Supersonic Cavity
Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL)(7/09/16 - 9/30/19)
IPA Assignment Agreement for Dr. Kara J. Peters
National Science Foundation (NSF)(9/08/15 - 5/31/18)
Spectral Profile Multiplexing of FBG Sensors to Enable Low-Power Optical Sensor Networks
National Science Foundation (NSF)(9/01/15 - 8/31/19)