Kara Peters

Director of Graduate Programs, Associate Dept. Head

Distinguished Professor of Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering
  • 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.


Demonstration of Coherent Interference between Acoustic Waves Using a Fiber Ring Resonator
Kim, J. M., Wee, J., & Peters, K. (2022), SENSORS. https://doi.org/10.3390/s22114163
Ultrasonic frequency response of fiber Bragg grating under direct and remote adhesive bonding configurations
Navratil, A., Wee, J., & Peters, K. (2022), MEASUREMENT SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY. https://doi.org/10.1088/1361-6501/ac2fea
Acoustic wave coupling between optical fibers of different geometries
Kim, J. M., Marashi, C., Wee, J., & Peters, K. (2021), APPLIED OPTICS. https://doi.org/10.1364/AO.441494
Announcing the 2020 Measurement Science and Technology outstanding paper awards
Discetti, S., Peters, K., & Yacoot, A. (2021, November), MEASUREMENT SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY, Vol. 11. https://doi.org/10.1088/1361-6501/abfc84
Dynamic back face deformation measurement with a single optical fibre
Seng, F., Hackney, D., Goode, T., Noevere, A., Hammond, A., Velasco, I., … Schultz, S. (2021), INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF IMPACT ENGINEERING, 150. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijimpeng.2020.103800
Fiber Bragg grating sensor response to ultrasonic Lamb waves with varying frequency
Navratil, A., Wee, J., & Peters, K. (2021), SENSORS AND SMART STRUCTURES TECHNOLOGIES FOR CIVIL, MECHANICAL, AND AEROSPACE SYSTEMS 2021. https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2584277
Investigation on acoustic wave transfer variation between fibers of different diameters and types using acoustic coupler
Kim, J. M., Marashi, C., Wee, J., & Peters, K. (2021), SENSORS AND SMART STRUCTURES TECHNOLOGIES FOR CIVIL, MECHANICAL, AND AEROSPACE SYSTEMS 2021. https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2584249
Optical Fiber Sensors for Ultrasonic Structural Health Monitoring: A Review
Soman, R., Wee, J., & Peters, K. (2021). [Review of , ]. SENSORS. https://doi.org/10.3390/s21217345
Self-referencing ultrasound detection of fiber Bragg grating sensor with two adhesive bonds
Wee, J., Alexander, K., & Peters, K. (2021), MEASUREMENT SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY, 10. https://doi.org/10.1088/1361-6501/ac065c
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

View all publications via NC State Libraries


Dynamic, In-situ Characterization of Failure Modes in Fiber Spinning (NWI Core Project) - Confidential
NCSU Nonwovens Institute(1/01/22 - 12/31/22)
High Resolution Scanning Acoustic Microscopy System for High Throughput Characterization of Materials and Nuclear Fuels
US Dept. of Energy (DOE)(10/01/21 - 9/30/22)
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 - 7/31/22)
IUCRC Pre-proposal Phase III North Carolina State University: Center for Integration of Composites into Infrastructure (CICI)
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 - 4/13/22)
Investigation of Lamb Wave Interactions with Guided Modes in Optical Fibers
US Navy-Office Of Naval Research(7/01/18 - 12/30/21)
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)