Distinguished Alumni Award (2000)
In recognition of leadership in improving the quality of engineering education through teaching, administration, and contributions to the reformation of engineering accreditation.
George D. Peterson (PhD '80)
George Peterson was an Air Force officer when he earned his PhD in electrical engineering from the U of I. Soon afterwards, he was chosen for a teaching position at the Air Force Academy. He later left that position to become chair of electrical engineering at the U.S. Naval Academy. Peterson worked with the National Science Foundation, heading up its efforts to encourage more students to develop an interest in engineering. Peterson later joined Morgan State University as its vice president for academic affairs. A longtime volunteer for the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET), Peterson became its executive director in 1993. Under his leadership, a new system for accreditation and quality assurance in engineering education was developed: Engineering Criteria 2000.
Peterson is an IEEE Fellow. He received the ABET Fellow Award in 1993. He was named Black Engineer of the Year in 1999.