Robert J. Peterman | Professor

peterman Mark H. and Margaret H. Hulings Chair in Engineering

Post-Doc - Purdue University
Ph.D. - Purdue University
Civil Engineering
M.S. - Purdue University
Civil Engineering
B.S. - Lafayette College
Civil Engineering

Contact information

2133 Fiedler Hall

Professional experience

Robert Peterman received his bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from Lafayette college in 1987. He worked as a structural engineer from 1989 to 1992 at Precast Concrete Systems, Inc. in Indianapolis. He became a licensed professional engineer in 1992, and is currently licensed in three states including Kansas.

Peterman then attended Purdue University, where he earned his master’s degree in 1989 and doctorate in 1996. He remained at Purdue as a visiting assistant professor until 1997, and as a post-doctoral research associate from 1997 to 1998. He came to K-State as an assistant professor in 1998 and was promoted to professor in 2008.


Peterman's research focuses on the experimental evaluation of structures and materials, especially concrete, prestressed concrete and fiberglass structures. His specific research expertise is in the evaluation of bond between concrete and various reinforcements. In addition, his research interests include the durability of bridge decks and time-dependent deformations in structures with a goal to advance and preserve the state's and nation's civil infrastructure.

Peterman is currently the lead principal investigator on a $2.2 million inter-disciplinary research grant from the Federal Rail Administration and LB Foster/CXT Concrete Ties. This nationally competitive grant is one of the largest ever received by a faculty member in the department of civil engineering.

Since 2011, Peterman has secured more than $4.5 million of research funding, with more than $3.3 million as principal investigator. During that same time period, he made 36 formal research presentations and authored or co-authored 46 refereed publications and five research reports.

A quality control test developed by Peterman and a graduate student was officially adopted by the American Society of Testing and Materials in 2015 and became a test standard that will be used by laboratories around the world (ASTM A1096 - Test Method for Evaluating the Bond Quality of Steel Wire for Concrete). Another test that Peterman developed referred to as the "Peterman Beam Test" has already been adopted for use by the Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute.

In 2013, Peterman was honored by being elected as a PCI Fellow by the PCI Board of Directors. The title of fellow is reserved for individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the industry and to PCI. He is one of only about 20 faculty members nationwide who currently are honored with the title of fellow.

He was the recipient of the 2011 and 2015 Outstanding Research Award in the Civil Engineering Department and the 2016 Frankenhoff Outstanding Research Award.

Academic highlights

Since 2011, Peterman supervised nine master’s thesis students, seven doctorate students, and has hired 19 undergraduate students for research.

From 2004 to 2007 and 2011 to 2014, Peterman was the Martin K. Eby Distinguished Professor in Engineering. In 2015, he was named the Mark H. and Margaret H. Hulings Chair in Engineering.

In 2014, he received the Outstanding Faculty Award from the K-State student chapter of the American Society of Civil Engineers. He was the recipient of the 2008 College of Engineering Meyers-Alford Teaching Award, and is also a four-time recipient of the Civil Engineering Department’s Chi Epsilon Outstanding Teaching Award (1999, 2004, 2008, and 2010).

Recent faculty publications
  • Amir F. Momeni, Robert J. Peterman, B. Terry Beck. “A Prediction Model for Development Length of
    Indented Prestressing Wires,” American Concrete Institute (ACI) Structural Journal; Volume 115, Issue 2, pp 525-534, March.
  • Yu-Szu Chen, Hayder A. Rasheed, Robert J. Peterman. “Stress-Strain Curves for Modeling Prestressing
    Wires,” American Concrete Institute (ACI) Materials Journal; Volume 115, Issue 5, pp 773-784,
  • Adrijana Savic, B. Terry Beck, Aaron A. Robertson, Robert J. Peterman, Jeremiah Clark, Chih-Hang (John)
  • Wu. “Effects of Cover, Compressive Strength, and Wire Type on Bond Performance in Prismatic
    Prestressed Concrete Members;” Paper Number JRC2018-6153, Proceedings of the 2018 ASME Joint Rail
    Conference, April 18-20, 2018, Pittsburgh, PA.
  • James D. Scott, Robert J. Peterman, B. Terry Beck, Aaron A. Robertson, Chih-Hang John Wu, Kyle A.
    Riding. “Determining the Remaining Prestress Force in A Prestressed Concrete Railroad Tie Through
    Loading in Direct Tension” JRC2018-6168, Proceedings of the 2018 ASME Joint Rail Conference (JRC
    2018), April 18-20, 2018, Pittsburgh, PA.
  • Aref Shafiei Dastgerdi, Kyle A. Riding, Robert J. Peterman, B. Terry Beck. “Material Characteristics
    Evaluation of Existing Pre-Stressed Concrete Railroad Ties After Service Period” JRC2018-6168,
    Proceedings of the 2018 ASME Joint Rail Conference (JRC 2018), April 18-20, 2018, Pittsburgh, PA.