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Biographical Information

Name: Tom F. Peters
Full name: Tom Frank Peters
Born on 29 July 1941 in , Alameda County, California, USA, North America
1962 - 1969

Studies in architecture at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, ETH Zürich (Dipl. Arch ETH).

1972 - 1977

Doctoral dissertation (Dr.sc.techn.), ETH Zürich.

1992 Habilitation für Technikgeschichte, Fachbereich Gesellschafts- und Geschichtswissenschaften, TH Darmstadt = venia legendi

Notes & Comments

Peters is Lehigh University Emeritus Professor of Architecture and History. His writing and lecturing ranges from the theory of technological thinking in civil engineering and architectural design, cultural theory in structural engineering, and pedagogical studies on teaching construction and materials, to treatises on construction history, a field he helped develop from the mid 1970s. He is the author of many influential books, reports and articles and is known for his expertise in antiquarian books that deal with civil engineering and construction. Peters lectures and has worked with schools or professional groups worldwide, serving as advisor to several undergraduate and graduate architecture programs.

Born in Berkeley, California, Peters was educated in Rochester NY, Mumbai, and Zurich, before training as an architect at the ETH Zurich with a focus in construction and materials. He subsequently worked as an architect in Denmark, England, and Switzerland before turning to teaching construction and research. He holds a masters degree and a doctorate in Architecture from the ETH Zurich and a Habilitation in the history of technology from the TH Darmstadt. From 1982-2007 he taught architectural technology and history at the University of California at Berkeley, Cornell University and Lehigh University, and served as Director of the Building and Technology Institute there from 1989-2007, and as Chair Professor and Chairman of Architecture at the Chinese University of Hong Kong 1998-2000.

Structures and Projects

Participation in the following structures & large-scale projects:



  1. Peters, Tom F. (2021): Education at the École centrale in Paris and its influence on the creation of modern iron construction. Presented at: Seventh International Congress on Construction History (7ICCH), Lisbon, Portugal, 12-16 July 2021, pp. 645-649.


  2. Peters, Tom F. (2012): Conceptual Problems in the Restoration and Adaptive Reuse of Historical Structures. The Rhaetian Railway Bridges in Switzerland. Presented at: Fourth International Congress on Construction History, Paris, 3-7 July 2012, pp. 129-134.
  3. Peters, Tom F. (1996): Building the Nineteenth Century. MIT Press, Cambridge (USA), ISBN 9780262161602, pp. 535.
  4. Peters, Tom F. (2003): Bridge technology and historical scholarship. Presented at: First International Congress on Construction History, Madrid, 20-24.01.2003, pp. 61-67.
  5. Peters, Tom F. (1992): The Development of the Tall Building. In: Structural Engineering International, v. 2, n. 3 (August 1992), pp. 161-164.


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