Colonel Arthur "Pete" V. Peterson was the Army’s area engineer at the University of Chicago’s Metallurgical Laboratory (“Met Lab”) during the Manhattan Project.
In 1942, Peterson served as the Army and Manhattan Engineer District’s (MED) representative at the Met Lab. He oversaw the development and production at the site. He was also responsible for reporting the Met Lab’s progress back to the Army and MED.
Before D-Day, Peterson briefed General Dwight D. Eisenhower about the possibility that the Germans had radioactive material.
Following the Manhattan Project’s expansion to Oak Ridge, Hanford, and Los Alamos, Peterson became the Manhattan Project’s Director of the Combined Operations for the Production of Fissionable Material.
On October 31, 1912, Arthur Vincent Peterson was born in Morristown, New Jersey. He graduated from New York University (NYU) with a degree in civil engineering in 1936. At NYU, he was also a heavyweight college boxer.
In 1937, he earned his master’s degree in civil engineering from Cornell University. While at Cornell, he also met his wife, Marie-Louise.
Peterson began his active duty for the U.S. Army in June 1941. The following year he began training in nuclear engineering at Fort Bragg in North Carolina.
In 1946, Peterson was appointed Chief of the Fissionable Materials Branch of the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC). Later, he served as the general manager of the Atomic Energy Division of the American Machine and Foundry Co.
Peterson opened his own consulting firm, AVP Associates, in 1958. As a consultant, he continued to focus on nuclear power planning and development. He worked well into his seventies.
In 1994, he moved with his wife to Seattle, WA to be closer to their sons and grandchildren.
At the age of ninety-five, Arthur Vincent Peterson died in Seattle on March 24, 2008.
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