Prof. Michael "Mick" Peterson, Ph.D.
Michael “Mick” Peterson, Ph.D. is the Director of the Racetrack Safety Program and Professor of Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering at the University of Kentucky. He is also the Executive Director and a co-founder of the Racing Surfaces Testing Laboratory. Dr. Peterson’s research links traditional understanding of engineering mechanics and materials to the biomechanics of animals. Dr. Peterson’s passion is for increasing our understanding and the consistency of equine sport surfaces, especially Thoroughbred racing surfaces. Originating with ultrasonic imaging work on bone remodeling more than 25 years ago his equine research has gradually grown to encompass a wide range of testing, data collection and basic research on granular materials. He has published more than 100 refereed journal articles, 4 book chapters or guides, 6 patents, and more than 150 conference proceedings.
Prof. C. Wayne McIlwraith, BVSc (DVM), PhD, FRCVS, DSc, Dr. med vet (hc), Diplomate ACVS
Patrick Erbland, Ph.D.
Branden Brookfield, M.S.
Branden Brookfield is an On-site Testing Technician at the Racing Surfaces Testing Laboratory (RSTL). Branden obtained his masters in Sports Administration from Eastern Kentucky University in the fall of 2021 and joined the lab in the spring of 2023 after holding multiple jobs within racing. Most recently as the Technology Specialist with racing surfaces at Keeneland Racecourse where he was in charge of taking daily track measurements as well as operating track maintenance equipment. He is currently helping with on-site testing at RSTL.
Undergraduate Intern/Research Asst
Lexy Willis is an Undergraduate Intern/Research Assistant at the Racing Surfaces Testing Laboratory (RSTL). Lexy is currently a Junior at the University of Kentucky, striving towards her Bachelor’s degree in Equine Science and Management and a minor in Biology. She has spent her life surrounded by animals and wishes to devote her time to the betterment of their care. Lexy is not only passionate about animals, but she also takes great interest in natural sciences. Her primary responsibilities include working with Mackenzie Rockefeller and the University of Melbourne to compile data collected in a survey for Racing Victoria, including 15 training facilities across Victoria, as well as helping RSTL with Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) data collection and organization.