Sarah Peak

Sarah Peak

Research Scientist

Tel: (757) 864-2537

Email: or

Sarah Peak


  • Ph.D., University of Kentucky, 2015
  • M.S., Eastern Kentucky University, 2010
  • B.S., Georgetown College, 2008

Work Experience

  • NIA Research Scientist, 2015-present
  • University of Kentucky research and teaching assistant, 2010-2015
  • Eastern Kentucky University teaching assistant, 2008-2010

Research Areas/Expertise

  • Pressure Sensitive Paint (PSP)
  • Temperature Sensitive Paint (TSP)
  • Chemical Synthesis
  • Catalysis

Current Research

Pressure and Temperature sensitive paint 

Pressure sensitive paints (PSP) were developed to provide an optical technique that enables global pressure measurement over an entire model. PSPs work by using a dye that fluoresces when exposed to light of a certain wavelength.  The intensity of fluorescence can be quenched by oxygen in the flow field.  From the change in luminescence intensity, a linear calibration can be obtained and used to determine the pressure on the model surface.  Temperature sensitive paints (TSP) work in a similar fashion, however, the luminescence is quenched thermally.

Current research involves investigating alternative methods to increase luminescence output by developing novel dye molecules, highly-tailored dye molecules, amendments to add to current PSP formulations, and alternative binders.   Highly-tailored dye molecules and the addition of amendments offer numerous unique advantages such as being able to use traditional dye molecules that are well understood, exhibit high stability, and behave well under PSP testing.


Neal Watkins, Kyle Z. Goodman, and Sarah Peak. “Transition Detection at Cryogenic Temperatures Using a Carbon-Based Resistive Heating Layer Coupled with Temperature Sensitive Paint”, AIAA Scitech 2019 Forum, AIAA SciTech Forum, (AIAA 2019-2191)

Nathan C. Tice, Sarah M. Peak, Benjamin T. Cannon, Ethan S. Laha, Eli G. Estes, Chad A. Snyder & Sean Parkin.  Journal of Sulfur Chemistry, 2014, 35, 596-605                     

Nathan C. Tice, Sarah M. Peak, & Sean Parkin.  Heterocycles,2010, 81, 2229-2237

Nathan C. Tice, Sarah M. Peak, & Sean Parkin.  Heterocycles,2010, 81, 1631-1639