Peter R. Francis was born and raised in England. He graduated in Zoology from the University of Durham, England before coming to the U.S. to attend graduate school at the University of Iowa. He received his M.A. degree in Physical Education in 1966.
Subsequently he taught at the University of London, and later began his doctoral studies in biomechanics, which included graduate coursework in the School of Engineering and the Medical School at the University of Iowa. Simultaneously he taught at Iowa State University, where he met his future wife, Lorna. The two of them transferred to the University of Oregon, where they both completed doctoral programs.
Peter graduated in 1981, and appointed Assistant Professor of Physical Education at San Diego State University (SDSU) in the same year. He served on the faculty for the next 22 years. As an expert in biomechanics and kinesiology, Peter taught courses in these areas at the undergraduate and graduate levels. His research also focused on biomechanics of fitness and sports, including pathomechanics and injury prevention. He is considered an expert on footwear and injuries. He received a number of grants from industry (Reebok, Robbins Inc.) and U.S. Olympic Committee Governing bodies (U.S. Volleyball Association, U.S. Cycling Federation, American Waterski Association, synchronized Swimming, Inc.) to support his research.
Peter authored or co-authored numerous refereed journal articles and book chapters, including Medicine and Science in Sport and Exercise, European Journal of Applied Physiology and Occupational Physiology, Journal of Athletic Training, The Physician and Sportsmedicine, and Corporate Fitness and Recreation. He was also active in presenting his research at professional meetings.
Peter belonged to many professional organizations both as a member and officer. He served on the Board of Directors (1984-1992) and was Chair (1990-1992) of the American Council on Exercise; Past-Chair of the Kinesiology Academy, a member of the Board of Directors of the Japan Aerobic Fitness Association (1989-1996); and he was a member of the National Panel of Experts on Injury Prevention (1995-1996) for the U.S. Navy SEALS and U.S. Marine Corps.
Throughout his career Peter has been a consultant and legal expert witness in the area of injury causation. He and his wife Lorna were co-recipients of the “Outstanding Research Award” (1987) and the “Lifetime Achievement Award” (1989) from IDEA, the Health and Fitness Association for fitness and wellness professionals.
As faculty member, he rose to the rank of Professor of Exercise & Nutritional Sciences. Peter retired from SDSU in 2003. He continues to be professionally active as a consultant and legal expert witness in the area of biomechanics, injury prevention, and accident reconstruction.
He and wife Lorna life in Poway, CA. They have two children, son Cameron and daughter Ashley.