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Ken Gall

Ken Gall

Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science

Professor Gall’s research aims to develop a fundamental understanding of the relationship between the processing, structure, and mechanical properties of materials.  His scientific contributions range from the creation and understanding of shape memory metals and polymers to the discovery of a new phase transformation in metal nanowires.  His current research interests are 3D printed metals and polymers, soft synthetic biomaterials, and biopolymers with structured surface porous networks. 

In addition to his research he has consulted for industry, the US Military and the US Intelligence Community, and served as an expert witness in multiple patent and product litigations.  Finally, he is a passionate entrepreneur who uses fundamental scientific knowledge to hasten the commercialization of new materials and improve the effectiveness of existing materials.   He founded two medical device start-up companies, MedShape and Vertera who have commercialized university based technologies in the orthopedic medical device space.

Appointments and Affiliations

  • Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science
  • Chair of the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science
  • Professor in Orthopaedic Surgery
  • Core Faculty in Innovation & Entrepreneurship

Contact Information

  • Office Location: 144 Hudson Hall, Box 90300, Durham, NC 27708
  • Office Phone: (919) 660-5430
  • Email Address:
  • Websites:


  • Ph.D. University of Illinois -- Urbana-Champaign, 1998
  • M.S. University of Illinois -- Urbana-Champaign, 1996
  • B.S. University of Illinois -- Urbana-Champaign, 1995

Research Interests

Materials science, mechanical properties, metals and polymers. Specialties: Shape memory materials, biomaterials, 3D printing.

Awards, Honors, and Distinctions

  • ASEE Curtis McGraw Award. ASEE. 2012
  • TMS Robert Lansing Hardy Award. The Minerals, Metals and Materials Society. 2008
  • ASM Bradley Stoughton Award. ASM International. 2005
  • ASME Gold Medal. ASME. 2004
  • Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineering (PECASE). Department of Energy - NNSA. 2002

Courses Taught

  • BME 394: Projects in Biomedical Engineering (GE)
  • BME 493: Projects in Biomedical Engineering (GE)
  • BME 494: Projects in Biomedical Engineering (GE)
  • BME 791: Graduate Independent Study
  • BME 792: Continuation of Graduate Independent Study
  • EGR 101L: Engineering Design and Communication
  • EGR 391: Projects in Engineering
  • EGR 393: Research Projects in Engineering
  • ME 221L: Structure and Properties of Solids
  • ME 391: Undergraduate Projects in Mechanical Engineering
  • ME 392: Undergraduate Projects in Mechanical Engineering
  • ME 421L: Mechanical Design
  • ME 491: Special Projects in Mechanical Engineering
  • ME 492: Special Projects in Mechanical Engineering
  • ME 555: Advanced Topics in Mechanical Engineering
  • ME 591: Research Independent Study in Mechanical Engineering or Material Science

In the News

Representative Publications

  • Warder, HH; Fairley, JK; Coutts, J; Glisson, RR; Gall, K, Examining the viability of carbon fiber reinforced three-dimensionally printed prosthetic feet created by composite filament fabrication., Prosthetics and Orthotics International, vol 42 no. 6 (2018), pp. 644-651 [10.1177/0309364618785726] [abs].
  • Torstrick, FB; Lin, ASP; Potter, D; Safranski, DL; Sulchek, TA; Gall, K; Guldberg, RE, Porous PEEK improves the bone-implant interface compared to plasma-sprayed titanium coating on PEEK., Biomaterials, vol 185 (2018), pp. 106-116 [10.1016/j.biomaterials.2018.09.009] [abs].
  • Kirillova, A; Kelly, C; von Windheim, N; Gall, K, Bioinspired Mineral-Organic Bioresorbable Bone Adhesive., Advanced Healthcare Materials, vol 7 no. 17 (2018) [10.1002/adhm.201800467] [abs].
  • Green, JL; Glisson, R; Hung, J; Ibrahim, M; Farjat, A; Liu, B; Gall, K; Levinson, H, Creating a Small Anchor to Eliminate Large Knots in Mesh and Tape Suture, Journal of Medical Devices, vol 12 no. 3 (2018), pp. 035001-035001 [10.1115/1.4040186] [abs].
  • Mickelson, DT; Lefebvre, T; Gall, K; Riboh, JC, Adjustable-Loop Femoral Cortical Suspensory Fixation for Patellar Tendon Anterior Cruciate Ligament Reconstruction: A Time Zero Biomechanical Comparison With Interference Screw Fixation., The American Journal of Sports Medicine, vol 46 no. 8 (2018), pp. 1857-1862 [10.1177/0363546518771365] [abs].