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
  • Professor of Biomedical Engineering
  • Professor in Orthopaedic Surgery

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 493: Projects in Biomedical Engineering (GE)
  • BME 494: Projects in Biomedical Engineering (GE)
  • EGR 393: Research Projects in Engineering
  • EGRMGMT 590: Advanced Topics in Engineering Management
  • ME 391: Undergraduate Projects in Mechanical Engineering
  • ME 392: Undergraduate Projects in Mechanical Engineering
  • ME 491: Special Projects in Mechanical Engineering
  • ME 492: Special Projects in Mechanical Engineering
  • ME 591: Research Independent Study in Mechanical Engineering or Material Science
  • ME 592: Research Independent Study in Mechanical Engineering or Material Science
  • ME 758S: Curricular Practical Training

In the News

Representative Publications

  • Nelson, K; Kelly, CN; Gall, K, Effect of stress state on the mechanical behavior of 3D printed porous Ti6Al4V scaffolds produced by laser powder bed fusion, Materials Science and Engineering: B, vol 286 (2022) [10.1016/j.mseb.2022.116013] [abs].
  • Koshut, WJ; Kwon, N; Zhao, J; Amendola, A; Wiley, BJ; Gall, K, Flaw sensitivity and tensile fatigue of a high-strength hydrogel, International Journal of Fatigue, vol 163 (2022) [10.1016/j.ijfatigue.2022.107071] [abs].
  • Zhao, J; Tong, H; Kirillova, A; Koshut, WJ; Malek, A; Brigham, NC; Becker, ML; Gall, K; Wiley, BJ, A Synthetic Hydrogel Composite with a Strength and Wear Resistance Greater than Cartilage, Advanced Functional Materials, vol 32 no. 41 (2022) [10.1002/adfm.202205662] [abs].
  • Kirillova, A; Yeazel, TR; Gall, K; Becker, ML, Thiol-Based Three-Dimensional Printing of Fully Degradable Poly(propylene fumarate) Star Polymers., Acs Applied Materials & Interfaces, vol 14 no. 34 (2022), pp. 38436-38447 [10.1021/acsami.2c06553] [abs].
  • Kirillova, A; Kelly, C; Liu, S; Francovich, J; Gall, K, High-Strength Composites Based on 3D Printed Porous Scaffolds Infused with a Bioresorbable Mineral–Organic Bone Adhesive, Advanced Engineering Materials, vol 24 no. 7 (2022) [10.1002/adem.202101367] [abs].