Ken Gall


Professor in the Thomas Lord 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 Thomas Lord Department of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science
  • Professor in Orthopaedic Surgery
  • Professor of Biomedical Engineering

Contact Information

  • Office Location: 144 Hudson Hall, Box 90300, Durham, NC 27708
  • Office Phone: +1 919 660 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

  • ME 592: Research Independent Study in Mechanical Engineering or Material Science
  • ME 591: Research Independent Study in Mechanical Engineering or Material Science
  • ME 555: Advanced Topics in Mechanical Engineering
  • ME 492: Special Projects in Mechanical Engineering
  • ME 491: Special Projects in Mechanical Engineering
  • ME 392: Undergraduate Projects in Mechanical Engineering
  • ME 391: Undergraduate Projects in Mechanical Engineering
  • EGR 393: Research Projects in Engineering

In the News

Representative Publications

  • Mathey, E; Pelletier, MH; Walsh, WR; Gall, K; Carpenter, D, Implant Strength Contributes to the Osseointegration Strength of Porous Metallic Materials., Journal of biomechanical engineering, vol 146 no. 10 (2024) [10.1115/1.4065405] [abs].
  • Heimbrook, A; Gall, K, Effect of surface topography on the fatigue behavior of additively manufactured Ti6Al4V and CoCr alloys, Materials Science and Engineering: A, vol 909 (2024) [10.1016/j.msea.2024.146821] [abs].
  • Mathey, E; Heimbrook, A; Carpenter, RD; Kelly, CN; Gall, K, Finite element modeling of the free boundary effect on gyroid additively manufactured samples., Computer methods in biomechanics and biomedical engineering (2024), pp. 1-12 [10.1080/10255842.2024.2326929] [abs].
  • Talaski, GM; Baumann, A; Sleem, B; Walley, KC; Anastasio, AT; Gall, K; Adams, SB, Outcomes and Safety with Utilization of Metallic Midfoot Wedges in Foot and Ankle Orthopedic Surgery: A Systematic Review of the Literature, Biomechanics (Switzerland), vol 4 no. 1 (2024), pp. 34-49 [10.3390/biomechanics4010003] [abs].
  • Abar, B; Vail, E; Mathey, E; Park, E; Allen, NB; Adams, SB; Gall, K, A bending model for assessing relative stiffness and strength of orthopaedic fixation constructs., Clin Biomech (Bristol, Avon), vol 111 (2024) [10.1016/j.clinbiomech.2023.106135] [abs].