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
  • Professor in Orthopaedic Surgery
  • Associate Director in the Pratt School of Engineering, MEDx Inititative

Contact Information

  • Email Address:


  • 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. Specialities: 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 221L: Structure and Properties of Solids
  • ME 391: Undergraduate Projects in Mechanical Engineering
  • ME 392: Undergraduate Projects in Mechanical Engineering
  • ME 491: Special Projects in Mechanical Engineering

Representative Publications

  • Evans, NT; Irvin, CW; Safranski, DL; Gall, K, Impact of surface porosity and topography on the mechanical behavior of high strength biomedical polymers., Journal of the Mechanical Behavior of Biomedical Materials, vol 59 (2016), pp. 459-473 [abs].
  • Torstrick, FB; Evans, NT; Stevens, HY; Gall, K; Guldberg, RE, Do Surface Porosity and Pore Size Influence Mechanical Properties and Cellular Response to PEEK?, Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research ® (2016) [abs].
  • Miller, AT; Safranski, DL; Smith, KE; Guldberg, RE; Gall, K, Compressive cyclic ratcheting and fatigue of synthetic, soft biomedical polymers in solution., Journal of the Mechanical Behavior of Biomedical Materials, vol 54 (2016), pp. 268-282 [abs].
  • Murph, SEH; Murphy, CJ; Leach, A; Gall, K, A Possible Oriented Attachment Growth Mechanism for Silver Nanowire Formation, Crystal Growth & Design, vol 15 no. 4 (2015), pp. 1968-1974 [10.1021/acs.cgd.5b00123] [abs].
  • Evans, NT; Torstrick, FB; Lee, CS; Dupont, KM; Safranski, DL; Chang, WA; Macedo, AE; Lin, AS; Boothby, JM; Whittingslow, DC; Carson, RA; Guldberg, RE; Gall, K, High-strength, surface-porous polyether-ether-ketone for load-bearing orthopedic implants., Acta Biomaterialia, vol 13 (2015), pp. 159-167 [abs].