Meet the Chair

Duke MEMS Chair Ken Gall
Ken Gall, PhD

Ken Gall, an interdisciplinary scientist whose work focuses on developing and understanding advanced materials for biomedical applications, became chair of the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science on July 1, 2015.

“Duke is strong in both materials science and mechanical engineering, and having the two fused together into a single department presents unique opportunities for collaboration,” said Gall. “The department has a deep pool of talented young faculty joining a solid foundation of experienced senior faculty.”

Gall’s research is in both basic research and applied science. In the former, he explores how material structure influences the properties of biomaterials, and how that structure can be used to make a stronger material or give it a unique mechanical or biological response. He also works with materials that can spontaneously change to a different shape.

Among Gall’s priorities as chair is strengthening educational opportunities for graduate and undergraduate students.

“One thing that really appeals to me is how passionate Duke Engineering faculty are about teaching and engagement with students,” he said. “I want to support that so that every one of our students leaves Duke having had a very positive experience that prepares them for success.”