Anthony Petrella

Associate Professor, Mechanical Engineering
Director, FEA Certificate Program

Headshot of Dr. PetrellaDr. Petrella is director of the Computational Biomechanics Group. Areas of research interest include computational and also experimental study of the musculoskeletal system. Specific areas of focus include spine, hip, and knee mechanics.

Dr. Petrella joined CSM in the fall of 2006 to continue the exciting growth of research and teaching in the area of Bioengineering. Dr. Petrella came to CSM after a 6 year career with Johnson & Johnson where he managed the computational biomechanics research group for DePuy Orthopaedics, Inc. – a world leader in the design and manufacture of joint replacement implants. Dr. Petrella continues to pursue his interest in orthopaedic biomechanics and has expaneded his research focus from the knee and hip replacements designed by DePuy to also include spine biomechanics. The Computational Biomechanics Group that Dr. Petrella directs uses advanced non-linear finite element methods together with subject-specific anatomy and statistical techniques to simulate spinal function in three states: healthy, degenerated, and surgically reconstructed. The long term goal of the group’s spine modeling work is to improve clinical outcomes from spine arthroplasty procedures through a deeper understanding of the variables that affect clinical success.

He was recently awarded a grant from the Center for Engineering Education to develop innovative teaching tools for the Bioengineering curriculum – a strong indicator of the CSM committment to excellence in engineering education.


  • Petrella, AJ, Armstrong, JR, Laz, PJ, Rullkoetter, PJ, “A novel cross-shear metric for application in computer simulation of ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene wear,” Computer Methods in Biomechanics and Biomedical Engineering, Vol. 15, 2023-32, 2012.
  • Campbell, JQ, Liang, L, Szymczak, A, Petrella, A, “Optimization of an Automated Mesh Morphing Algorithm for Lumbar Vertebrae,” 2012 Annual Meeting of the Orthopaedic Research Society, Feb 2012, San Francisco, CA.
  • Botolin, S, Puttlitz, C, Baldini, T, Petrella, A, Burger, E, Abjornson, C, Patel, V, “Facet joint biomechanics at the treated and adjacent levels after total disc replacement,” Spine, Vol. 36, E27-E32, 2011.
  • Halloran, JP, Clary, CW, Maletsky, LP, Taylor, M, Petrella, AJ, Rullkoetter, PJ, “Verification of Predicted Knee Replacement Kinematics During Simulated Gait in the Kansas Knee Simulator,” Journal of Biomechanical Engineering, Vol. 132, p. 081010 (6 pages), 2010.
  • Petrella, A, Stowe, J, D’Lima, D, Colwell, C, Kessler, O, Rullkoetter, P, Laz, P, “CAS vs. Manual Alignment in THA: A Probabilistic Study of Range of Motion,” Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research, Vol. 467, pp. 50-55, 2009.

Recent Courses

  • Dynamics
  • Finite Element Analysis
  • Computational Biomechanics
  • Probabilistic Biomechanics