Associate Professor, Mechanical Engineering
Associate Department Head, Director FEA Pro Certificate Program
Dr. 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 Mines in the fall of 2006 to continue the exciting growth of research and teaching in the area of Bioengineering. Dr. Petrella came to Mines 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 expanded 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 nonlinear 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.
In 2020 Dr. Petrella launched the FEA Professional graduate-level certificate program, a fully online program that teaches advanced skills in finite element analysis for structural and thermal applications.
- FEGN 525: Advanced FEA Theory & Practice
- FEGN 527: Nonlinear Applications in FEA
- FEGN 528: FEA for Advanced Design Applications
- AMFG 521: Design for Additive Manufacturing