Faculty Directory
Kenneth Shull

Professor of Materials Science and Engineering


2220 Campus Drive
Cook Hall 1137
Evanston, IL 60208

Email Kenneth Shull


Shull Research Group


Materials Science and Engineering

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Ph.D. Materials Science, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY

M.S. Electronic Materials, MIT, Cambridge, MA

B.S. Materials Science, MIT, Cambridge, MA

Research Interests

Our focus is on the properties of polymer surfaces and interfaces, with an emphasis on the adhesion of "soft materials." Examples range from traditional pressure-sensitive adhesives (sticky tape) to highly specialized polymeric gels commonly used in biomedical applications.

There is little understanding of the relationship in these systems between polymer adhesion and the structure of the interface on molecular or submolecular scale. We seek to make this connection through studies of well-characterized model systems synthesized in our own lab and through carefully designed fracture mechanics experiments.

Related problems of interest to us include polymer/inorganic composites and the origins of adhesion and mechanical response in biological systems.

Significant Recognition

  • Fellow, American Physical Society, 2002
  • NSF Young Investigator Award, 1994–99
  • Department Teacher of the Year, 1995
  • McCormick Adviser of the Year, 1998

Selected Publications

  • Heyl, Tyler R.; Beebe, Jeremy M.; Mangold, Shane; Silvaroli, Anthony J.; Ahn, Dongchan; Shull, Kenneth R.; Wang, Muzhou, Correlating Nanomechanical Mapping and Single-Molecule Localization Microscopy for Local Properties in Interpenetrating Network Elastomers, Macromolecules (2023).
  • Chen, Yu Ling; Shull, Kenneth R., Controlling the properties of thermoplastic starch films with hydrogen bonding plasticizers, Carbohydrate Polymer Technologies and Applications (2023).
  • Silvaroli, Anthony J.; Heyl, Tyler R.; Chyasnavichyus, Marius; Beebe, Jeremy M.; Ahn, Dongchan; Mangold, Shane; Chen, Qihua; Wang, Muzhou; Shull, Kenneth R., Role of Nanoscale Heterogeneity in the Mechanical Performance of Hybrid Elastomers, Macromolecules (2023).
  • Wang, Jeremy; Waltmann, Curt; Harms, Caroline; Hu, Sumeng; Hegarty, John; Shindel, Benjamin; Wang, Qifeng; Dravid, Vinayak; Shull, Kenneth R.; Torkelson, John M.; Olvera De La Cruz, Monica, Tailoring Interactions of Random Copolymer Polyelectrolyte Complexes to Remove Nanoplastic Contaminants from Water, Langmuir (2023).
  • Lewis, Broderick; Dennis, Joseph M.; Shull, Kenneth R., Effects of Dynamic Disulfide Bonds on Mechanical Behavior in Glassy Epoxy Thermosets, ACS Applied Polymer Materials (2023).
  • Bhushan, Neha Phani; Stack, Trevor; Scott, Evan A.; Shull, Kenneth R.; Mathew, Benjamin; Bijukumar, Divya, In vitro assessment of varying peptide surface density on the suppression of angiogenesis by micelles displaying αvβ3 blocking peptides, Journal of Biomedical Materials Research - Part B Applied Biomaterials (2023).
  • Schmitt, Thomas; Rosi, Francesca; Mosconi, Edoardo; Shull, Ken; Fantacci, Simona; Miliani, Costanza; Gray, Kimberly, New insights into the deterioration of TiO2 based oil paints, Heritage Science (2022).
  • Kuo, Lidia; Luijten, Benjamin J.; Li, Siyang; De Moraes, Ana C.M.; Silvaroli, Anthony J.; Wallace, Shay G.; Hui, Janan; Downing, Julia R.; Shull, Kenneth R.; Hersam, Mark C., Sterilizable and Reusable UV-Resistant Graphene-Polyurethane Elastomer Composites, ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces (2022).