Kunal Kate

Assistant Professor, Mechanical Engineering


Dr. Kunal Kate is currently serving as an Assistant Professor in the Mechanical Engineering Department at the University of Louisville.  He has earned both his Ph.D. and Master’s degrees in Materials Science at Oregon State University in 2013 and 2015, respectively.  Prior to obtaining his advanced degrees, he earned his Bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering at Pune University, India in 2009. Additionally, Dr. Kate has gained nine years of experience in research and teaching in the field.  From 2007 to 2008, he served as an Undergraduate Research Assistant at VIT, Pune.  From there he went on to become the Research Assistant at Center for Materials for Electronics Technology (C-MET), Pune where he remained from 2009 to 2010.  As he began his post-graduate studies, he gained experience as a Doctoral Scholar and Graduate Research Assistant from 2011-2015 where he worked on design-to-manufacturing for powder injection molding of ceramics. While completing his Doctorate, he has also worked on developing and commercializing non-GMO based biocompostable polymer composite products for two Oregon, USA based companies: EcnowTech and So-delicious. From there, he came to the University of Louisville as a Postdoctoral Associate in 2015 where he remained until 2016. Prof. Kate has extensive experience with designing, modeling and processing of filled polymers and blends for advanced manufacturing including 3D printing. His work has resulted in over 19 peer reviewed technical papers, several conference papers and a patent. His current research area is primarily focused on developing 3D printing material systems of polymer-filled composites and metal alloys and understanding the interrelationships between material composition, process conditions and design geometry for a broad range of consumer applications.

Teaching Interests:

Dr. Kate comes with a background in materials science and has worked with a number of manufacturing processes and companies to perform product development. During his five plus years of experience and interactions with engineers from various manufacturing companies such as Entek (OR), Kinetics (Dynacast, OR), EcNow Tech (OR), So Delicious Dairy Free (OR), and Netshape Inc (IN), CM Furnances (NY), Amaray (KY), and Moldex3D (IL) he comprehends that the most crucial step for product development is to identify and choose appropriate material and manufacturing processes based on intended part properties, geometry design, production volume, material and product cost, dimensional tolerances and part quality. Due to this reason he is passionate to teach students on how to select materials, manufacturing process and base their design decisions for product development using material property, design geometry, process attributes and cost factors. Some of the courses that Dr. Kate has taught and intends to teach include Data Acquisitions for Manufacturing, Materials Science, Computer Aided Design, and Materials and Process Selection for Manufacturing, and Design for Manufacturing. Dr. Kate is also serving as a faculty mentor for the 3D Printing business incubator capstone design course at University of Louisville.

Research Interests:

Current research interests include developing biodegradable polymer composite scaffolds for tissue engineering and bone fabrications, and sustainable polymer-plant fiber composites for structural applications. In this work Dr. Kate is studying the material-structure-property relations and interrelationships between material composition and process conditions on FDM 3D printing. Additionally, Dr. Kate is working on developing materials and design structures out of polymer elastomers and graphite/grapheme-based composites for wear resistances and energy applications. This work builds from his experience in testing fabricated design structures for mechanical wear and strengths along with modeling material properties and testing design structures with FEA analysis.  More details can be found at his Google scholar profile.