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Gall, Peter D.

A portrait of Peter Gall


ESB 929

Teaching Assistant Professor - Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering


  • Ph.D. Aerospace Engineering, West Virginia University, 2010
  • M.S. Aerospace Engineering, Pennsylvania State University, 1984
  • B.S. Mechanical Engineering, Pennsylvania State University, 1981

Dr. Gall began his professional career at NASA Langley Research Center after completing his MS in Aerospace Engineering at Penn State. He worked for six years at NASA Langley as an aerospace engineer, flight test engineer and research pilot.

Following NASA he went to work for American Airlines as an airline pilot, racking up 16,000 hours serving as a Captain and First Officer on several aircraft including the McDonnell Douglas MD80, Boeing 737, 757 and 767 and the Airbus A319, A320 and A321. In 2004, in the wake of 911, he left the airline industry to return to his first love, inspiring students interested in aerospace engineering. He completed his PhD at WVU in 2010 at the age of 51 and has been actively teaching since, accepting a permanent position as Assistant Teaching Professor in 2015.

Along with flying, he has designed and built his own aircraft, certified by the FAA as “experimental acrobatic”. He has been active with the EAA and the Young Eagles program for many years.

He has received many awards over the years, most recently the “Outstanding Teacher Award” in 2014 and 2018, the “Distinguished Doctorate Fellowship” award and the “Governors Cup” award from West Virginia governor Earl Ray Tomblin two years in a row for mentoring aspiring high school students in the state of West Virginia. He also received the "Teacher of the Year Award" in 2018 for the 2017-2018 school year.

Teaching Interests

  • Aircraft design
  • Aerodynamics
  • Experimental aerodynamics
  • UAV Design/Build/Fly

Research Interests

  • Aircraft design
  • Applied aerodynamics
  • Airline flight operations

Service and Outreach

  • Student projects
  • Student mentoring
  • Certified FAA flight and ground instructor

Special Interests

  • Designing, building, and flying light aircraft
  • Playing classic rock and heavy metal guitar
  • Flight instructing in aerobatics

Professional Societies

  • Experimental Aircraft Association
  • Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association
  • Quiet Birdman