Faculty / Gary Leisk


  • B.S. Tufts University, Medford, United States 1989
  • M.S. Tufts University, Medford, United States 1992
  • Ph.D. Tufts University, Medford, United States 1998


Gary Leisk

Associate Teaching Professor, Mechanical Engineering

Gary Leisk pursues research in the areas of: (1) materials processing and characterization; (2) design of automated systems; and (3) robot development using novel soft materials/mechanisms. Working as part of highly interdisciplinary teams, Leisk has focused on applying design skills to the creation of new materials (e.g., composites), structures, and actuation strategies in furthering efforts in tissue engineering and soft-bodied robotics.

I am a “Triple Jumbo,” receiving 3 degrees from the Department of Mechanical Engineering, but not consecutively. My first full-time job out of undergrad was at General Electric as a Mechanical Design Engineer working on defense-related systems. After going back to Tufts for grad school, I did post-doctoral research at MIT/Draper Lab studying the aging of precision equipment and then at NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technology) researching the ability to predict equipment failure before it happens. While in a faculty role, I spent 10 years collaborating on big projects associated with soft robotics and tissue engineering. But I currently find myself more interested in small projects, especially with a human-centric theme.

What Classes Do I Teach?

ME 10 – Materials & Manufacturing I
ME 40 – Engineering Design I
ME 41 – Engineering Design II
ME 70 – Instruments & Experiments
ME 74 – Senior Capstone
ENP 114 – Ergonomics
ME 140 – Inventive Design
ENP/ME 193 – Assistive Design

My Advice

Seek out opportunities to work on diverse teams. Experience working on projects with people who have different backgrounds and perspectives is invaluable, especially if the project requires knowledge that spans disciplines.