Walter Scott, Jr. College of Engineering

Dr. David Prawel


Office: Scott 312
Mobile: 970-402-7776
Campus: 970-491-2519

Dr. David Prawel

Associate Research Professor

Biomaterials Research and Engineering Laboratory

School of Advanced Materials Discovery

Founder, Idea2Product Lab

Mechanical Engineering

Dr. David Prawel is an Associate Research Professor and Co-Director of the Biomaterials Research and Engineering Laboratory. His research group develops biomimetic scaffolds and endoprosthetic devices to improve bone healing with emphasis on healing critical-sized bone defects caused by cancer and trauma, which often lead to limb loss. His research also explores how 3D shape and structure affect the biological and mechanical performance of bone healing scaffolds and devices in orthopedic medicine.

Dr. Prawel has enjoyed a four-decade career as an entrepreneur, consultant, author and educator in 3D technology applied to digital product development and manufacturing. In his industrial career, he helped create several 3D technology companies, with one successful IPO and hopefully another in the works.

In 2007, he joined the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Colorado State University where he also develops new 3D printing technology and founded CSU’s Idea-2-Product 3D printing lab in 2012.


  • Ph.D. 2011, Colorado State University—Biomedical Engineering
  • M.S. 1980, State University of New York at Buffalo—Natural Sciences
  • B.S. 1978, State University of New York at Buffalo—Biology
  • Certificate, 2002, University of Michigan Executive Education—Mergers and Acquisitions for Technology Companies


Research Interests

  • We develop orthopedic biomaterials and implantable devices to improve and accelerate bone regeneration and healing, with a particular focus on clinical treatment of critical defects.
  • Our biomaterials research involves engineering and fabrication (3D printing) of complex, patient-specific scaffold structures using photopolymeric ceramics.
  • We also develop implantable, biodegradable devices to support and protect the scaffolds in load bearing and accelerate the healing process.
  • We focus on clinical and translational research that has the potential to address current challenges in human healthcare. Clinical applications for our work include treatment of significant bone loss due to trauma and bone cancer.

Honors and Awards

  • 2019 – WSCOE Outstanding Researcher Award
  • 2014 – Colorado State University, OPIE Award for Innovation in Online Education

International Connections

  • Country: South Africa
    Contact: Central University of Technology, Bloemfontein, South Africa – Research Collaboration
  • Country: New Zealand
    Contact: University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand – Research Collaboration
  • Country: India
    Contact: College of Engineering, Pune, India – Research Collaboration
  • Country: Netherlands
    Contact: University of Twente, Fraunhofer Centre for Complex System Engineering, Enschede, Netherlands – Research Collaboration