Dr.Kenneth Ball, P.E., is the dean of the Volgenau School of Engineering at George Mason University. Prior to joining Mason in 2012, he was L. S. Randolph Professor and head of the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Virginia Tech since 2004. He was previously the Temple Foundation Endowed Faculty Fellow in Engineering at the University of Texas at Austin.
Dr. Ball graduated from Lehigh in 1982 with a B.S. in mechanical engineering. He then attended Drexel University for both his M.S. and Ph.D in mechanical engineering which he received in 1984 and 1987, respectively.
After his graduation from Drexel, Dr. Ball continued his post-doctoral research at the Center for Fluid Mechanics, Turbulence, and Computation at Brown University. In 1989 he accepted an Assistant Professorship position in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at The University of Texas at Austin where he would remain until 2001. He was named an Associate Professor in 1994 and a full Professor and the Thermal/Fluid Systems Area Coordinator in 2000. From the time he was named associate professor until his move to Virginia Tech, Ball also held the position of the Temple Foundation Endowed Faculty Fellow in Engineering No. 5. Dr. Ball became the Lingan S. Randolph Professor and Head of the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Virginia Tech in 2001, a position that he still holds.
Dr. Ball focuses his interests in a variety of areas related to the transfer of matter and heat. His research is based in computational fluid dynamics, transport phenomena, turbulence control and drag reduction, chaos and dynamical systems theory, and radiation heat transfer. He is also concerned with homeland security and counter-terrorism and studies the dispersion of contaminants in the air, special nuclear materials including weapons-grade plutonium, and risk analysis, assessment, and mitigation of damage resulting from terrorism or natural disasters. For his work, Ball has obtained more than three million dollars in externally-sponsored funding as well as access to high-performance computing systems through the receipt of eight grants.
Dr. Ball's extensive research has allowed him to publish more than forty-five technical articles and reports. His articles have been published in the International Journal for Heat and Fluid Flow, the International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer, and the International Journal for Numerical Methods in Fluids. He has also either edited or authored two books.
Because of his dedication to his field, Dr. Ball has been the recipient of a number of related award and honors. He was awarded the Young Investigator Award from the National Science Foundation in 1992, the Faculty Excellence Award from the Halliburton Foundation, Inc. in 1996, and the College of Engineering Departmental Teaching Award in 1998. Dr. Ball is a registered professional engineer in the state of Texas, a member of Sigma Xi, the Scientific Research Society, and a member of Pi Tau Sigma, the National Honorary Mechanical Engineering Fraternity.
From 2001-2004 he was the associate technical editor for the ASME Journal of Heat Transfer and from 2001 to the present day has served on the editorial advisory board for the International Journal of Heat and Fluid Flow. He was the Chair of the 3rd Engineering Foundation International Conference on Turbulent Heat Transfer in 2001 and the Technical Program Chair of the 2007 National Heat Transfer Conference. Dr. Ball is an active member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) of which he was named a Fellow in 2006, the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA), the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE), and the American Physical Society (APS).
Degree: B.S. mechanical engineering
Notable Achievement: Dean of the Volgenau School of Engineering, George Mason University