George Mason University

News at Mason

Kenneth S. Ball Named New Dean of Mason’s Volgenau School of Engineering

February 13, 2012

By Catherine Probst


Kenneth S. Ball. Photo courtesy of Virginia Tech

Kenneth S. Ball, L.S. Randolph Professor and head of the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Virginia Tech, has been appointed dean of Mason’s Volgenau School of Engineering, effective Aug. 10, 2012.

Ball succeeds Lloyd Griffiths, dean since 1997, who previously announced he was stepping down.

“Kenneth Ball brings an exciting background in mechanical engineering and management that will benefit not only the Volgenau School of Engineering but the university as a whole,” says Mason Provost Peter Stearns. “I am very excited for the new ideas and opportunities Dr. Ball will bring with him to the school.”

Prior to joining the faculty at Virginia Tech, Ball served as the Temple Foundation Endowed Faculty Fellow in Engineering No. 5 at the University of Texas at Austin. In 1992, he received the National Science Foundation’s Young Investigator Award. Ball is also a fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers and a registered professional engineer.

“After reviewing the credentials of many qualified candidates, the search committee felt that Dr. Ball’s academic background and leadership experience, as well as his passion for helping students discover knowledge in the engineering field, make him the ideal person to lead the Volgenau School of Engineering in its future successes,” says School of Management Dean Jorge Haddock, who chaired the search committee. “This was further validated by the campus community in the interview process.”

During his career, Ball has published more than 100 technical articles and reports on topics such as computational fluid dynamics and heat transfer; transport phenomena in materials processing and manufacturing; and turbulent flow. He has given more than 80 technical presentations at conferences and workshops. In addition, Ball has more than $20 million in externally sponsored funding for current and completed projects and program development in mechanical and nuclear engineering. He also has two U.S. patents filed or in application.

While at Virginia Tech, Ball has hired more than 30 new faculty members and has led the department through an aggressive expansion, with research expenditures increasing from about $4 million annually to approximately $20 million annually.

“I am very excited and honored to become the next dean of the Volgenau School of Engineering at George Mason University,” says Ball. “I look forward to working with the faculty, staff and administration in the school and share their enthusiasm for preparing our students to become leaders in the engineering field.”

Ball received his PhD from Drexel University and served as a postdoctoral research associate in the Center for Fluid Mechanics, Turbulence and Computation at Brown University. He holds an MS in mechanical engineering from Drexel University and a BS in mechanical engineering from Lehigh University.