Kenneth Ball, Dean of the College of Engineering and Computing (CEC) at George Mason University, assumed the Chair of the Engineering Deans Council (EDC), the leadership organization for the nation’s engineering deans, this summer. He will serve a two-year term.
Ball was EDC vice chair for two years and became chair at the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) Annual Conference in June in Minneapolis. With more than 300 members, the EDC provides vision and leadership in engineering education and research; influences public policy; partners with stakeholders to promote excellence at every level of engineering education and research; and promotes diversity and inclusiveness.
“It’s an honor to lead this group of my dean peers,” said Ball. “The EDC is a driving force for change across the national engineering education landscape. Now more than ever our engineering schools need to produce excellent graduates, and deans are uniquely positioned to implement novel ideas and new practices. I look forward to shaping the EDC agenda for the next two years.”
Ball will oversee the annual EDC Public Policy Colloquium in Washington, DC, the annual Engineering Deans Institute, and EDC-related events at the ASEE Annual Conference.
Ball was appointed Dean of the Volgenau School of Engineering, which is now part of the College of Engineering and Computing, in August 2012. Under Ball’s leadership, the ranking and reputation of the college continues to improve. In the most recent U.S. News and World Report rankings of the nation’s Best Graduate Schools, the college climbed nine places from the prior year to #93 – its highest ranking ever and in the Top 100 for the first time. The college also made significant advancements in the 2019 NSF Higher Education Research & Development (HERD) rankings (the most recent rankings available). Research expenditures in Computer and Information Sciences rank 12th among all universities, 8th among public institutions, and No. 1 in Virginia; research expenditures in Engineering are now in the top 100 nationally for the first time ever.
Ball is recognized internationally for his research in computational fluid dynamics and heat transfer. He has chaired three international conferences, is a past associate technical editor of the ASME Journal of Heat Transfer and has served on several other engineering journal editorial boards. He is very involved in engineering program assessment and accreditation activities, both in the U.S. and internationally, particularly in the Middle East. He has obtained externally sponsored funding (excluding high-performance computing grants) of more than $20M for projects and program development in mechanical engineering, including the thermal/fluid sciences and nuclear engineering.
Prior to coming to Mason Ball served as the L.S. Randolph Professor and Head of the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Virginia Tech from 2004-12. Prior to his appointment at Virginia Tech, he served for 15 years on the mechanical engineering faculty at The University of Texas at Austin, where he was the Temple Foundation Endowed Faculty Fellow in Engineering.