Kenneth S. Ball, of Blacksburg, professor and head of the Department of Mechanical Engineering in the College of Engineering at Virginia Tech, was named the L.S. Randolph Professor of Mechanical Engineering by the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors at its quarterly meeting Monday, Aug. 23.

The L.S. Randolph Professorship in Mechanical Engineering was established in 1985 to honor the person who served as Virginia Tech’s Dean of Engineering from 1913 to 1918 and for whom Randolph Hall is named. The professorship recognizes and rewards an outstanding faculty member in the College of Engineering’s Department of Mechanical Engineering.

Ball came to Virginia Tech this summer from his position as the Temple Foundation Endowed Faculty Fellow in Engineering No. 5 at the University of Texas at Austin. There, Ball developed an internally recognized research program in the areas of heat and mass transfer and turbulence with applications in combustion, materials processing, manufacturing, and turbulence control.

In 1992, he received the National Science Foundation’s Young Investigator Award. Ball also is an associate technical editor for the American Society of Mechanical Engineers' Journal of Heat Transfer, is on the editorial board for the International Journal of Heat and Fluid Flow, and organized and chaired the Third Engineering Foundation Intentional Turbulent Heat Transfer Conference held in March 2001 in Anchorage, Alaska.

He has obtained externally sponsored research funding in excess of $3 million from a variety of sources and has been awarded eight major supercomputer grants. He has published more than 85 technical articles and reports and given more than 60 technical presentations at conferences and workshops, including five invited keynote lectures.

Ball received his bachelor's degree from Lehigh University, and his master's degree and Ph.D. from Drexel University.

The College of Engineering at Virginia Tech is internationally recognized for its excellence in 14 engineering disciplines and computer science. The college’s 5,600 undergraduates benefit from an innovative curriculum that provides a "hands-on, minds-on" approach to engineering education, complementing classroom instruction with two unique design-and-build facilities and a strong Cooperative Education Program. With more than 50 research centers and numerous laboratories, the college offers its 2,000 graduate students opportunities in advanced fields of study such as biomedical engineering, state-of-the-art microelectronics, and nanotechnology.

Founded in 1872 as a land-grant college, Virginia Tech has grown to become the largest university in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Today, Virginia Tech’s eight colleges are dedicated to putting knowledge to work through teaching, research, and outreach activities, and to fulfilling its vision to be among the top research universities in the nation. At its 2,600-acre main campus located in Blacksburg, and other campus centers in northern Virginia, Hampton Roads, Richmond, and Roanoke, Virginia Tech enrolls 28,000 full- and part-time undergraduate and graduate students from all 50 states and more than 100 countries in 170 academic degree programs.