Colonel James A. Ball, USAF (Retired)
James A. Ball is a private consultant in technology transfer and commercialization specializing in aerospace, energy, environmental, communications, manufacturing, bio-medical and law enforcement, counter-terrorism, and emergency management technology applications. During the past six years, he has worked with The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, The Congressional Office of Technology Assessment, the Departments of Defense, Energy, Justice, Transportation, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency. He also has worked with Battelle Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, The National Technology Transfer Center, and several private corporations and universities in support of technology development and commercialization programs and studies. A retired Air Force Colonel, he has extensive experience in research and development, acquisition, and technology transfer. He is the former Director of Technology Applications for the Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI) Organization and was responsible for the development and management of a program for the transfer of technology from SDI research to other applications for Federal Government Agencies, other Department of Defense programs, and commercial products. The technology transfer program, which he established, over the past ten years, has assisted in the establishment of numerous spin-off companies and Cooperative R&D Agreements (CRADAs) between industry and Federal laboratories.
Colonel Ball's military career encompassed engineering, acquisition management, testing and logistics. He served as an aircraft maintenance officer of several operational Air Force units including an air commando squadron in Vietnam and a flight test wing. His diverse background in engineering ranges from development of transonic flow simulation techniques to the design of engineering modifications for flight tests of avionics and defensive systems for the B-1 Aircraft. His acquisition management experience includes responsibilities for the operational support and deployment of the A-10 Thunderbolt close air support aircraft and senior staff management responsibilities for new aircraft and aeronautical systems including the F-15 and Air Force engine programs. Prior to his assignment to the SDI program he was the Executive Assistant to the Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Test and Evaluation in the Office of the Secretary of Defense. In this position he managed the DoD Foreign Weapons Evaluation Program and the NATO Cooperative Testing Program, overseeing the evaluation of foreign systems, munitions, equipment, and technologies with potential application to military requirements. During his management of this program, the U.S. Armed Services accepted over 30 systems for use, avoiding significant expenditures in research and development. He holds a BS in Aerospace Engineering from Penn State and a MS in Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering from The Air Force Institute of Technology. He is a former faculty member of the University of Virginia and a graduate of the Industrial College of the Armed Forces of the National Defense University. He is a member of Tau Beta Pi and Sigma Gamma Tau National Honorary Engineering Societies, and is the Virginia representative of the Technology Transfer Society. Prior to his commissioning, he held technical positions with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and Fairchild Space and Defense Systems.
Click here to read "Bonding, Lubrication, and Heavy Metal" by Jim Ball.
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