William F. Ballhaus

A member of the USC Viterbi Board of Councilors, Dr. William F. Ballhaus, Jr. is a graduate of the University of California at Berkeley where he earned a PhD in engineering and bachelor's and master's degrees in mechanical engineering. He had a renowned career in industry, including service as president and chief executive officer of The Aerospace Corporation, corporate officer and vice president of engineering and technology at Lockheed Martin, and president of two Martin Marietta businesses. He spent the first half of his career at NASA Ames and served as the director of that center. He is a member of the NAE and serves on multiple boards including the NASA Advisory Council.

The William F. Ballhaus, Jr. Prize for Excellence in Graduate Engineering Research is bestowed to the best doctoral dissertation, was established in 2015, and will be awarded each year in perpetuity in the future.

The nominees of the Best Dissertation Award are reviewed by a faculty committee and narrowed down to four finalists. The finalists present their research at the Best Dissertation Symposium where the final winner is selected.

2021 Recipient

The 2021 winner of  The William F. Ballhaus Jr. Prize for Excellence in Graduate Engineering Research, Omid Sani for his research, and dissertation

Modeling and Control of Behaviorally Relevant Brain States. Congratulations, Omid!

Previous Recipients

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2020 recipient Debarghya Sarkar
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2019 recipient Shanyuan Niu with Dean Yannis Yortsos (L) and William F. Ballhaus (R)

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2018 recipient Trevor Krasowsky and William F. Ballhaus
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2017 winner Fei Fang with Dean Yannis Yortson (L) and William F. Ballhaus (R)
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Matthew Gilpin smiles with Dean Yortsos and William F. Ballhaus after winning in 2016
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Seyedhamed M Barghi smiles after winning the inaugural William F. Ballhaus Prize for Excellence in Graduate Engineering in 2015