2011 ECE Distinguished Fellow

William O. (Billie) Ball
Executive Vice President
and Chief Transmission Officer
Southern Company
Birmingham, Alabama

In 1991, the College of Engineering named 100 Distinguished Fellows as part of its 100th anniversary celebration for engineering education at Mississippi State. The program was reborn in 1999 with the addition of 10 Distinguished Fellows. Each year eight to 10 esteemed alumni are given this prestigious recognition. We are proud to announce the selection of William O. Ball as the 2011 ECE Distinguished Fellow. Mr. Ball was honored with a reception at Simrall on March 2, 2011.

Mr. Ball is responsible for the planning, design, construction, operation, and maintenance of Southern Company's transmission system. He is actively involved in electric utility industry policy matters. He currently serves on the Eastern Interconnection Planning Collaborative Executive Committee and is Chairman of the Board of the North American Transmission Forum.

Prior to his current position, Mr. Ball was Senior Vice President, Transmission Design and Construction. From 2004 to 2008, he was Senior Vice President, Transmission Planning and Operations, and was responsible for the planning and operations of the Southern Company's network transmission grid, transmission policy and industry interfaces. While in this role, he served as Vice Chairman of the Board of the Southeastern Electric Reliability Council, and Chairman of the North American Electric Reliability Council Members Representative Committee.

Mr. Ball's previous experience includes positions at Mirant (formerly Southern Energy) where he was responsible for technical due diligence on business development projects, transmission and O&M support to the various business units, and establishing and implementing safety and health policy at Mirant. He also held the position of Manager, System Planning, with both generation and transmission planning responsibilities at Mississippi Power, and played a key role in the development and certification of the company's 1,100 MW combined cycle facility at Plant Daniel. He served as Mississippi Power's technical witness in numerous regulatory hearings.

A native of Columbia, Mississippi, he graduated Summa Cum Laude from Mississippi State University with a bachelor degree in Electrical Engineering (May 1987). He also holds a MBA from the University of Southern Mississippi (May 1994). Billie serves on the Board of Briarwood Christian School and is a registered professional engineer in Mississippi.

Billie and his wife, Cindy, have four boys: William, Jordan, Andrew, and Brandon. The family resides in Birmingham.