Professor Alan Ball BSc, PhD, MIMfgE, CEng

School of Mechanical Engineering
Professor of Engineering Design

Contact details

+44 (0) 121 414 4150
+44 (0) 121 414 3515
School of Mechanical Engineering
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

Alan Ball is Professor of Engineering Design in the School of Engineering. Prior to his current appointment, he worked for 7 years as an Engineer with British Aerospace and for 12 years as a Lecturer at Loughborough University of Technology.

Throughout his career, he has been involved in surface modelling and its application in CADCAM. His current research priority is to establish a purely geometric characterisation of shape for free-form curves and surfaces compatible with the needs of CADCAM.


BSc Lond, PhD EAnglia, MIMfgE, CEng

Postgraduate supervision

Examples of PhD theses supervised by Professor A A Ball

  • Czerkawski A M, Fitting procedures for curves and surfaces, 1996. University of Birmingham
  • Liu C, Geometric control of rational cubic B-splines, 1998. University of Birmingham.
  • Zheng J, Construction of n-sided surfaces, 1998. University of Birmingham.
  • Fisher M, Point-based mathematics for computer-aided manufacture, 2001. University of Birmingham.


Research interests

  • Geometric modelling
  • Free-form surface modelling
  • CADCAM for complex shaped components
  • 5-axis machining.


  • Ball A A, Reparametrization and its application in computer-aided geometric design. International Journal for Numerical Methods in Engineering, 1984. 20: p. 197 - 216.
  • Ball A A and Storry D J T, An investigation of curvature variations over recursively generated B-spline surfaces. ACM Transactions on Graphics, 1990. 9(4): p. 424 - 437.
  • Ball A A, CONSURF. Part one: introduction of the conic lofting tile. Computer-Aided Design, 1993. 6(4): p. 243 - 249.
  • Ball A A, Geometry based surface modelling. 11th International Conference on Computer Aided Production Engineering, IMechE, London, 1995: p. 49 - 54.
  • Ball A A, Simple CADCAM procedures for complex shaped components. International Journal of Production Research, 1996. 34(9): p. 2461 - 2469.
  • Tookey R and Ball A, Approximate G1 continuous interpolation of a rectangular network of rational cubic curves. Computer-Aided Design, 1996. 28(12): p. 1007 - 1016.
  • Zheng J J and Ball A A, Control point surfaces over non-four-sided areas. Computer Aided Geometric Design, 1997. 14: p. 807 - 821.
  • Ali J M, Tookey R M, Ball J V and Ball A A, The generalised Cornu spiral and its application to span generation. Journal of Computational and Applied Mathematics, 1999. 102: p. 37 - 47.
  • Ball A A and Zheng J J, Degree elevation for n-sided surfaces. Computer Aided Geometric Design, 2001. 18: p. 135 - 147.