BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – George Ball, assistant professor of operations and decision technologies and ArcelorMittal Supply Chain Faculty Fellow, is among an accomplished group of faculty members who will receive the 2019 Indiana University Bloomington Outstanding Junior Faculty Award.
The award is designed to identify promising tenure-track faculty who have not yet been awarded tenure and to provide resources to further develop their scientific, scholarly or artistic activities. It is presented by the Office of the Vice Provost for Faculty and Academic Affairs.
The Outstanding Junior Faculty Award is the most prestigious campus-wide award for pre-tenured faculty and is intended to recognize IU’s most promising young faculty. Those selected to receive this honor have begun to develop nationally-recognized research programs, as well as making important contributions to IU’s teaching and service missions.
Ball’s research interests focus on product recalls, specifically issues related to causes of recalls and the decision to recall. He has studied these issues in the auto, pharmaceutical and medical device industries.
His 2016 study in Management Science of North American auto production over a seven-year period found that using overtime and increasing the number of factory-installed options were associated with manufacturing-related recalls. It found that working overtime in an automotive plant can cost firms as much as $167 million in recall-related expenses.
Ball co-authored a 2017 study about Food and Drug Administration inspections at medical device manufacturing facilities in Manufacturing & Service Operations Management. He found the process worked better when FDA inspections were conducted by a new FDA, rather than one who had performed repeated inspections at the same facility.
Last year, in a study published in the Journal of Operations Management, Ball found that extreme price competition in the generic pharmaceutical market — designed to make medications more affordable — may be putting more patients at serious health risk, as evidenced by a higher number of product recalls caused by manufacturing-related problems.
Ball also published a study last year, also in the Journal of Operations Management, about the role of medical device managers as decision makers prior to recalls. The study found that managers in medical device firms have significant discretion when deciding to recall defective medical devices and that managers take into account both firm costs and patient safety when making this important decision.
As part of his collaborative efforts with the National Institute of Pharmaceutical Technology and Education, Ball is also one of several investigators on a multi-million quality scorecard grant from the FDA. The goal of the grant is to help FDA predict future pharmaceutical recalls before they harm consumers.
“We are thrilled that the campus has recognized Professor Ball’s research, teaching and service contributions to Indiana University,” said Laureen Maines, executive associate dean of faculty and research, in her announcement to Kelley faculty.