Nate Ball is an Emmy-winning TV host, author, mechanical engineer and inventor who became insatiably hooked on science and engineering at an early age. His childhood projects, which included a 1,000,000 volt Tesla coil and a kitchen-engulfing rocket fuel experiment gone awry, paved his way to MIT where he earned two degrees in mechanical engineering and two All-American honors in the pole vault. While in graduate school Nate became the youngest winner of the prestigious Lemelson-MIT Student Prize for his inventive work.
Nate is passionate about outreach to kids, as his own childhood enthusiasm for hands-on learning led him to an exciting and multifaceted engineering career that continues to bring adventure and challenge. He has hosted the three-time Emmy and Peabody award winning PBS Kids TV series Design Squad and Design Squad Global since helping develop the show prior to its production, and has made appearances on the History Channel, MythBusters, various news networks and across the TED sphere. Nate’s endeavors also include two science-adventure book series for kids, Alien in My Pocket and Let’s Investigate With Nate, both published by HarperCollins Children’s.
Nate is also the co-founder and CEO of Atlas Devices (www.atlasdevices.com), a company that develops advanced access and rescue equipment for the military and first responders worldwide. Atlas’s technologies include magnetic climbing systems that let users scale ships and towers unassisted, grappling hook launchers that place hooks over 15 stories up, and the Atlas Powered Ascender – a real-life version of Batman’s famous tool belt that lets users rapidly “reverse rappel” up buildings, ships and towers with up to 600 lbs in tow. Recent new applications of these technologies are enabling utility line crews to access remote transmission towers easily and safely without needing to bring in bucket trucks, enabling faster, cheaper and safer operations.
In-between Zoom calls and designing cool new stuff, Nate enjoys helping his own two kids figure out how to make their own exciting ideas real.