According to the Google Scholar citation index, Dr. Randal W. Beard of BYU’s Electrical and Computer Engineering Department is the second-most-cited professor currently at BYU. Citations are an important measure of the impact of academic research.
Although Google Scholar technically lists Dr. Beard as fifth in the university’s ranks, closer inspection reveals that of the faculty members above him, two have retired and Google Scholar's algorithm has credited another with publications by similarly-named individuals. The top two active, full-time professors on the Google Scholar rankings for BYU are Economics Professor C. Arden Pope with 116,228 citations and Dr. Beard with 31,283. Business Professor Brad Agle, with 22,163 citations is the third most cited faculty at BYU.
Perhaps more relevant and noteworthy than his ranking among BYU’s faculty is Dr. Beard’s standing among fellow researchers in his areas of expertise. Google Scholar lists him as the internationally most cited expert on unmanned air vehicles, autonomous vehicles, and nonlinear and optimal control, and the second-most-cited expert on cooperative control. In the latter field, he follows Wei Ren, a BYU alumnus and former PhD student of Dr. Beard.
Over the past five years, approximately fifty new publications have cited Dr. Beard’s work every week, indicating the widespread influence of the research done by Dr. Beard and his students.