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Randy Beard


Office: 460J EB


Randal W. Beard received the B.S. degree in electrical engineering from the University of Utah, Salt Lake City, in 1991, the M.S. degree in electrical engineering in 1993, the M.S. degree in mathematics in 1994, and the Ph.D. degree in electrical engineering in 1995, all from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, N.Y. Since 1996, he has been with the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department at Brigham Young University, Provo, UT, where he is currently a professor. In 1997 and 1998, he was a Summer Faculty Fellow at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA. In 2006-2007 he was a National Research Council Fellow at the Air Force Research Labs at Eglin Air Force Base, Fort Walton Beach, Florida, where he worked on vision based guidance and control algorithms for micro air vehicles.

His primary research focus is in autonomous systems, unmanned air vehicles, and multiple vehicle coordination and control. He has published over 200 peer reviewed articles and has received over $6M in external research funding from AFOSR, AFRL, NASA, DARPA, and NSF. He is a fellow of the IEEE and an associate fellow of the AIAA. He is a former associate editor for the IEEE Transactions on Automatic Control, the Journal of Intelligent and Robotics Systems, and the IEEE Control Systems Magazine. In 1998 and 2004 he was voted the outstanding teacher in the BYU Electrical and Computer Engineering Department by graduating seniors, and in 2002 he received the Outstanding Professor award from the BYU Electrical and Computer Engineering Department. In 2004 he was awarded the BYU Young Scholar Award and in 2006 he was awarded the BYU Technology Transfer Award, and in 2009 he was award the Karl G. Maeser Research and Creative Arts Award for excellence in research, and in 2017 he received the Karl G. Maeser Distinguished Lecturer Award. His students have won numerous competitions and awards for their work on micro air vehicles.


  • Bai, He, & Beard, Randal Winston. (January (1st Quarter/Winter) 2019). Relative Heading Estimation and its Application to Target Handoff in GPS-Denied Environments. Journal Article, Academic Journal. IEEE Transactions on Control Systems Technology, . 27 (1)
  • Ferrin, Jeffrey, Beard, Randal Winston, & McLain, Timothy Wayne. (No date available). Estimation-aware model predictive control of a ground robot. Journal Article, Academic Journal. Transactions on Robotics, IEEE.
  • Jackson, James, Nielsen, Jarel, McLain, Timothy Wayne, & Beard, Randal Winston. (No date available). Improving the robustness of visual-inertial extended Kalman filtering. Conference Proceedings. International Conference on Robotics and Automation, IEEE.
  • Sahawneh, Laith R., Wikle, Jared K., Roberts, Adam K., Spencer, Jonathan C., McLain, Timothy Wayne, Beard, Randal Winston, & Warnick, Karl Foster. (August 2018). A ground-based sense-and-avoid system for small unmanned aircraft. Journal Article, Academic Journal. Journal of Aerospace Information Systems, American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics. 15 (8) , 501-517. doi:10.2514/1.I010627
  • Wheeler, David O, Koch, Daniel P, Jackson, James S, McLain, Timothy Wayne, & Beard, Randal Winston. (August 2018). Relative Navigation: A keyframe-based approach for observable GPS-degraded navigation. Journal Article, Academic Journal. Control Systems, IEEE. doi:10.1109/MCS.2018.28300