John E. Beard

John E. Beard


  • Professor Emeritus, Mechanical Engineering—Engineering Mechanics
  • Research Associate Professor, Mechanical Engineering—Engineering Mechanics
  • Faculty Advisor, Hybrid Electric Vehicle Enterprise
  • PhD, Purdue University


Dr. Beard's research interests include design for manufacturing in two areas. He is investigating the influence of manufacturing variation on the response of planar and three-dimensional mechanisms. He has examined the influence of design parameters on the wear rates of gerotor types, and has developed a pump that demonstrates the potential for decreased wear rates, while also decreasing the cost of manufacturing. Vehicle suspension systems are also being modeled to determine the influence of the kinematic parameters on the tire/road interactions. In this way, the impact of manufacturing and assembly variation on the vehicle performance may be assessed. Such a model may then be used as a design tool to develop a suspension system with improved handling characteristics, while decreasing production costs. Beard is the Faculty Advisor for Challenge-X, the hybrid vehicle design competition sponsored by GM and DOE. Beard advised the team that designed and built a power-split transmission for the FutureTruck Competition and was the 2002 NSF Faculty Advisor of the Year. Beard is also applying his manufacturing experience in tool-and-die design, forming, turning, and grinding in teaching effective design for manufacturing in the preliminary design courses as well capstone design courses. The creative teaching process in the capstone design courses produced three patents.

Areas of Expertise

  • Design of Mechanical Systems
  • Bioengineering
  • Manufacturing

Research Interests

  • Manufacturing variation on the response of planar and three-dimensional mechanisms
  • Influence of design parameters on the wear rates of gerotor types