Taylor Beard received his bachelors degree in mechanical engineering from Auburn University and his graduate degrees from Oklahoma State University (MS & PhD). He is certified as a professional engineer in Virginia.
He joined the University of Virginia in 1965 as an assistant professor and was promoted to associate professor in 1969. To recognize his outstanding contributions to undergraduate teaching efforts, Taylor Beard was named Lucien Carr Associate Professor for the 1997-98 academic year. He has additional professional experience with Oklahoma State University, Oak Ridge National Laboratories, U. S. Bureau of Mines, U. S. Environmental Protection Agency, Energy and Environmental Research Corp., and Associated Environmental Consultants.
Taylor Beard is a Fellow of ASME (American Society of Mechanical Engineers) and a past-chairman of ASME Solar Energy Division (1990-91).
Taylor Beard served as an American Specialist for the U. S. State Department's International Communications Agency, lecturing in Pakistan and Cyprus on solar energy related topics. He has organized international engineering conferences and various technical sessions for the ASME, Solar Energy Division. He also served as the Academic Space Administrator of the University of Virginia and as a board member of the Charlottesville Housing Foundation (now Piedmont Housing Alliance)
Taylor Beard has primary interest in academic instruction related to the analysis and design of thermal systems. He has developed mechanical engineering courses in air pollution control and energy systems design. He has also taught and been the coordinator of the first-year engineering design course at the University of Virginia.
The script of his Last Lecture Series talk, March 29, 2005 is available.
Taylor Beard has used cooperative learning techniques to gain students participation in class discussion. He combines his academic and professional activities by focusing on issues related to the application of technology to meet societal needs. For instance, he often uses "war stories," gathered from research and consulting experiences to focus on the basic engineering questions: "Why"... "How"... and "What if"...
He has served as a course moderator and lecturer for numerous combustion related short courses. In particular, he has developed the educational materials for the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency course: "Combustion Evaluation for Air Pollution Control" and for the University of Wisconsin professional development course: "Boiler Plant Optimization". He is also the primary author of the USEPA's Municipal Waste Combustor Operator Training Program.