John M. Hart



  • 2021 Beckman Institute
  • 405 North Mathews Avenue
  • Urbana, Illinois 61801


Principal Research Engineer engaged in interdisciplinary research projects for over two decades at the Beckman Institute.  Developing innovative solutions to scientific and technological problems in the Computer Vision and Robotic Laboratory.  Principal Investigator leading simultaneous research projects in collaboration with multiple professors.  Laboratory manager guiding and mentoring graduate and undergraduate students from various disciplines involved in research projects.  Majored in Electrical and Computer Engineering with an emphasis in artificial intelligence and robotics at the University of Illinois.


  • Coordinator of laboratory and student research for Beckman Institute Open House 1993-2015
  • A. Stewart-Dyer Prize / Frederick Harvey Trevithick Prize for Best Paper 2007
  • Beckman Institute Open House - Overall Best Demonstration Award Runner-Up 1999
  • Selected for Participation in UIUC College of Engineering Leadership Program 1995
  • UIUC Engineering Open House - 3rd Place Award for Original Research (Graduate) 1995
  • Lockmiller Award in Robotics and Artificial Intelligence 1987
  • Daily Illini's Incomplete List of Teachers Rated as Excellent by Their Students 1986


Research interests involving projects with experimental design and development of prototype systems involving automated visual inspection systems, novel video and imaging camera technologies, embedded microcontroller systems, information technology and information systems, wireless sensor systems, electromechanical designs, and biomimetic robotics.  Development of porotypes in the laboratory and system testing through field research, implementation and on-site deployment.


  • 2017
    • Hart, J.M., Wang S., Moaveni, M., McHenry, M., Tutumluer, E., and Ahuja N., “Machine Vision for Evaluating In-Service Ballast Condition,” Technology Digest, TD-16-0xx, In-press 2017.
  • 2016
    • Tutumluer, E., Moaveni, M., Hart, J.M., M. McHenry, Davis, D. D., “Field Imaging Based Assessment of In-Service Ballast Condition,” Proceedings of AREMA 2016 Annual Conference & Exposition, Orlando, Florida, 2016.
  • 2013
    • Moaveni, M., Wang, S., Hart J. M., Tutumluer E. and Ahuja N., "Aggregate Size and Shape Evaluation Using Segmentation Techniques and Aggregate Image Processing Algorithms," Journal of Transportation Research Board, no. 2335, pp. 50-59, 2013.
    • Kumar, J. M. Hart, and N. Ahuja, Motion-Based Background Subtraction and Panoramic Mosaicing for Freight Train Analysis, Proceedings of the IEEE International Conference on Image Processing, Melbourne, Australia, Sept. 18, 2013.
    • Resendiz E., Hart J. M., and Ahuja N., Automated Visual Inspection of Railroad Tracks, IEEE Transactions on Intelligent Transportation Systems, vol. 14, no. 2, pp. 751- 760, June 2013.
  • 2011
    • Hart J. M., Molina L. F., Resendiz E., Edwards J. R., Ahuja N. and Barkan C. P. L., "Development of a Machine Vision System for the Inspection of Heavy-Haul Railway Turnout and Track Components," Proceedings of International Heavy Haul Association Conference (IHHA), Calgary, Canada, June 2011.
    • Kumar, A., T.G. Rickett, A. Vemula, J.M. Hart, J.R. Edwards, N. Ahuja, and C.P.L. Barkan, “Aerodynamic Analysis of Intermodal Freight Trains Using Machine Vision,” Proceedings of the 9th World Congress on Railway Research, 22-26 May 2011, Lille, France.
    • Rickett, T.G., J.M. Hart, J.R. Edwards, A.Kumar, C.P.L. Barkan and N. Ahuja, “Monitoring the Aerodynamic Efficiency of Intermodal Train Loading Using Machine Vision.” Proceedings of Transportation Research Board Annual Conference. Washington D.C. (January 2011).
  • 2010
    • Schlake, B. W.; Todorovic, S.; Edwards, J. R.; Hart, J. M.; Ahuja, N.; Barkan, C. P. L., "Machine vision condition monitoring of heavy-axle load railcar structural underframe components," Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers Part F-Journal of Rail and Rapid Transit 224, (F5), 2010, 499-511.
    • Resendiz E., Molina L., Hart J., Edwards J., Sawadisavi S., Ahuja N. and Barkan C., Development of a Machine Vision System for Inspection of Railway Track Components, Proc. 12th World Conference on Transport Research (WCTR), July 2010.
  • 2009
    • Hart, J.M., B.W. Schlake, S. Todorovic, J.R. Edwards, N. Ahuja, and C.P.L. Barkan. Machine Vision Condition Monitoring of Railcar Structural Underframe Components. RTDF2009-18043. Proceedings of the 2009 Fall Conference of the ASME Rail Transportation Division, Ft. Worth, Texas (October 2009).
  • 2008
    • Hart J. M., Resendiz E., Freid B., Sawadisavi S., Barkan C. P. L. and Ahuja N., "Machine Vision Using Multi-Spectral Imaging for Undercarriage Inspection of Railroad Equipment," Proc. 8th World Congress on Railway Research (WCRR), Seoul, Korea, May 2008.
    • S. Sawadisavi, J. Edwards, E. Resendiz, J. Hart, C. Barkan and N. Ahuja, Machine Vision Inspection of Railroad Track, Proc. AREMA 2008 Annual Conference, Salt Lake City, UT, September 2008.
  • 2007
    • Kumar, N. Ahuja, J. Hart, U.K. Visesh, P.J. Narayanan, C.V. Jawahar, "A Vision System for Monitoring Intermodal Freight Trains," Workshop on Applications of Computer Vision (WACV), Austin, TX, February 2007.
    • Y-C Lai, C.P.L. Barkan, J. Drapa, N. Ahuja, J.M. Hart, P.J. Narayanan, C.V. Jawahar, A. Kumar, L.R. Milhon and M.P. Stehly, "Machine vision analysis of the energy efficiency of intermodal freight trains," Proc. IMechE Vol. 221 Part F: J. Rail and Rapid Transit, 2007.
    • Edwards J.R., Hart J.M., Todorovic S., Barkan C.P.L., Ahuja N., Chua Z., Kocher N., Zeman J., "Development of Machine Vision Technology for Railcar Safety Appliance Inspection," Proc. International Heavy Haul Conference (IHHA), Specialist Technical Session - High Tech in Heavy Haul, Kiruna, Sweden, June 2007, 745-752.
  • 2006
    • Edwards, J.R, Barkan C.P.L., Todorovic S., Hart J.M., and Ahuja N., Improving the efficiency and effectiveness of railcar safety appliance inspection using machine vision technology. JRC2006-94052. Proceedings of the ASME Joint Rail Conference, Atlanta , GA (April 2006)
    • Lai, Y-C., Hart J.M., Drapa J., Ahuja N., Barkan C.P.L., and Milhon L., Machine vision analysis of the energy efficiency of intermodal trains, JRC2006-94047. Proceedings of the ASME Joint Rail Conference, Atlanta , GA (April 2006)
  • 2005
    • Lai, Y.C., Hart J.M., Vemuru P., Drapa J., Ahuja N., Barkan C.P.L., Milhon L., and Stehly M.P., Machine vision analysis of the energy efficiency of intermodal trains, 2005,In Proceedings of the 8th International Heavy Haul Conference , Rio de Janiero, June 2005, pp. 387-394.
  • 2004
    • Hart J. M., Ahuja N., Barkan C. P. L. and Davis, D., "A Machine Vision System for Monitoring Railcar Health," Technology Digest, TD-04-008, June 2004.
  • 1996
    • Cocatre-Zilgien, J.H., Delcomyn, F., and Hart, J.M. 1996. Performance of a muscle-like "leaky" pneumatic actuator powered by modulated air pulses. Journal of Robotic Systems 13(6):379-390.

The Communications Office maintains the information included in Beckman Institute's online directory listings. In order to update your directory listing, please submit the following information to

  • a short bio including information on your educational background and your field
  • any honors and awards you may have received
  • a description of your research (approximately 200-400 words)
  • a list of recent representative publications
  • a photo of yourself (you can submit one or we can take one for you)