- Undergraduate degrees in Mathematics and Electrical Engineering at Sydney University
- Doctoral degree in Electrical Engineering at Stanford University.
- Professor of Electrical Engineering at the University of Newcastle, Australia from 1967 through 1981.
- Professor and Head of the Department of Systems Engineering at the Australian National University in Canberra, 1994 to 2002.
- Director of the Research School of Information Sciences and Engineering from 1994 to 2002.
- Inaugural CEO of the newly formed National ICT Australia from May 2002 to May 2003.
- Chief Scientist of NICTA, From May 2003 to June 2006
He has held many visiting appointments in the United States, Europe and Asia, including the University of California, Berkeley, Stanford University, Yale University, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology and Tokyo Institute of Technology.
Professor Anderson has served as a member of a number of government bodies, including the Australian Science and Technology Council and the Prime Minister's Science, Engineering and Innovation Council. He was a member of the Board of Cochlear Limited, the world's major supplier of cochlear implants, from 1995 to 2005. He is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science and Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering, the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers, and an Honorary Fellow of the Institution of Engineers, Australia. In 1989, he became a Fellow of the Royal Society, London, and in 2002 a Foreign Associate of the US National Academy of Engineering. He holds honorary doctorates of the Catholic University of Louvain in Belgium, the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, and the Universities of Sydney, Melbourne, New South Wales and Newcastle. He was appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia in 1993, and made a Companion in 2016. He received the Japanese Order of the Rising Sun with Neck Ribbon and Gold Rays in 2007.
He was President of the International Federation of Automatic Control for the triennium 1990 to 1993, and served as President of the Australian Academy of Science for four years from 1998 to 2002.
Professor Anderson's research interests have included many contributions in the area of circuits, signal processing and control, and currently his work focuses on distributed control of multiagent systems, sensor network localization, and econometric modelling.
A starting question in studying formations of unmanned airborne vehicles is: if a formation is required to maintain a certain shape--a common requirement as it turns out--who should measure what, who should control what, and who should communication what and to whom? And if the formation is also required to transit from A to B, can this be done with a single order to a single UAV in the formation? Subsidiary questions include: how can the functionality of the formation be maintained if a vehicle fails, or a communication link fails? How can functionality be obtained when one UAV can measure the bearing but not the range of another UAV, or vice versa?
I am focussing on the principles governing the control and use of formations of unmanned airborne vehicles. Much of my work is on particular problems suggested by the Defence Science and Technology Organization.