At UTA, Joe Cloud helped build a supercomputer and developed robots for space

PICTURE: Joe cloud view After

Credit: UT Arlington

Joe Cloud, a doctoral student in computer science and engineering at the University of Texas at Arlington, was awarded a graduate scholarship from Tau Beta Pi, the honorary engineering society, for the 2021-22 academic year. He will receive a stipend of $ 10,000 in support of his graduate work.

Cloud is in the second year of his PhD program in Computer Engineering. He is working with UTA Assistant Professor William Beksi at the Robotic Vision Laboratory on robotic learning for space and industrial robots. They are working jointly with researchers at the UTA Research Institute to develop learning-based methods for the safe generation of robot trajectories and motion planning.

Cloud received his BSc in Computer Engineering from UTA in 2019. His first foray into research was as a freshman, when he helped Amir Farbin, associate professor of physics, build a supercomputer. In his second year, he started working in Professor Fillia Makedon’s Heracleia lab in the computer science and engineering department, writing code to control robotic arms and teaching them to perform tasks.

The summer before his senior year, he was the senior intern on a project at NASA’s Langley Research Center to integrate a new instrument into a mobile robot for outdoor testing. This internship led to a position in NASA’s Pathways cooperative program, where he developed robotic algorithms for a project to establish a sustainable colony on the moon.

“On behalf of the Department of Computer Science and Engineering, I congratulate Joe on this honor and thank him for his hard work and excellence in his academic pursuits which brought visibility and pride to UTA,” said Hong Jiang, Professor Nedderman and Chairman of the Department of Computer Science and Engineering. “I would also like to thank his mentor teachers, Drs Fillia Makedon and William Beksi, who spotted his talent and skillfully guided him for so many years.”

The Tau Beta Pi Scholarships are awarded for high scholarship, campus leadership and service, and the promise of future contributions to the engineering profession. They are very competitive, with only 28 winners out of 336 applicants this year.

Cloud is the seventh recipient of the UTA in 88 years of scholarship history. The last Tau Beta Pi scholarship awarded to a computer science and engineering student at UTA was to G. Michael Youngblood in 2002, and the last university student to win one was MD Banjamin Sarder of the Department of industrial, manufacturing and systems engineering, in 2007.


Tau Beta Pi is the world’s largest engineering company, providing more financial aid to engineering students than any other. Membership represents the highest honor to be achieved by an engineering student and is awarded on the basis of high scholarship and exemplary character.

– Written by Jeremy Agor, College of Engineers

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