Joe Beck

Joe Beck

2023 CSCRS Student of the Year, Joe Beck

CSCRS is proud to announce Joe Beck, a University of Tennessee (UTK) mechanical engineering doctoral student, as its 2023 Outstanding Student of the Year. Beck was honored on Saturday, January 6, 2024, during the Council of University Transportation Centers (CUTC) Awards Banquet. 

CSCRS selected Beck as its outstanding student as part of a U.S. Department of Transportation program honoring students from University Transportation Centers who have demonstrated achievements in academic performance, research, leadership, professionalism, and potential future contributions in the transportation field. Beck’s research interests focus on using AI and machine learning techniques to further the validation and deployment of autonomous systems in vehicles and robotics. Prior to coming to UTK, he graduated top of his class in Mechatronics Engineering at Middle Tennessee State in 2017. He also has work experience as an electrical engineer and controls engineer. 

Subhadeep Chakraborty, associate professor at UTK and CSCRS researcher, wrote highly of Beck in his nomination letter: “A successful researcher has many outstanding qualities – being able to come up with brilliant and novel solutions to problems is just one of them. Joe has demonstrated multiple times that he can deal with setbacks or issues in his research with ingenuity, confidence, and determination. One thing I have particularly admired about him is that whenever faced with a roadblock, Joe demonstrates a brilliant capability of finding alternative approaches to come up with a solution. Confidence and independence as researcher have been amply demonstrated by Joe.” 

“It’s an honor to be selected for this award. I’m proud of the work we’ve done on this project and very thankful to everyone at the University of Tennessee for supporting me, as well as CSCRS, for giving me this opportunity,” said Beck.

Beck’s dissertation focuses on the development and use of various machine learning techniques for the realistic simulation of autonomous vehicles in a virtual environment. Beck has also worked on CSCRS research that focuses on using AI to improve driver/pedestrian interactions.  He expects to complete his PhD in summer 2024.