UTA’s Robert Taylor earns Fulbright U.S. Scholar Award

Taylor will conduct research in Thailand as part of the program

Thursday, Jun 20, 2024 • Brian Lopez : contact

Headshot of Robert Taylor

Robert Taylor, a professor in practice in the Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department at The University of Texas at Arlington, has received a Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program award from the U.S. Department of State and the Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board. He will work with faculty at King Mongkut’s University of Technology Thonburi (KMUTT) in Bangkok, Thailand.

Fulbright U.S. Scholars are faculty, researchers, administrators, and established professionals teaching or conducting research in affiliation with institutes abroad. Over 800 individuals participate in the program annually.

Dr. Taylor is an expert in additive manufacturing (AM) and design optimization, and his work during his Fulbright assignment will focus on methods and curriculum for AM in electric vehicles. This will include identifying potential opportunities for AM in Thai electric vehicle production and developing design for AM methodologies to increase efficiency and safety, reduce cost, and strengthen industry competitiveness. He will integrate these design methodologies into curriculum materials for teaching AM for electric vehicles to university students and practicing engineers.

Bangkok traffic is notoriously heavy, and many residents rely on two-wheeled vehicles such as motorcycles and mopeds to navigate it. Thailand has a robust manufacturing sector, especially around the automotive industry, and there are initiatives to move toward electric vehicles. With AM not yet in widespread use, Taylor hopes to help manufacturers benefit from effective use of the technology in their design and manufacturing processes.

“I’m looking forward to the opportunity to work with researchers at KMUTT and build relationships in Thailand,” Taylor said. “They have significant manufacturing expertise and are looking to benefit from AM. I will take advantage of the opportunity to work with faculty and students to share knowledge and resources that can benefit both sides. Hopefully, we can add industry partners in the manufacturing base as well.”

When Taylor was in his 20s, he worked to assist refugees from Southeast Asia in California. He learned to speak fluent Hmong, as well as some basic Lao and Thai, and became very interested in the region. About a year ago, he began investigating how to set up a collaboration with researchers there, and found the Fulbright program, which is set up for that purpose.

“It’s about building cultural relationships and being an ambassador. I see opportunities for working with schools in Thailand and I hope that students there will want to attend UTA for graduate studies. I hope to do work that’s valuable to both sides,” he said.

Taylor will leave for his position in August and return in December. He is one of two UTA 2024-25 Fulbright Scholars, the other being Maria Trache, a retired professor in the College of Education.

— Written by Jeremy Agor, College of Engineering