Joseph A. Starek

Joseph A. Starek

Joseph A. Starek received the Bachelor’s of Science in Engineering (BSE) and the Master’s of Science in Engineering (MSE) degrees in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, in 2009 and 2010, respectively. He earned a Ph.D. degree in Aeronautics and Astronautics from Stanford University, Stanford in June 2016.

In 2009 and 2010, he worked as a Research Assistant at NASA Ames Research Center in rotorcraft aeromechanics testing and small spacecraft propulsion system design, later returning to NASA Ames to join the small spacecraft Mission Design Center for nine months as a Systems Engineer before entering Stanford in the fall of 2011. In the Stanford Autonomous Systems Laboratory (ASL) he conducted research focused on spacecraft dynamics and control, safety-constrained trajectory optimization, and spacecraft motion planning algorithms. He also devotes much of his time to engineering education; he served as an assistant teacher five times over a four-year career at Stanford.

Dr. Starek was a recipient of the Stanford Centennial Teaching Assistant award in 2014. He also received the Distinguished Achievement Award in Aerospace Engineering and the James B. Angell Scholar Award from the University of Michigan in 2010.


  • Stanford Centennial Teaching Assistant award, 2014

Currently at Nuro (via Space Systems Loral)