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Mechanical engineering senior honored with President’s Leadership Award

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Andrew Hoffpauir’s hard work and dedication to the University of Louisiana at Lafayette earned him the coveted President’s Leadership Award this year.

The mechanical engineering senior and member of the Class of 2021 received the award as part of the Ragin Cajun Recognition Awards.

UL Lafayette President Dr. E. Joseph Savoie selects a student for the honor to acknowledge a student’s contributions to the intellectual, social, cultural, and/or athletic fabric of the University of Louisiana at Lafayette community.

“I really enjoyed my time at the university, and it was very rewarding to be recognized for all the work I put into my education,” Hoffpauir said. “I am very grateful for the faculty and staff who helped me make the most of my experience.”

The university’s cultural offerings and the strong reputation of its engineering programs drew Hoffpauir to the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. Both his parents are originally from Louisiana and graduated from UL Lafayette, with his father being an alumnus of the College of Engineering. His parents instilled in him a reverence for Cajun culture while growing up in Maryland. They also made him aware of the opportunities offered by the university’s engineering programs.

He described his time at UL Lafayette as “an incredible journey from the very beginning.”

“I am in the honors program and qualified for the living, learning, community (LLC) for on-campus housing, which really helped me settle into my new environment. Everyone was very warm and friendly, and the university catered to the success of each student,” he said.

In addition to being in the honors program, Hoffpauir is a member of the Biomedical Engineering Society and participates in the leadership program Designing Leaders. He has also worked to promote engineering and technology to middle and high school students as a UL Lafayette Engineering Ambassador.

Hoffpauir said he is grateful for his experience apprenticing in the Cajun Artificial Heart Laboratory, then under the leadership of Dr. Charles Taylor. He was able to learn and grow as a student alongside Ph.D. students Dr. Clint Bergeron and Dr. Jacob King, both of whom now teach for the Department of Mechanical Engineering. His work in the lab was featured at the University of Louisiana Honors Undergraduate Research Conference in 2018 and at the University of Louisiana Systems Academic Summit at Grambling State University in 2019.

He led a team project to redesign a surgical instrument to add sensing capabilities, which is currently in the process of applying for a patent.

As part of his honors requirement, he collaborated with Mechanical Engineering Professor Yasmeen Qudsi to contract an Engineering Analysis course where he worked on estimating spinal curvature using a special software program. The project included creating a poster, which won first place at the University’s Engineering and Technology Week.

Hoffpauir said his experience at UL Lafayette has more than prepared him for his future plans. His next move will be attending the University of Virginia to pursue a Master’s in Engineering with a focus on Biomedical Engineering using medical devices.

“My experience at UL Lafayette was very rewarding and offered many opportunities beyond the classroom that I was able to take advantage of. I will miss my time in Louisiana but will forever be a Ragin Cajun and I am very proud of that,” he said.

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