Three Engineering Students Receive Clayton Excellence Award

May 8, 2013

Brandon Oubre and Shelby Pursley received the 2012-2013 Clayton Engineering Excellence Award for Outstanding Undergraduate Students, and Michael Thomas received the 2012-2013 Clayton Engineering Excellence Award for Outstanding Graduate Students.

“This collection of students exemplifies the attributes of the LSU Engineer,” said Warren Waggenspack, associate dean, Academic Programs. “Their continuing academic achievement, extracurricular service and contributions to research makes them tremendous ambassadors for the College of Engineering and excellent role models for their peers.”

Oubre is a computer science and discrete/applied mathematics junior with a cumulative GPA of 4.0 and a LaSTEM scholar. He is currently working on an independent project involving the development of inexpensive educational robotics tools. This project aims to create a low-cost robot that can be used to expand hands-on robotics and programming education in middle and high schools. He is also working to develop an autonomous system for automatically docking ships or boats using a PTZ camera and a laser range finder. After graduation, Oubre intends to pursue a Ph.D. at LSU in computer science with a research focus on robotics and possibly artificial intelligence. This research could be used in technology such as autonomous space exploration probes, improved military drones and automated repair and construction drones.

Pursley is a biological engineering senior and a former scholarship player for the LSU volleyball team. She has worked in microfluidics both in a numerical simulation group and in an experimental lab group at LSU. She is the co-author of a manuscript recently published in Biomicrofluidics. Pursley currently serves as the president of the LSU Biological Engineering Student Organization and has been involved in the Engineering Council and LSU Ambassadors. She plans to pursue a Ph.D. in biomedical engineering and is interested in studying topics such as microfluidics, regenerative medicine and gene therapy. She would like to work as a university research faculty member after attaining her Ph.D.

The Donald W. Clayton Engineering Excellence Award is granted each year to an outstanding undergraduate student(s) who exhibits extraordinary character, scholastic achievement and evident leadership in the College of Engineering. Nominations are made by faculty, staff and students. The award entails a stipend of $5,000 and a commemorative plaque.

Thomas is a graduate of Vanderbilt University where he earned a Bachelor of Engineering in chemical engineering. He is now pursuing a Ph.D. in chemical engineering at LSU. He spent a summer in Beijing, China where he attended Beijing College for a comprehensive Chinese language program. He currently works as a graduate research assistant at LSU where he tutors undergraduates in the chemical engineering fundamentals course. He is also involved in designing an intelligent process monitoring framework based on artificial intelligence techniques. He plans to become a university instructor upon graduation.

The Clayton Engineering Excellence Award for Outstanding Graduate Student is granted each year to an outstanding graduate student(s) who exhibits extraordinary character, scholastic achievement and evident leadership in the College of Engineering. This award entails a stipend of $10,000 to the recipient and a $2,000 stipend to the graduate student’s principal advisor/faculty member. 

The awards were founded in 2004 through a generous donation by Donald W. Clayton (BS PETE, 1959), who was inducted into the College of Engineering Hall of Distinction in 1993, and Gloria Pichon Clayton.

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Article written by Elise Bernard, communications intern. For more information, contact Mimi LaValle, College of Engineering, mlavall@lsu.edu or (225) 578-5706. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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