Meet mechanical engineering alum Jason Howard
"I really enjoyed the community of engineering students at UL Lafayette. There was a general feeling of comradery between all the mechanical students as we tried to tackle the intense course load.”
- Mechanical Engineering
- Opelousas, LA
Where I'm From
I am from Opelousas, Louisiana.
Where I Am
I am currently a project engineer with L3Harris.
Where I'm Going
I plan to shape the future of maritime traffic and operation.
Jason Howard still remembers the community support and engagement he received at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. His journey with UL Lafayette began because he wanted to stay close to him and he heard excellent things about the engineering department.
In high school, Jason attended engineering day and witnessed a machine shop in the mechanical engineering department with flying metal and buzzing machines. Because of his early interest in mechanical engineering and the dynamics of the degree, Jason chose mechanical engineering as his major, “Mechanical engineering is very diverse and can be applied to many different industries,” he said.
His favorite mechanical engineering courses were Statics, Dynamics, and Mechanics of Materials taught by Dr. Hibbeler, Machine Design I and II taught by professor Theriot, and the program SolidWorks.
The SolidWorks program was critical to Jason’s career path, he said, “I worked in the program for fun after school and that skill helped me land my first internship as a drafter at a design firm. That internship was my first engineering entry on my resume, and it helped my career continue to grow from there.”
His senior year at UL Lafayette was filled with a lot of fun, including scuba diving classes, he said, “We dove at the water survival training center every Saturday morning and got open water dive certified at the end of the semester when we took a trip to Destin for our certification dives.”
Jason appreciated his overall experience in the mechanical engineering program because of the academic challenges and community spirit of the students.
“I really enjoyed the community of engineering students at UL Lafayette. There was a general feeling of comradery between all the mechanical students as we tried to tackle the intense course load and countless hours of studying. There was also a healthy level of friendly competition between the different engineering concentrations for Engineering Week and the LES sports activities.”
Jason is currently working on the construction and operation of unmanned surface vehicles for the U.S. Department of Defense. He said, “The capabilities of the platforms we work on will shape the future of maritime traffic and operation.”
He believes his experience at UL Lafayette molded him into a dynamic and sharp professional person.
“Each semester offered 4–5 challenging courses that were always new concepts that needed to be learned and mastered for tests. Often these tests overlapped, and the pressure was on. Learning how to balance books and a personal life prepared me for my career. There are always tight deadlines and many responsibilities in an engineering career and being prepared to handle that workload is critical to job performance but also overall happiness with life.”