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College of Engineering | July 10, 2023

Daniela Duarte: Trailblazing Engineer Shattering Barriers and Inspiring Future Generations

Daniela Duarte Trailblazing Engineer Shattering Barriers and Inspiring Future Generations


Daniela Duarte, a proud native of El Paso, has defied expectations and shattered barriers on her path to becoming a trailblazing engineer. As part of our Emerging Engineers Weekly series, we explore into Duarte's journey of growth, education, and dedication to service.

From an early age, Daniela recognized the unique opportunities and challenges presented by her vibrant and multicultural community. Being the oldest of two daughters and the only woman pursuing a degree in engineering in her family, she embraced the chance to expand her horizons. In May 2023, she proudly graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Metallurgical and Materials Engineering, specializing in Forensic Engineering and Material Performance.

Duarte's formative years at The University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) provided her with a multicultural environment that nurtured her personal and professional growth. As a female engineer at a R1 institution, she thrived on the diverse perspectives and interactions with faculty and students from different cultures. This exposure enabled her to develop a wide range of skills, expand her knowledge, and pave the way for her future endeavors.

The path to engineering became clear for Duarte during her middle school years when she participated in the UTEP College of Engineering ExciTES Summer Institute. This program ignited her passion for engineering and STEM subjects, setting her on a trajectory to explore the vast opportunities available in the field. Recognizing the profound impact of her experience, she later became an intern for the same program, sharing her love for engineering with younger generations.

In high school, Duarte was introduced to the Metallurgical, Materials and Biomedical Engineering [MMBME] department by UTEP alumnus Dr. Steve Stafford. This introduction would prove to be a turning point in her academic and personal growth, solidifying her commitment to the field of engineering. Her exposure to various engineering summer programs during her formative years broadened her horizons, cultivated her interests, and influenced her choice of a long-term profession.

Duarte's time at UTEP has been marked by invaluable education, hands-on experiences, and a commitment to service. She embarked on undergraduate research as a program scholar with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Educational Partnerships Program (NOAA/EPP) Center for Earth System Sciences and Remote Sensing Technologies at UTEP in her sophomore year. Her research experience equipped her with a deeper understanding of her potential and paved the way for subsequent internship as part of the prestigious Department of Energy Science Undergraduate Laboratory Internships (SULI) program at AMES National Laboratory and other interships with Kansas City National Security Campus [KCNSC] Honeywell Federal Manufacturing & Technologies (FM&T). She stood out as the only materials engineering student selected for all three internships, a testament to her knowledge and the quality education provided by UTEP.

Beyond her academic achievements, Daniela's leadership skills flourished as she served as the Internal Relations chair of the College of Engineering's Student Leadership Council (ESLC). Her exemplary performance led to her re-election, ensuring her continued contributions to the engineering student body.

Looking ahead, Daniela's dedication to knowledge and research shines as she prepares for graduate studies. Collaborating with KCNSC and the MMBME department, she aims to make significant contributions in her research assistantship. Furthermore, she has been selected for UTEP's Consortium for Education and Research in Electronics for Extreme Environments (E3C), funded by the DOE and NNSA, where she will delve into the intricate world of nuclear security.

Daniela's commitment to excellence extends beyond engineering, this summer she was chosen for the prestigious Harvard Business School Summer Venture Mentorship Program (SVMP). Eager to immerse herself in the world-class curriculum offered by Harvard Business School, she represented UTEP and El Paso with distinction.

As she prepares to return to UTEP as a graduate student in the fall of 2023, Duarte is excited about the contributions she can make to her Alma Mater and her community. Her internship experiences, leadership roles, and research endeavors have laid the foundation for her future development as a Latina, a leader, and an engineer. Daniela Duarte is poised to shine brightly as she continues her journey toward excellence in engineering, education, and service.

College of Engineering Communications

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