Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering
Hometown: Caracas, Venezuela
Having earned her B.S. in chemical engineering at the Universidad Simon Bolivar in her native Venezuela, Daniela Blanco was ready to venture to New York City for a prestigious graduate program that would connect her with extraordinary opportunities. She found her perfect fit in the Chemical Engineering Ph.D. program at the NYU Tandon School of Engineering.
Daniela is engaging in research in the areas of electrochemistry and clean energy, currently working on two major products. She has designed water-splitting devices with redox-couple intermediates, which are being explored for hurricane-relief initiatives and grid price optimization.
The second project Daniela is leading focuses on the design of a proof-of-concept device for the solar production of adiponitrile, which is a precursor of Nylon 6,6. The device is capable of producing a large-volume chemical using only solar energy, greatly reducing CO2 emissions in the manufacturing process. Due to this research, she has co-founded a startup called Sunthetics, with a mission of commercializing a technology for the clean production of nylon 6,6 intermediates to impact the chemical industry in a green way.
Daniela takes advantage of the resources available through NYU that can advance her ventures. “I have participated in the J-term Startup Sprint, 300K Competition, and InnoVention Competition,” she says, “which have helped me grow as an entrepreneur, guiding me on how to succeed in the market and make a real difference.”
Daniela also credits her advisor at NYU, Professor Miguel Modestino, with helping her discover a successful pathway. His mentorship and insights have enabled her to reach her potential. “NYU is everything I wanted it to be,” she says. “The professors, facilities, and resources are here to support your goals and open your mind to even broader possibilities. NYU is where your ideas awaken and become the reality you had dreamed of.”
- Lemelson-MIT Student Prize
- 2019 Global Student Entrepreneur of the Year
- First Place in the Greentech category of the University Startup World Cup
- $100,000 Technology Venture Prize at the NYU Stern $300K Entrepreneurship Challenge
- $20,000 top prize in the InnoVention Competition at Tandon
- $20,000 Stage II VentureWell grant