AE senior Passaglia receives New Faces of Engineering: College Edition Award

AE senior Passaglia receives New Faces of Engineering: College Edition Award

Calendar Icon Apr 07, 2016      Person Bust Icon By Karl Vogel     RSS Feed RSS

Danielle Passaglia, a senior in architectural engineering, was chosen to receive Discover E's 2016 New Faces in Engineering: College Edition Award.
Danielle Passaglia, a senior in architectural engineering, was chosen to receive Discover E's 2016 New Faces in Engineering: College Edition Award.
Danielle Passaglia’s immediate concerns may be graduation and pursuing a master’s degree, but the UNL senior architectural engineering major is already making plans to build a better future.

With a passion for sustainable building designs and energy modeling and for her work in the College of Engineering and in the Omaha community, Passaglia this week was chosen to receive Discover E’s 2016 New Faces of Engineering: College Edition Award.

“People are becoming more conscientious about environmental impact, and the direction building design is going right now is that you have to come out with more sustainable designs,” Passaglia said. “Commercial buildings account for about 40 percent of the energy consumption in the world, so creating more green buildings will have a great impact on that.”

Discover E, formerly the National Engineers Week Foundation, each year chooses 12 students from around the world to receive the New Faces award. Passaglia was nominated last year through the UNL student chapter of the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) and was chosen a runner-up. This year, she applied again and was chosen for the award.

Among the selection criteria that is considered are a student’s involvement in national engineering organizations and community involvement both inside and outside the school.

In addition to being a member of ASHRAE, Passaglia works with UNL’s Engineering Ambassadors and has been involved with the Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day in which college engineering students act as mentors to girls ages K-12 and present real-world engineering applications and activities that are intended to spark interest in engineering and other STEM fields.

“It’s been a really rewarding experience. In high school, I was able to go to one of those days and it was a really good way to initiate yourself into an engineering environment and see what it’s all about,” Passaglia said. “We’re giving these kids real-life applications of engineering to show them ways that we affect the environment around us. I wish I had more of that when I was going to school.”

Passaglia’s work outside of UNL has included work with The Green Impact Campaign, a non-profit organization that brings student volunteers and small businesses together to help mitigate climate change by providing free energy assessments and tips about decreasing energy consumption.

Staying involved in the community is something Passaglia has been passionate about since her childhood in Wheaton, Illinois, and it’s something she intends to keep on doing.

“The community is so involved in our lives, especially in our education, and being able to give that back when I’m out of school is going to maintain importance for me,” Passaglia said. “Giving back to the community is something that can help you have a more fulfilling life.”