Why? This three-letter word is what drives and inspires Daniela Durón García every day. As a first-generation Latina in STEM, she’s constantly looking for avenues to contribute to her community in a positive way. So, she started asking herself how she could combine the love for her community with her work as an engineer. “I started asking questions like why things work the way they do. I started asking those same questions in the stories that people were telling me about their life and why they were putting up with certain situations,” says Daniela.
This determined curiosity is what ultimately led her to study mathematics. But just one semester away from graduation, Daniela decided that she wanted to apply her problem-solving skills in a way that could make more of an impact. “Math was very theoretical, very abstract, and I lost sense of what I could do with just a pure mathematics degree, in terms of helping my community,” Daniela said. So, she enrolled in a combined plan program that enabled her to complete her math degree while simultaneously studying mechanical engineering at a partner university.
Through the program, Daniela started to see the world a little bit differently and began to think more about the problems women were facing, especially in developing countries. This led her to help invent and design a product called FLOW (Fast Lightweight On-the-go Washer) –– a menstrual cup cleaner and sanitizer that aims at giving the user complete freedom over their experience.
Daniela recently graduated with degrees in both mathematics and mechanical engineering. She’s currently working to bring FLOW to market.