CEAE alumna works on global energy crisis

October 21, 2013

Danielle GriegoDanielle Griego’s architectural engineering education at CU-Boulder has led to a career focused on addressing the global energy crisis as well as some pretty cool stamps in her passport.

As an undergraduate, Griego spent a semester studying abroad and learning Spanish in Guadalajara, Mexico. After completing her BS in architectural engineering with an emphasis in lighting and mechanical systems, Griego continued on to earn a master’s degree in civil engineering through CU’s building systems engineering program. For her thesis, she collaborated with the University of Guanajuato on an energy-efficiency project in Salamanca, Mexico.

Following her graduation in 2011, Griego accepted a position at the Energy Research Institute at the Nanyang Technological University in Singapore where she works with faculty, government officials, local industry partners and international academic partners on various building energy efficiency initiatives.

One project she manages seeks to improve the energy efficiency of campus laboratories, which tend to guzzle energy because of the fume hoods and other specialized equipment.

“Our goal is to understand more accurately how much energy is used for cooling,” Griego explains, pointing out that while similar studies have been conducted in the United States, the cooling load is much higher in Singapore where the humidity hovers between 80 and 100 percent.

Griego has always been interested in how humans can reduce their impact on the environment. She found that architectural engineering provided an avenue for a career focusing on energy efficiency.

“Our industry is absolutely focused on sustainability, energy efficiency and green technology,” she says, noting that building science is a growing industry with a lot of opportunity. “As the cost of energy goes up and the depletion of resources increases, it’s going to be much more pressing for us to design and operate our buildings more efficiently. There’s always going to be a demand for buildings – and the engineers that make them work.”

Griego recalls that as a student she loved the intellectual atmosphere of Boulder and the diverse experiences of the people in the city and at CU.

“I really value the energy of the people in Boulder and in the Architectural Engineering Program. I felt like people were excited and motivated and energized about what they were learning, and had a passion about what they were doing beyond just getting their degree.”

Griego says living and working abroad have been valuable adventures that have taught her independence and self-reliance.

“I think the most interesting thing about being in Singapore is being a part of a truly international environment,” she says. “You have people from every country on the globe, and you begin to understand that in America everything is focused around the U.S. while in other countries, people really see themselves as a small part of a big world.”