40 Next: Ajilli Hardy

In celebration of our 40th anniversary, Black Enterprise is taking a look both forward and backward at the world of black business. Our list of 40 Next celebrates the next generation of entrepreneurs and business leaders.

These BE Nexters—those 21–35 years old making a measurable impact within their respective business, organization, industry, or field—are standouts in the areas of entrepreneurship, corporate America, academia, nonprofit, the arts, and the STEM fields (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics). And they prove every day that “business as usual” is not so usual. For them, leveraging expertise in one area to maximize an opportunity in another is standard operating procedure.

Using the legacy of their business predecessors to forge their own way, this new generation of leadership accepts the torch without trepidation. But the commonality between then and now is that success still takes a focused, strategic, and passionate mindset. Here, we introduce you to one of our 40 Next.

AJILLI HARDY, 32
Energy Systems Engineer
GE Global Research, Niskayuna, NY
Hardy who calls herself an “analytic dreamer,” is a member of a global team striving to change the ways we power the world. She analyzes complex, large-scale energy, water, oil, and gas systems and proposes viable economical approaches to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and energy consumption as part of GE’s overall ecomagination initiative, which aims to solve environmental challenges.

Education
BS, Mechanical Engineering, MIT, 2000
MS, Mechanical Engineering, MIT, 2004
Ph.D., Mechanical Engineering, MIT, 2007
I am the first African American female to get a PhD in Mechanical Engineering at MIT: web.mit.edu/newsoffice/2007/hardy-tt0926.html

Favorite Books
Leisure: I am currently reading Tausend Strahlende Sonnen (auf Deutsch!) by Khaled Hosseini. I read all my pleasure books in German.
Professional: A great book about the sustainable energy context is by Jeff Tester, Sustainable Energy.

BE Next Manifesto
I aim to reduce the energy demands of power generation systems and to make these systems more accessible to developing nations.