Georgia Tech Engineer Wins Manufacturing Assistance Award

The Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) has named Ed Hardison as a “Practitioner of the Year,” one of only five to be chosen nationwide. A principal research associate with Georgia Tech’s Enterprise Innovation Institute, Hardison accepted the award at MEP’s recent national conference in Orlando, Fla.

Part of the U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Institute of Standards and Technology, MEP is a national network of not-for-profit centers in nearly 350 locations that helps U.S. manufacturers compete globally by strengthening supply chains and increasing productivity. The practitioner award recognizes individuals whose leadership and contributions have made a significant impact on small and medium-sized manufacturers.

This past year, Hardison completed energy assessments for 11 manufacturers in seven different states that resulted in more than $7 million in energy savings opportunities. Hardison, who is based in the Georgia Tech Albany office, has expertise in quality issues, energy conservation and management, environmental management and community economic development.

“Ed has demonstrated a commitment to lifelong learning and a pursuit of excellence in the delivery of service and technical assistance to manufacturers. He has always been a team player and worked effectively in both leading and supporting roles in manufacturing assistance projects,” said Chris Downing, director of industry services for the Enterprise Innovation Institute. “His heartfelt efforts have helped many Georgia manufacturers adopt new technologies and business practices that have allowed them to remain competitive in today’s global marketplace.”

Hardison has been employed at Georgia Tech since 1979, where he holds one of the Institute’s highest research titles, Principal Research Associate. He is a registered professional engineer in Georgia and Florida, and is also a Certified Registrar Accreditation Board Quality Management Systems Lead Auditor and Environmental Systems Auditor.

“To win this award at a national level is a direct reflection of the work we do at Georgia Tech and the impact we create. To continue winning these awards is a reflection of the high standards we have as an organization for ‘just doing our jobs,’” Hardison noted. “Over the last 27 plus years at Georgia Tech I have worked with a lot of good people and it’s their support and assistance that have allowed me to contribute to the impact that Georgia Tech is making in business and industry.”

In addition to his work in energy assessments, Hardison has also successfully helped companies obtain quality and environmental management system registration; conducted environmental compliance audits; and published a program guide for communities on developing an existing industry program. He received a Bachelor of Science in engineering and a Master of Science in engineering from Florida Technological University, now University of Central Florida.

Enterprise Innovation Institute

Georgia Institute of Technology

75 Fifth Street, N.W., Suite 314

Atlanta, Georgia 30308 USA

Media Relations Contact: John Toon (404-894-6986); E-mail: (

Writer: Nancy Fullbright