Ashley Hartwell is a Ph.D. candidate in Mechanical Engineering at MIT. Her research focuses on the use of computational structural optimization to design sustainable concrete systems in places most impacted by increasing urbanization. It’s her goal to use principles of mechanical behavior and thermal performance to engage sustainability in the building sector from both an operational and embodied energy reduction standpoint. Originally from Chicago, IL, she received her Bachelor of Science at Stanford University in Mechanical Engineering where she completed research on cementitious composite materials. She also completed her Master of Science at MIT in Mechanical Engineering where she’s also apart of University Center for Exemplary Mentoring, Association for Courageous Minority Engineers (ACME) and has participated in numerous STEM outreach programs across all levels of education. It is her desire to pursue a career as professor post-graduation.