Chris Hardin

Managing Director, Energy & Environment Innovation Foundation, LLC (EEIF)

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Chris Hardin, P.E. is a geotechnical and environmental professional engineer with over 25 years experience specializing in the technical and business management aspects of responsible waste handling, groundwater remediation, renewable energy and sustainable agriculture.   His previous professional work included serving as an Executive Committee of the American Coal Ash Association and as a national coal combustion practice leader for several international engineering companies.   He is currently serving as the Managing Director of the Energy & Environment Innovation Foundation (EEIF) located at the PORTAL Building at UNC at UNC Charlotte.  EEIF specializes in “practical and tactical” solutions for beneficial use industrial materials, closure of fly ash basins and STEM education initiatives.  Until October 2017 was Chris was the Managing Director of the Coal Ash and Liquid Management (CALM) Office that founded with several coal ash basin closure experts to actively promote the beneficial reuse of coal ash, practical in-place stabilization of coal ash basins, and renewable energy initiatives.  He graduated from the University of Maryland in 1987 and is a registered professional engineer in six states including North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia. During his career Chris has worked on large scale saturated sediment remediation projects, and foundation design for LNG energy projects in both the United States and China.    

Mr. Hardin’s professional experience has been focused on responsible waste management practices, sediment remediation, coal ash management and containment system design.    His project experience includes the engineering design and construction of lined landfills, slope stability monitoring systems and wet ash basin closure projects in the Mid-Atlantic, Southeast and Midwest.   He was previously the technical advisory consultant to the North Carolina Coal Ash Management Commission, and is regularly consulted by local and regional environmental and sustainable farming organizations, and ASTM International.  While serving as a working member of the E50 committee he was responsible for writing several sections of ASTM E2277, the Standard Guide for Design and Construction of Coal Ash Structural Fills.  In addition, he has written or co-authored numerous technical papers and presentations including Best Management Practices for Coal Ash Storage Facilities, 2009, Practical Considerations for Wet Coal Ash Pond Systems, 2011, Evaluation of the Settlement Behavior of Flyash for Ash Basin Closure Projects, 2013, and the Dagu Canal Sediment Remediation Landfill, Tianjin, China 2004.

Recent Experience Applicable to Coal Ash Impoundments and Beneficial Use:


  • Currently Managing Director and Founder of the Energy & Environment Innovation Foundation, an applied research organization that works with electric power utilities, engineer and contractors, to promote safe and effective methods for waste management, environmental protection, and energy production.
  • Currently Managing Director of the Coal Ash and Liquid Management (CALM) Initiative at UNC Charlotte PORTAL, a technical oriented consortium of 30 of the largest and most experienced contractors and engineers work on ash basin closures across the United States.    
  • Working relationship (un-paid technical adviser) with several sustainable farming organizations and environmental conservation groups. 
  • Has observed and provided technical assistance on over 20 coal ash impoundment closure projects in North Carolina, Indiana, Ohio, West Virginia, and across the South/Southeast.    

In his personal and family life Chris attempt to model a balanced approach to energy production and sustainable waste management practices.   Over a 20 year period Chris and his family permitted, designed, financed and paid for their private solar energy system that included a 6.6 kW system on his family farm in Huntersville.   This family demonstration project included operation of an 8-acre sustainable agriculture farm in North Mecklenburg County run by Chris, his wife, various farming friends and his four children. The balanced approach to energy and waste management on this sustainable agriculture farm resulted in an operation that was approximately is 75 % carbon neutral and 75 % reduce, recycle and reuse.