An engineer, scientist and social tech entrepreneur, I am currently studying for a PhD in Electrical Engineering at the University of Cambridge. The co-founder of two social tech start-ups, ‘Wudi‘ & ‘Favalley‘, my vision is to innovate, transform and empower society, revolutionising education through technology. I aspire to provide a platform for young people to become positive change makers for society.

Being in love with physics, exploring, and creating ‘stuff’, engineering came as an obvious choice to me. Trying to understand the mysterious ‘electric shock’ I received from objects as a child motivated me to take up electrical engineering as my specialisation. I started off with an undergraduate degree, then moved on to do a master’s and am now pursuing a PhD in the same area.

The world deals day in and day out with the phenomenon of electrical power conversion. Trillions of adjustments are made every second to deliver electricity from wall outlets and power electronic devices. These are made possible by systems called ‘Power Electronic Converters’, conventionally built using silicon. On average, these converters are only 90% energy-efficient. The rest of the energy is lost as heat, costing us billions of pounds every year. With the increasing energy demands of the 21st century, there has a been a big push to develop new materials for converting power.

My research work aims to address this problem by exploring a better way of converting electric power using devices made of the novel material ‘Gallium Nitride’. These new devices are expected to jump-start the next generation of smaller, faster, cheaper and more efficient power converters.

This is an exciting time to be working in what is a ‘transition phase’ in power electronics. The first revolution in electronics took place in the 1940s. Now we could be on the brink of a second one that will transform the way the whole world handles electric power!

Outside of the lab, I am a social tech entrepreneur. Over the years, I have realised that passion is worthwhile only if we can use it to help others. I want to be part of a bigger mission to change the world for the better!

Digital transformation is opening the door to immense possibilities for improving education, through virtual learning, apps and gaming. With digital skills becoming necessary life skills, how do we reinvent the educational system to prepare young people, and how do we connect the marginalized sections of society to this digital revolution?

It was this aspiration and vision of revolutionising education and providing digital literacy to marginalised communities that drove me to co-found the social tech start-ups, WudiFavalley.

Wudi is an exciting & unique initiative I started with my brother Arjun. The vision of Wudi is to transform education through artificial intelligence and empower students by helping them identify their innate skill sets and talents. We also aim to make AI products accessible and affordable to small and medium enterprises across the globe.

While studying at Cambridge University, I also set up Favalley with three incredible PhD students; Paulo, Stefano and Martin. Our mission is​ to turn slums into the next​ ‘silicon valleys’ by engaging and training marginalised young people in slums with digital skills; connecting some of the poorest regions to the ongoing digital revolution. ​

Hailing from a very conservative background, I have had to break stereotypes and conventions to follow my dreams. It was this that led me to share my story, as a message for the younger generation to dream big. I am currently a QEPrize Global Engineering Ambassador and the Vice President-Elect of the Cambridge University graduate union. Alongside this, I work as a mentor and research consultant, and a regular speaker at Soapbox Science, the Cambridge science festival and other STEM outreach events and tech conferences.

If I could share one piece of advice from my own experiences, it would be to never allow social stereotypes to stop you from doing what you love! Engineer your own destiny through your decisions.

 

Nikita Hari

Nikita Hari

Electrical engineer and co-founder at Wudi & Favalley
Nikita is an electrical engineer by training and social tech entrepreneur by passion. Currently pursuing her PhD at the University of Cambridge, she is also the co-founder of two social tech start-ups Wudi & Favalley.Recipient of ‘Top 50 Women in Engineering’, DevelopHER Best Entrepreneur, Hult prize & Forbes finalist, she is passionate about empowering girls through education and inspiring young people into engineering through outreach activities. Nikita hopes to create a platform for young engineers to make positive changes in society, and a better and brighter world for everyone!
Nikita Hari

Latest posts by Nikita Hari (see all)

     

    Comments