Addis Ababa University Professor Receives 2012 Andrei Sakharov Prize

March 6th, 2012 | by addis portal |

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

Published: Monday, March 5, 2012

New York (TADIAS) – Mulugeta Bekele, an associate professor of physics at Addis Ababa University in Ethiopia, has been awarded the 2012 Andrei Sakharov Prize by The American Physical Society (APS). The prize was established to recognize and encourage outstanding leadership and achievements of scientists in upholding human rights. The citation that appears on the prize certificate reads as follows:

“For tireless efforts in defense of human rights and freedom of expression and education anywhere in the world, and for inspiring students, colleagues and others to do the same.”

The prize was presented at the APS March 2012 meeting in Boston and was shared with Professor Richard Wilson of Harvard University.

Professor Mulugeta completed his undergraduate studies in physics at Addis Ababa University and at Union College, Schenectady, NY, graduating in 1970. He was employed as a graduate assistant during the year 1970/71 at HSIU. He then went to the University of Maryland, College Park, MD for his graduate studies for two years and received his masters degree in 1973. Mulugeta returned to Ethiopia immediately after graduation and became a Lecturer at AAU, then HSIU. After the Ethiopian revolution, which took place in 1974 when the Emperor was removed and a military government came to power, Mulugeta was put in prison by the government for seven years. After prison, he re-joined the physics department at university and continued teaching for six years before going abroad to India to pursue a PhD at Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore. Returning to AAU in 1997 Dr. Mulugeta has since worked with a research group involved in polymer and biological physics that has been getting support from Swedish International Science Programme. He is a founding member of the Ethiopian Physical Society and currently serving as the society’s President.

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