Raju Ghimire, who graduated from South Dakota State University in 2018 with a master’s degree in electrical engineering, was named one of 16 individuals to receive the 5 Sigma Physicist Award by the American Physical Society.
Awardees were honored for participating in high-impact advocacy activities with the APS Office of Government Affairs. The awardees wrote op-eds that appeared in top media outlets throughout the country, participated in meetings with congressional staff, and one even used her expertise to testify during a hearing on Capitol Hill.
Ghimire helped design and implement a survey of international physics graduate students on their experiences with U.S. visa processes and their perceptions of the U.S. as a destination to study and work.
“As scientists, we have the knowledge and expertise to serve as crucial advisers to lawmakers to ensure that their policies are supported by sound, scientific data,” he said.
Ghimire is pursuing a doctorate in nanoscience and microsystem engineering at the University of New Mexico. A visiting doctoral student at the University of Texas at Austin, he is conducting research on nanocomposites for electrical applications. He will be at Texas until May 2021.
“I chose SDSU for my master’s degree because I was really impressed with the research in the field of solar cell and batteries, and I appreciate all the help from my adviser Qiquan Qiao,” Ghimire said. “I am very thankful to physics professors Yung Huh and Parashu Kharel, who helped me get admitted into electrical engineering and considered as a teaching assistant in physics. I like the friendly and welcoming environment there, where everyone can feel at home away from home.”
Francis Slakey, APS chief government affairs officer, said the 5 Sigma Physicist awardees represent the best of the best in science policy advocacy.
“APS greatly appreciates the time and effort these volunteers committed to advocacy initiatives that benefit not only the physics community but society as a whole. They set the standard for outstanding advocacy, and we look forward to working with them and many other APS members who are determined to let their voices be heard on crucial science policy issues,” he said.