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Dr Tessema is a native of Ethiopia. He received his undergraduate and graduate education at the University de Grenoble I, in France (1971-1919). In 1980, he came to the US as a postdoc at the University of Southern California. In 1982 - 2003, Dr Tessema held academic positions at Memphis State University and at Clemson University, where he grew through the academic ranks to the level of tenured professor. His research collaborations include visiting research positions at the Los Alamos National Laboratory, at UCLA, at NRL, and in Grenoble, France. He collaborated with scientists at the CNRS, and the European Synchrotron Research Laboratory
Dr. Tessema's research publications focus on materials research and condensed matter physics. He has trained 8 PhD students and six master students and several undergraduates. These include women, minorities and international students. He has taught undergraduate and graduate classes.
Dr. Tessema’ s service to the science community includes many years (1999- currently) of public service as a NSF program director in the Condensed Matter Physics, and most recently in the Instrumentation and National Facilities program. He is a founding member and the current President of the Ethiopian Physics Society in North America; he is a member of the American Physical Society, and the Forum of International Physics. In 2004, he served in the International Panel for Shaping the Future of Physics in South Africa (in 2004). Other international service includes (1) serving as a United Nation (UNDP) volunteer to teach physics in Ethiopia; (2) hosting international scientists in his laboratory, (Russia, Morocco); (3) teaching at the University Joseph Fourier, Grenoble France (1987-1988); (4) co- organizing of international workshops on instrumentation for nano-technology (2002); (5) participating in international workshops and conferences on broad range of issues such as access to major international user facilities, a recent conference on " STEM Research, Education and Collaboration in Africa" and other workshops on International partnership for graduate education in Africa. Dr Tessema has many years of experience in building partnership and has been active in various interagency and intra-agency working groups.
The mission of the FIP is in perfect harmony with my personal values. Physics is a base science of much importance to society. The strength of physics across the world is uneven; FIP does a great deal help support and spread the knowledge of physics across the world by promoting forums for sharing experience in education and research and about development of physics curricula. I believe in serving the international community broadly. I find that my most rewarding experiences include participation in the International Panel for Shaping the Role of Physics in South Africa (2004), and the founding of the Ethiopian Physics Society in North America (EPSNA) with the mission to help the Ethiopian Physics Society in Ethiopia.
If elected I would work to strengthen the FIP travel support for physicists in emerging countries to major international and regional meetings and the award and recognition activities like the 2012 Andre Sakharov APS award to Dr. Mulugeta Bekele. I would help publicize human rights issues that affect physicists. I would contribute to increase the participation of physicists from emerging countries in international physics sessions. Diaspora physicists from emerging countries are strongly connected to their native countries; they are potential assets in strengthening physics societies in these countries. EPSNA is one example. As co-chair of FIP, I would reach out to Diaspora organizations, like EPSNA to help the growth of professional organizations (Physics or other related areas) coordinate activities to share experiences.