Alumnus Ravi Kuchimanchi (Ph.D., 1995) has been awarded the 2018 Andrei Sakharov Prize of the American Physical Society "for his continued research in physics while simultaneously advocating for global policies that reflect science; for leading sustainable development, human rights, and social justice efforts; and for creating a vibrant international volunteer movement that learns from, works with, and empowers communities in India."

The Sakharov Prize, established to recognize outstanding leadership and/or achievements of scientists in upholding human rights, is named for the Russian nuclear physicist-turned-activist who won the 1975 Nobel Peace Prize for his advocacy of freedom, disarmament and human rights.

Dr. Kuchimanchi founded Association for India‚Äôs Development (AID) while a UMD graduate student. In 2012, he was named the International Alumnus of the Year by the College of Computer, Mathmatical and Natural Sciences. His life was dramatized in the move Swades.