Meet Our Physicists

Feryal Özel

Feryal Özel, photo from Georgia Institute of Technology

Feryal Özel is a Turkish-American astrophysicist specializing in the physics of compact objects and high energy astrophysical phenomena. Özel is the Department Chair and a professor at the Georgia Institute of Technology School of Physics in Atlanta. She was previously a professor at the University of Arizona in Tucson, in the Astronomy Department and Steward Observatory.

Özel graduated summa cum laude from Columbia University’s Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science and received her Ph.D. at Harvard University with Ramesh Narayan acting as thesis advisor. She was a Hubble Fellow and member at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey. She was a Fellow at the Harvard-Radcliffe Institute and a visiting professor at the Miller Institute at the University of California, Berkeley.

Özel is widely recognized for her contributions to the field of neutron stars, black holes, and magnetars. She is the Modeling lead and member of the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) that released the first image of a black hole.

Özel received the Maria Goeppert Mayer award from the American Physical Society in 2013 for her outstanding contributions to neutron star astrophysics. Özel has appeared on numerous TV documentaries including Big Ideas on PBS and the Universe series on the History Channel.

Along with Alexey Vikhlinin, Özel is the Science and Technology Definition Team Community Co-chair for the Lynx X-ray Observatory NASA Large Mission Concept Study.


Feryal Özel, photo from Georgia Institute of Technology

Positions Held

General Member, 2017 – current