Feryal Özel Headshot

Feryal Özel

College of Sciences School of Physics

With a background in astrophysics, Özel is equipped to offer thoughts on everything from black holes in the Milky Way to the exploration of the moon.

Born and raised in Istanbul, Turkey, Feryal Özel received her B.S. in physics and applied mathematics at Columbia University and her Ph.D. at Harvard University. Özel is a founding member of the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) Collaboration, where she has led the Modeling and Analysis Group. When Özel was working on her dissertation as a graduate student at Harvard, she “fell in love” with black holes and she often wondered if we could actually glimpse a black hole directly — and decided to take on the challenge. In May 2022, fueled by her passion and curiosity, she led EHT’s unveiling of the first image of the supermassive black hole located at the center of our Milky Way galaxy — Sagittarius A* — Sgr A*.

News and Recent Appearances

Feryal Özel Named School of Physics Chair

Astrophysicist Feryal Özel will chair the School of Physics, effective August 2022. The appointment will also bring Dimitrios Psaltis to the Georgia Tech Physics faculty.


GA Tech

The astrophysics community is abuzz with excitement about the new initiative to return to the moon. The moon and its environment support the exploration of our universe in two ways. The first is using the moon and orbits around it to place telescopes for exploring the far reaches of the cosmos. The second way is using the moon as a launchpad to explore our solar system and experiment with the habitability of planets, as we search for habitable planets elsewhere in the Milky Way.