Florida Institute of Technology professor, Hakeem Oluseyi, has been selected to be 2012 TED Global Fellow. He will participate in the TED conference in Edinburgh, Scotland, June 25-29. Dr. Oluseyi is an astrophysicist, inventor and science educator whose research focuses on measuring the structure and evolution of the Milky Way galaxy and characterizing new planetary systems. Oluseyi has lectured widely in the US and Africa. He was one of the founding members of the African Astronomical Society and is currently an officer of the National Society of Black Physicists. TED is a nonprofit devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading. It started out (in 1984) as a conference bringing together people from three worlds: Technology, Entertainment, Design. Past TED Fellows include CERN’s Bilge Demirkoz, Harvard’s Michelle Borkin, and NASA’s Lucianne Walkowicz.
Dr. Hakeem M. Oluseyi is an astrophysicist with research interests in the fields of solar and stellar variability, Galactic structure, and technology development. After receiving his B.S. degrees in Physics & Mathematics from Tougaloo College in 1991, he went on earn his Ph.D. at Stanford University with an award winning dissertation, "Development of a Global Model of the Solar Atmosphere with an Emphasis on the Solar Transition Region." His Ph.D. adviser was legendary astrophysicist, Arthur B. C. Walker.
During his tenure at Stanford, Oluseyi participated in the pioneering application of normal-incidence, EUV multilayer optics to astronomical observing as a member of the Stanford team that flew the Multi-Spectral Solar Telescope Array (MSSTA) in a series of rocket flights from 1987 to 1994. This technology has now become the standard for solar EUV imaging. He was a major contributor to the analyses that illustrated flows in solar polar plumes for the first time and also showed for the first time that plumes were not the sources of the high-speed solar wind as was believed. He also led the effort that discovered the structures responsible for the bulk of solar upper transition region (plasmas in the temperature range from 0.1 – 1.0 MK) emission and ultimately presented a new model for the structure of the Sun's hot atmosphere.
After leaving Stanford in 1999 Dr. Oluseyi joined the technical staff at Applied Materials, Inc. where he invented several new patented processes for manufacturing next-generation, sub 0.1-micron, refractory metal transistor gate electrodes on very thin traditional and high-k dielectrics. He also developed patented processes for in-situ spectroscopic process control and diagnostics, facilitating elimination of test wafers in semiconductor manufacturing. This work has resulted in 7 U.S. patents and 4 E.U. patent.
In 2001 Dr. Oluseyi joined the staff of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) as an Ernest O. Lawrence Postdoctoral Fellow. There he established a new laboratory, the CCD Production Facility, and developed new techniques for characterizing and packaging large-format, thick (300 micron), p-channel charge coupled devices (CCDs). As a member of the SuperNova Acceleration Probe (SNAP) satellite collaboration and the Supernova Cosmology Project at LBNL, Dr. Oluseyi participated in the development of high-resistivity p-channel CCDs and performed spectroscopic observation of supernovae utilizing the Shane Spectrometer on the Lick Observatory's Nickel 3-m telescope.
In January 2004 Dr. Oluseyi joined the physics faculty of The University of Alabama in Huntsville where he continued his research in solar physics, cosmology, and technology development but also focused on increasing the number of Black astrophysicists. His efforts have thus far resulted in producing one of only two Black female solar physicists working in the U.S., mentoring a total of three African American graduate students, and six African graduate students.
Oluseyi also began working extensively in Africa beginning in 2002. He visited hundreds of schools and worked directly with thousands of students in Swaziland, South Africa, Zambia, Tanzania, and Kenya as a member of Cosmos Education in the years 2002, 2003, 2004. In 2005 he began working with the South African Astronomical Observatory. In 2006 he was the co-organizer of the 2006 Total Solar Eclipse Conference on Science and Culture. Also in 2006, he co-founded a thriving Hands-On Universe branch in Nairobi, Kenya. In subsequent years he worked with other teams dedicated to improving science research in Africa including the 2007 International Heliophysical Year conference in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and the First Middle-East Africa, Regional IAU Meeting in Cairo, Egypt in 2008.
Also in 2008 he began working with at-risk graduate students in the Extended Honors Program at the University of Cape Town (UCT) in collaboration with the South African Astronomical Observatory (SAAO) and the National Society of Black Physicists. Oluseyi lectured physics and cosmology to UCT students in 2008 and 2009. In 2010, he lectured and mentored students in the SAAO/UCT Astronomy Winter School.
During 2010 and 2011, Oluseyi played a central role in establishing the African Astronomical Society (AfAS), the first continent-wide organization of African astronomy professionals. He was a participant in the IAU-sponsored meeting of the Interim Leadership Group for forming the AfAS, and subsequently served as the Interim President of the AfAS until its official launch in April 2011.
In May 2011, Oluseyi conducted a 6-city tour of South Africa as a Speaker & Specialist for the U.S. State Department. During his visit he visited dozens of schools, museums and science centers, working with thousands of students, and a multitude of teachers, education administrators, and researchers. In fall 2011 Oluseyi and professors at the University of Johannesburg won a grant from the U.S. State Department to found a Hands-On Universe branch in Soweto, South Africa.
Oluseyi plans to return to South Africa to work with UCT students including leading observational research projects at the SAAO observatories in Sutherland. Oluseyi also has ongoing research programs in collaboration with SAAO and University of Johannesburg scientists.
In January 2007 Dr. Oluseyi was invited to join the Department of Physics & Space Sciences at the Florida Institute of Technology. He has since established a large research group that studies solar variability using space-based instruments, studies Galactic structure and stellar properties using periodic variable stars as probes, and is measuring the characteristics of extrasolar planetary systems using data from the LINEAR and KELT surveys and meter-class telescopes in North America and Chile. He is a member of the Variables & Transients science collaboration for the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope. Oluseyi recently founded the first observational astronomy consortium consisting primarily of minority-serving colleges and universities.
Dr. Oluseyi has won several honors including selection as a TED Global Fellow (2012), as a Speaker & Specialist for the U.S. State Department, Outstanding Technical Innovation and Best Paper at the NSBE Aerospace Conference (2010), NASA Earth/Sun Science New Investigator fellow (2006), the 2006 Technical Achiever of the Year in Physics by the National Technical Association, selection as the Gordon & Betty Moore Foundation Astrophysics Research Fellow (2003-2005), and as an E. O. Lawrence Astrophysics Research Fellow (2001-2004), and winner of the NSBP Distinguished Dissertation award (2002).