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Hakeem Oluseyi

Astrophysicist, Space Science Education Lead for NASA, and Inspirational Speaker

  • Renowned scientist who has worked on Nobel Prize-winning teams and created 12 patents globally on manufacturing computer chips
  • Author of the new, groundbreaking memoir, The Stars in My Soul: My Unlikely Journey through Space and Time
  • Shares his powerful story of overcoming class and race barriers to become a leading astrophysicist, educator, and advocate

Topics & Types
Diversity & InclusionFuture TrendsInspiration & MotivationTechnologyOvercoming AdversityDisruptionAI, Machine Learning, & Big DataTED SpeakersAfrican American SpeakersAuthors

Dr. Hakeem Oluseyi, author of a highly-anticipated upcoming memoir, The Stars in My Soul: My Unlikely Journey through Space and Time, is an internationally-recognized astrophysicist, science TV personality, and global education advocate who has had a long, distinguished career in academia and scientific research. Since 2007, he has been a professor of Aerospace, Physics, and Space Sciences at the Florida Institute of Technology. Currently, he is stationed at NASA Headquarters, where he serves as an Astrophysicist and Space Science Education Lead for NASA's Science Mission Directorate. A former TED fellow, Dr. Oluseyi holds three degrees, eight U.S. patents, four E.U. patents, and co-hosts several shows on Science Channel and Discovery International, including Outrageous Acts of Science, How the Universe Works, Space's Deepest Secrets, Strange Evidence, You Have Been Warned, and Strip the Cosmos. Dr. Oluseyi’s success is even more impressive given his incredible personal background and story. Motivating audiences globally with his message of persevering past naysayers, self-doubt, and seemingly immovable obstacles, he is exclusively represented by Leading Authorities speakers bureau.

Hakeem grew up in some of the roughest neighborhood’s in this country; he changed schools roughly 10 times in seven years. Living in chaotic circumstances led him to spend most of his time indoors reading and watching PBS nature shows. Discovering a love of science and a fascination with Einstein’s Theory of Relativity, Hakeem decided to teach himself these principles of science. He became determined to become a scientist and overcame incredible odds to earn 3 degrees: a Bachelor of Science in Physics and Mathematics from Tougaloo College, and a Masters and Ph.D. in Physics from Stanford University. After finishing up with school, Hakeem worked at one of Silicon Valley’s most successful companies and did research on manufacturing computer chips. Hakeem’s inventions can be found in the computer chips you use every day. Sharing his roller-coaster ride of success and the setbacks he faced along the way, Hakeem inspires audiences around the world to chase their dreams no matter how unlikely they may seem.

Today, as NASA’s Space Education Lead, he is responsible for co-managing 27 SMD Science Activation cooperative agreements totaling more than $40M. He also provides strategic and scientific advising for SMD investments in STEM Education, Citizen Science, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, and Strategic Communications. Currently, his scientific research is based on "hacking stars" to develop innovative new technologies and better understand our universe. Leveraging techniques for interpreting electromagnetic radiation, laboratory plasma physics, computational modeling, machine learning, time-domain informatics, big data analytics, and high-performance computing, his work has resulted in 11 patents, and ~80 publications covering contributions to astrophysics, cosmology, semiconductor manufacturing, and ion propulsion. His science education research has resulted in highly effective and efficient, divergent techniques for teaching mathematics and physics to learners of all ages.

He has won several honors including selection as a 2018 Communications Award from the National Space Club, 2015 MIT Faculty Fellow, 2015 induction into the National Black College Alumni Hallo of Fame, 2012 TED Global Fellow, a 2011 and 2013 U.S. State Department Speaker & Specialist, the Outstanding Technical Innovation and Best Paper at the 2010 NSBE Aerospace Systems Conference, the 2006 Physics Technical Achiever of the Year by the National Technical Association, a 2005 NASA Earth/Sun Science New Investigator Fellow, the Gordon & Betty Moore Foundation Astrophysics Research Fellow, the Ernest O. Lawrence Astrophysics Research Fellow at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (2001-2003), and as a NASA GSRP Fellow at Stanford University.

Hakeem is one of the world's most popular educators and science communicators. He regularly appears on news programs and has won or been nominated for several awards for science reporting including one Emmy nomination and four Webby Awards.

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