Dilhan Ezer Eryurt
Astrophysicist, The First Turkish Female Working at NASA




She was born in Izmir.


When she had honours degree grades three years in a row at Ankara All Girls' High School, Hasan Ali Yücel, Turkish Minister of Education gave her Atatürk's book Nutuk as a gift. In the same year, she passed the exam to enter the Department of Mathematics of Istanbul University.

Dilhan Ezer Eryurt
Dilhan Ezer Eryurt


She worked without payment with Prof. Dr. Tevfik Okyay Kabakçıoğlu who was appointed as the Professor of Astronomy at Ankara University for two years since there was no vacancy.


She was officially employed after two years and she went to Michigan University for postgraduate studies with a special permit.

1953 - 1956

She earned her PhD from Ankara University in 1953 and became an associate professor in 1956. Her dissertation was the first paper on astrophysics in the university.

Dilhan Ezer Eryurt
Dilhan Ezer Eryurt


She worked with Prof. Dr. Alastair G. W. Cameron, one of the world famous astrophysicists at Chalk River Nuclear Laboratory for two years. She needed to write a computer program to work on the subject Prof. Cameron asked from her. But she hadn't even seen a single computer back in Türkiye...She went directly to libraries, borrowed books and taught herself computer programming!


She went to Indiana University to work as a researcher. She worked with Prof. Dr. Marshall Wrubel, a renowned scientist to build star models at the Goethe Link Observatory of the university. The same year she started to work at Goddard Space Research Institute of NASA and became the first Turkish Woman working at NASA! She was the only female astronomer in the institute during that period. She found that in the beginning the Sun was actually brighter than it was originally assumed and its heat gradually decreased. Her findings were relevant to the space flights which were just started.


She worked as a guest professor at ODTU University for one year. She organized the first National Astronomy Assembly in Türkiye with the support of TUBITAK.

Dilhan Ezer Eryurt
Dilhan Ezer Eryurt


After successful landing on the Moon with the Apollo Project, she was given Apollo Achievement Award in appreciation of her contribution as a member of the team.


She started to work in the Physics Department of ODTÜ University and founded Department of Astrophysics.


She was given TÜBİTAK Science, Special, Service and Encouragement Award.

Dilhan Ezer Eryurt
Dilhan Ezer Eryurt


She worked as the head of Department of Physics of the Faculty of Arts and Science at ODTÜ for six months and as the dean of the Faculty of Arts and Science for five years; she retired in 1993.


She played an important role in the project and design of the observatory at ODTU.


She was awarded with the plaque of honour for her contribution to the National Observatory project.


Dilhan Eryurt died as a role model for Turkish women to pursue career in science.