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This profile was last updated on 11/9/15  and contains information from public web pages and contributions from the ZoomInfo community.

Dr. Al Sacco Jr.

Wrong Dr. Al Sacco Jr.?

Dean of the Whitacre College of E...

Phone: (806) ***-**** ext. ***  
Email: a***@***.edu
Texas Tech University
3601 4Th Street Room #2A206
Lubbock , Texas 79430
United States

Company Description: Beginning in 1969 as Texas Tech University School of Medicine, today Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center is a six-school university located in Abilene,...   more

Employment History

Board Memberships and Affiliations


  • honorary degrees
    Worcester Polytechnic Institute
  • honorary degrees
  • honorary degrees
    Worcester State College
  • doctorate
    Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • bachelor's degree , chemical engineering
107 Total References
Web References
Steve Steinheimer Supports his Alma Mater, Texas Tech University, 28 Jan 2015 [cached]
State of the College Breakfast presented by Dean Al Sacco Jr., with a discussion of the advances made in becoming a Tier 1 University, potentially as early as 2012.
Chemeca 2013 | 29 September - 2 October 2013 | Challenging Tomorrow, 14 June 2014 [cached]
Al Sacco Jr
Al Sacco Jr Chemical Engineer and astronaut
Al Sacco Jr. is dean of the Edward E. Whitacre Jr. College of Engineering at Texas Tech University in Lubbock Texas. Before coming to Texas Tech, he was the George A. Snell Distinguished Professor of Engineering and the director of the Center for Advanced Microgravity Materials Processing at Northeastern University.
He flew as the payload specialist on the Space Shuttle Columbia on shuttle mission STS-73 in 1995. The 16-day mission aboard Columbia focused on materials science, biotechnology, combustion science and fluid mechanics contained within the pressurized Spacelab module.
Born in Boston, Mass., Sacco completed a bachelor's degree in chemical engineering from Northeastern University in Boston in 1973, and a doctorate in chemical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1977. He then joined the faculty of the Worcester Polytechnic Institute, becoming a full professor and serving as the chair of the chemical engineering department from 1989 until 1997, when he joined the faculty at Northeastern. He has consulted for numerous companies in the fields of catalysis, solid/gas contacting, zeolite synthesis and applications, and equipment design for space applications.
Sacco has more than 192 publications (including book chapters) in the areas of carbon filament initiation and growth, transition metal and acid catalyst and their deactivation, and zeolite synthesis, and he has been the principal investigator on more than $24 million in research grants.
Using his space flight experience, Sacco has given more than 300 presentations to approximately 27,000 K-12 teachers and their students as a means to motivate students to consider careers in science and engineering. He is a fellow of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers and in 2004 was elected to the International Academy of Astronautics.
Albert Sacco, Jr., 10 Feb 2005 [cached]
Albert Sacco, Jr.
His mother, Sarah Kathleen, and his father, Albert, Sr., reside in Belmont, Massachusetts.
Dr. Sacco is a member of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (Treasurer-Western Section, 1979-1982); past president of the New England Catalysis Society (1983-1985), and the New England representative to the North American Catalysis Society (1985-1989); an Advisory Board member of the American Carbon Society; a member of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA), and serves on the AIAA Technical Committee on Space Processing (1990-1995); and a life member of the Association of Space Explorers.
Dr. Sacco has over 70 publications (including book chapters) in the areas of carbon filament initiation and growth, catalyst deactivation, and zeolite synthesis.
Since 1977, Professor Sacco has been on the faculty at Worcester Polytechnic Institute in the Department of Chemical Engineering.He has split his time between research and teaching.He was appointed Department Head in July 1989.He has consulted for numerous companies in the fields of catalysis, solid/gas contacting, and equipment design for space applications.Also he, with his father (Al) and brother (Bernard), ran a family restaurant business in Boston for over 20 years.
Dr. Sacco flew as a payload specialist on STS-73, which launched on October 20, 1995, and landed at the Kennedy Space Center on November 5, 1995.The 16 day mission aboard Columbia focused on materials science, biotechnology, combustion science, and fluid physics contained within the pressurized Spacelab module.
Dr. Sacco is presently a Professor and Head of the Chemical Engineering Department at Worcester Polytechnic Institute.He is also the Principal Investigator on the Zeolite Crystal Growth experiments, which flew on STS-73.
"Dozens of companies, including all the ..., 26 May 2006 [cached]
"Dozens of companies, including all the major automobile manufacturers, have designed engines that burn hydrogen--they're a lot like the internal combustion engines we have in cars today," says Al Sacco, director of the NASA-supported Center for Advanced Microgravity Materials Processing (CAMMP) at Northeastern University in Boston.
Sacco explains: "Zeolites are porous, rocky substances that act like molecular sponges. In their crystalline form, zeolites are threaded by a network of interconnected tunnels and cages, similar to a honeycomb. A fuel tank lined with such crystals might be able to trap and store hydrogen gas "in a liquid-like state--without heavy cryogenics. With support from NASA's Space Product Development program at the Marshall Space Flight Center, Sacco and colleagues at CAMMP are working to make zeolite gas tanks a reality.
Sacco described how a temperature-controlled zeolite gas tank might work: "We would add some negatively-charged ions to the zeolite.
"The zeolites we have now can store quite a bit of hydrogen," notes Sacco. "But not enough."
"If we can grow zeolite crystals that hold 6% to 7% of their own weight in hydrogen," says Sacco, "then a zeolite tankful of hydrogen would be competitive with an ordinary tankful of gasoline.
In 1995, Sacco travelled to space as a mission specialist onboard the space shuttle Columbia (STS-73). His purpose: to grow better zeolite crystals.
"The next step is the International Space Station," says Sacco. He and others at CAMMP have built a Zeolite Crystal Growth Furnace, which was installed on the ISS in early 2002.
"I'd really like to see them," says Sacco.
The goal, he says, is not to mass produce zeolite crystals in space. That's not economical--at least not yet. "We simply want to find out if it's possible to grow zeolite crystals that can reach the 7% threshold. If we can do that in space, we'll figure out how to reproduce the process on the ground."
Zeolite crystals grown on Earth (above) and zeolite crystals grown onboard the shuttle Columbia in 1995 (below).
Throughout his career, Sacco has envisioned a worldwide transition from fossil to hydrogen fuels. | News for Houston, Texas | State News, 8 Sept 2006 [cached]
Albert Sacco Jr., who flew aboard as a guest scientist, felt a range of emotions with his futile tries.
"When we were on pad when it happened, it was a little bit depressing," said Sacco, now a Northeastern University chemical engineering professor."To me you'd go through a bit of depression and say, 'No, not again.'"
But then in the long haul the brief disappointment turned "kind of comical," he said.
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