02 September 2013

Former NASA astronaut to speak at Chemeca

Al Sacco Jr

This year’s Chemeca event will see an impressive line-up of invited speakers, including Al Sacco, a former NASA astronaut and Dean of Edward E. Whiteacre Jr. College of Engineering at Texas Technical University, who will be drawing upon his space flight experience during the presentation.

Sacco flew as the payload specialist on the Space Shuttle Columbia on a 16 day shuttle mission STS-73 in 1995. His role aboard Columbia focused on materials science, biotechnology, combustion science and fluid mechanics contained within the pressurized Spacelab module.

Author to more than 192 publications, Sacco’s written work has focused on the areas of carbon filament initiation and growth, transition metal and acid catalyst and their deactivation, and zeolite synthesis. In addition to this, he has consulted for numerous organisations in the fields of catalysis, solid/gas contracting, zeolite synthesis and applications, and equipment design for space applications.

IChemE Director Australasia, Peter Slane says that the Chemeca committee worked tirelessly to ensure that this year’s line-up of speakers from industry and academia were of the highest calibre: “And securing Sacco for the event will allow us to see the chemical engineering experience from quite a unique perspective.”

Sacco is a Fellow of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) and was elected to the International Academy of Astronautics in 2004. With over 300 presentations under his belt, Sacco has also been proactive in using his flight experience as a tool to inspire students to consider careers in science and engineering.

Other high profile speakers at Chemeca 2013 include chair of the UK’s Health & Safety Executive and IChemE president, Judith Hackitt, Dow Senior vice president Jim McIllvenny, Caltex ceo, Julian Segal, Australian Pacific LNG CEO, Page Maxson  and former US energy expert and inaugural director to the University of Queensland’s Centre for Sustainable Excellence, Professor Eric McFarland.


My IChemE

IChemE is a registered charity in England & Wales (214379), and a charity registered in Scotland (SC 039661).