Dr. Louis Baccei has been named manager of the Microgravity Research Program Office in the Science Directorate at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala.
The office manages all of the microgravity experiments approved for flight on the Space Shuttle and in the U.S. Lab of the International Space Station. Microgravity - sometimes referred to as "weightlessness" - is the unique condition created as a spacecraft orbits Earth. Marshall is NASA's lead center for microgravity experiments.
In his new position, Baccei oversees approximately 700 scientists, engineers, technicians and support personnel, as well as more than 400 university researchers conducting space-based scientific experiments.
"Our mission is to obtain new knowledge and understanding of gravity-dependent phenomena obscured by the effects of gravity in biological, chemical and physical systems and, when feasible, to facilitate the application of that knowledge to viable products and manufacturing processes," Baccei said.
Prior to joining the Marshall Center, Baccei was a principal research scientist at the College of Sciences, University of Alabama in Huntsville.
For 23 years, Baccei was with Loctite Corp. of Rocky Hill, Conn. - including 10 years as president of the company's worldwide research, development and engineering group responsible for technology and product development. The company is now a subsidiary of Henkel KGaA, a German-based manufacturer of chemicals, detergents, adhesives and cosmetics.
Baccei also served for five years as vice-president of research, development and engineering with Bausch and Lomb of Rochester, N.Y. His responsibilities included developing materials compatible with the human body, such as drug delivery devices and contact lenses.
During his career, Baccei obtained valuable experience working with laboratories in such diverse places as Dublin, Ireland; Munich, Germany; and Yokohama, Japan.
Baccei, a native of Torrington, Conn., lived in the Hartford area for the past 10 years before moving to Huntsville in October 2000. A 1959 graduate of Torrington High School, he received a bachelor's degree in chemistry in 1963 from Central Connecticut State University in New Britain. In 1969, he received his doctorate in organic and polymer chemistry from the University of Maryland in College Park. He is a member of the American Chemical Society and the Society for Advancement of Materials, Processing and Engineering.
Baccei is married to the former Judith Gagliardi of Hamden, Conn., and they are the parents of four grown children.