Materials Chemist, Professor

ACS President

Joseph Francisco

Joe discovered his love for chemistry in high school. As a senior, he developed a homemade gas chromatograph that took third place at the science fair, and he never turned back. Joe received his B.S. in chemistry from the University of Texas, Austin, and his Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and he completed his postdoctoral studies at Cambridge University (England). Joe did research in unraveling the molecular structure of compounds and in designing and synthesizing superconducting materials.

As chemistry was playing a note within Joe’s life, he was singing a note of his own. Joe is an accomplished singer who performed with the Boston Symphony Orchestra from 1980 to 1983. Although he enjoyed performing there, his love of chemistry remained prominent in his life.

After graduate school, Joe became a professor of chemistry, first at Wayne State University in Detroit, then at Purdue University, where he now coordinates first-semester general chemistry courses for more than 2,000 students. Joe states, “Working with students can be challenging at times, but it is also rewarding and exciting.” While Joe remains busy with his work, he is also a proud husband and father of three girls.

According to Joe, “Talking about research in chemistry is exciting and a way to communicate with people.” He also values his membership with ACS. He is the current ACS president. He also attends the ACS national meetings and appreciates the networking opportunities they present.

"Talking about research in chemistry is exciting and a way to communicate with people."