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Memorial Services for UCR Researcher

Memorial Service to be held for UCR Researcher

Colin Hacket was manager of UC Riverside’s Alternative Fuels and Renewable Energy Research Program.

(July 14, 2005)

A memorial service for Dr. Colin Hackett, manager of UC Riverside’s Alternative Fuels and Renewable Energy Research Program, will be held at 10 a.m., Monday, July 18 at St. George’s Episcopal Church, 950 Spruce St. in Riverside. Dr. Hackett died on July 12 at age 62.

Under Dr. Hackett’s direction, researchers from the College of Engineering - Center for Environmental Research and Technology, (CE-CERT) developed technology to reduce the need for landfill space by providing cost-effective means of converting various forms of wet waste into environmentally clean energy, such as synthetic fuels and electricity.

“Colin was an amazing researcher and key in the waste-to-energy demonstration project still underway at CE-CERT,” said Matthew Barth, interim director of CE-CERT. “One of the things that I will remember most is the close relationship that he had with the students who were advised by him and worked in his group. He was a magnificent mentor to them."

Hackett was a co-inventor of the "Diesel Fuel Synthesis from Carbonaceous Feed Stocks using Self-Sustained Hydro-gasification" process, which converted agricultural residues, municipal wastes, rubber and industrial plastics into fuels and electricity. The main focus of his research was to produce synthetic diesel fuel from coal and wood.

His research team established the Gasification Research Laboratory at CE-CERT to investigate the steam pyrolysis and hydro-gasification of candidate carbonaceous waste materials. He also taught senior design courses at UCR and supervised CE-CERT technical staff and graduate students from the Chemical and Environmental Engineering department at UCR who assisted in experimental and simulation investigations at CE-CERT.

Dr. Hackett joined CE-Cert in December 2000. Previously, he was a member of the technical staff in Engineering Sciences Research and Development at Sandia National Laboratories for nearly three decades. He received bachelor’s (Honors) and master’s degrees from Cambridge University, England and a Ph.D. from Brown University.

Dr. Hackett is survived by his wife, Nora, director of UCR’s Intellectual Property Services and daughters Catherine Silva of Rancho Cucamonga, Capt. Sarah Kurpe, currently serving in Iraq and Rebecca Hackett of San Diego, and two granddaughters.

Contributions to the Colin Hackett Graduate Fellowship in Engineering may be sent to University of California, Gift Administration, 120A Highlander Hall, Riverside, 92521. Checks should be made out to the UCR Foundation and "Colin Hackett Memorial Fund" noted in the memo portion of the check.

The University of California, Riverside ( is a doctoral research university, a living laboratory for groundbreaking exploration of issues critical to Inland Southern California, the state and communities around the world. Reflecting California's diverse culture, UCR's enrollment has exceeded 21,000 students. The campus opened a medical school in 2013 and has reached the heart of the Coachella Valley by way of the UCR Palm Desert Center. The campus has an annual statewide economic impact of more than $1 billion.

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