Sanford Samuel Sternstein

June 19, 1936 ~ September 6, 2021 (age 85)

Obituary    Link for livestream of service on Friday 


Sanford Samuel Sternstein, known as Sandy, 85 years old, of Niskayuna New York passed away on Monday, September 6, 2021.  He showed strength and courage to battle a recent and complicated medical situation.  Sandy was surrounded by loved ones when he passed away at Albany Medical Center.


Sandy was born in Bronx, New York on June 19, 1936.  He graduated from the University of Maryland College Park with a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemical Engineering in 1958.

He received a Doctor of Philosophy degree in Chemical Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) in Troy, New York in 1961.  He then went on to work as a Professor of Engineering at RPI for 46 years from 1961 to 2007.  Sandy served in a Chair Professor role as the William Walker Weightman Professor of Polymer Engineering from 1972 to 2007 and Director of Center for Composite Materials and Structures from the mid- 1990’s to 2000.


Sandy was world renowned and highly respected in his career field of study which included the following topics:  Polymer Physics, Mechanical Properties of Polymers and Composites, and Viscoelasticity and Rheology.  He is the author or co-author of more than 100 published journal articles.  He also patented a materials testing device and was the President and Founder of the former Dynastatics Instruments Cooperation.  Sandy has been listed as a noteworthy chemical engineering educator by Marquis Who’s Who.  Sandy retired in 2007 and became Professor Emeritus at RPI for Materials Science and Engineering.


Sandy was married to Gail Sternstein for 63 years.  He is survived by his wife, Gail, his daughter, Deborah Germroth, son in law, Edward Germroth and two grandchildren, Alana and Benjamin Germroth.  He is also survived by his older sister, Elaine Miller, and many nieces, nephews, and cousins.  He is predeceased by his son, Alan Sternstein, who passed away in 1999. 


In his free time, Sandy enjoyed gardening, photography, travelling and was a connoisseur of great food.  He enjoyed all of these activities with family and friends.  He also loved music and cultural arts.  He is known for his quick wit and humor, intelligence, integrity, and general wisdom about the world.  He was an advisor and mentor to many and will be greatly missed.


The funeral is graveside at 1 p.m. on Friday, September 10 at Gates of Heaven Cemetery, 2045 Watt Street, Schenectady, NY 12304.  Please wear a mask and respect social distancing. 

For those unable to attend the funeral in person, the Livestream Link is:  


Donations in Sandy’s memory may be made to the charity of your choice or to:

The Alan Sternstein Cheder Scholarship to support Jewish education,

Congregation Gates of Heaven, 852 Ashmore Avenue, Schenectady NY 12309.


To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Sanford, please visit our floral store.

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You can still show your support by sending flowers directly to the family, or by planting a memorial tree in the memory of Sanford Samuel Sternstein


The Alan Sternstein Cheder Scholarship to support Jewish Education
Care of Congregation Gates of Heaven 852 Ashmore Avenue, Schenectady NY 12309

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