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About the NUANCE Center

The Northwestern University's Atomic and Nanoscale Characterization Experimental Center (NUANCE) was established during 2001-02 to integrate complementary analytical instruments and characterization capabilities at Northwestern University. NUANCE serves NU and the broader scientific and engineering community, and provides invaluable resources to the private sector and public institutions in and around the Midwest. An operationally and fiscally efficient solution to the increasing need for advanced analytical and characterization instrumentation, NUANCE leverages staff technical expertise to assist and collaborate with researchers in the physical sciences, engineering, and interdisciplinary fields.

For over a decade, NUANCE has assisted thousands of award-winning faculty, scientists, engineers, medical doctors, and students with the facilities and skills required to carry out collaborative, interdisciplinary world-class nanoscale research.  Working closely with Northwestern University’s IIN, INVO, MRSEC and McCormick Corporate Relations, NUANCE actively seeks out partnerships with regional academic, governmental and industrial agents.  These collaborations are often geared towards the translation of nanoscience-based products, processes and services to market.


Our mission is to provide and continually update state-of-the-art and core analytical characterization instrumentation resources, with 24/7 open access, for the NU community and beyond. The word “resource” includes not only mere “instrumentation and access,” but also hands-on training, education, research collaboration and outreach. NUANCE aspires to be a pro-active and integral part of all scholarly activities related to characterization at and beyond NU.

For general questions, concerns and comments, please use one of the following

Mailing Address and Contact Information

Northwestern University
Cook Hall
2220 Campus Dr, #2036
Evanston, IL 60208-3108

(847) 467-2318 (primary)
(847) 467-3144 (alternate)
fax: (847) 467-6573

Parking Information

For questions related to specific facilities, please go to the separate Contact Us pages of:

Electron Probe Instrumentation Center (EPIC)

  • Reiner Bleher - Bio-Cryo, HD2300 Dual EDS Cryo STEM
  • Karl Hagglund - SEM and FIB
  • Jinsong Wu and Kai He - TEM and SPF, JEOL-2100F, Hitachi HD-2300 STEM, H-8100 TEM and HT-7700 S/TEM                                           

Keck Interdisciplinary Surface Science (Keck-II) Center

  • Xinqi Chen - Manager

Scanned Probe Imaging and Development (SPID) facility

  • Gajendra Shekhawat - Manager

NUANCE Center Administrative Staff

Vinayak Dravid

Prof. Vinayak P. Dravid
NUANCE Center Director; Professor, Materials Science & Engineering

Office: Cook Hall, #1133
(847) 467-1363

Vinayak Dravid is the founding director of the NUANCE Center, an award-winning microscopy and surface science research facility used annually by hundreds of researchers from across myriad scientific fields.  He provides leadership of the NUANCE Center: in addition to leading his own active research group. He oversees the administrative and technical functions of the Center.


Ben Myers

Director of Operations - SHyNE Resource

Office: Dearborn Observatory, Room 22
(847) 467-1081

Ben works to connect external users with fabrication and characterization resources within SHyNE facilities. He ensures alignment of project technical requirements with SHyNE capabilities and facilitates project execution. Ben also coordinates SHyNE activities both internally and within the larger NNCI network.

A.J. van Nispen image

A.J. van Nispen
Outreach Coordinator

Office: Dearborn Observatory, B-8
(847) 467-3144

A.J. coordinates events, designs & distributes notices for NUANCE functions. She manages NUANCE outreach and marketing programs: reaching out to prospective users, updating promotional materials, website, social media.  She organizes visitation opportunities such as open houses and tours.

Chad Goeser

Chad Goeser
Business Manager

Office: Cook Hall, #1083
(847) 467-2318


Chad manages NUANCE financial and HR operations, including: appointment, payroll & visa processing, billing, budgeting, equipment purchasing and administering facilities maintenance. He works with various Northwestern administrative units on all aspects of operational analysis and reporting.

Amy Morgan Image

Amy Morgan
Program Administrator

Office: Cook Hall, #1131
(847) 491-7795

Amy provides primary administrative support to the Director of NUANCE, managing communication between the Director and various constituents to build and maintain local, national, and international relationships.


Joyce Park
Financial Administrator

Office: Cook Hall, #1083
(847) 467-1128


Joyce’s responsibilities include financial reconciliation, accounts receivable, onboarding and monitoring of external accounts, and small and capital equipment procurement. She prepares monthly account and statistical data and works with the Business manager on various reporting, auditing, and budgeting practices.

Ashley GilmoreAshley Gilmore
Outreach Assistant

Office: Dearborn Observatory, B-8

Ashley's responsibilities include maintaining the SHyNE website and social media, news and announcements, as well as assisting with outreach event, tours, and open houses.