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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.


NUANCE 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)

  • Karl Hagglund - SEM, FIB and Sample Prep (Cook, Tech J-wing)
  • Dr. Jinsong Wu - TEM and Sample Prep; JEOL ARM200CF, Hitachi H-8100 TEM, Hitachi HT-7700 S/TEM (Cook)
  • Dr. Kai He - TEM and Sample Prep; JEOL GrandARM300F, JEOL-2100F, Fischione suite (Tech J-wing)                               

Biological-Cryogenic Electron Microscopy (BioCryo) facility

  • Dr. Reiner Bleher - Manager

Keck Interdisciplinary Surface Science (Keck-II) facility

  • Dr. Xinqi Chen - Manager

Scanned Probe Imaging and Development (SPID) facility

  • Dr. 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.

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.

Marcela GallegosMarcela Gallegos
Outreach Coordinator

Office: Hogan Hall, #5-140
(847) 491-1580


Marcela organizes outreach events and supervises part-time employees in support of NUANCE/SHyNE outreach initiatives; develops and maintains NUANCE and SHyNE websites, social media, and print material to promote NUANCE/SHyNE resources to local, regional and national audiences of varying science backgrounds.