firefox fix

NUANCE Organization Structure

NUANCE Center Administrative Staff


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.


Chad Goeser
Assistant Director

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
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 but are not limited to: financial reconciliation, contracts management, procurement, and onboarding/monitoring of external accounts. She prepares monthly account and statistical data and works with the Business manager on various reporting, auditing, and budgeting practices.

NUANCE Center Advisory Committee

BedzykProf. Michael Bedzyk
Professor and Chair of Materials Science & Engineering; Professor of Physics & Astronomy
Co-Director, Northwestern Synchroton Research Center

Office: Cook Hall, #1011A
(847) 491 3570

Prof. Bedzyk's research group develops novel X-ray probes for atomic-scale characterization of surfaces, interfaces, ultra-thin-films and nanostructures. In addition to using an in-house X-ray lab, they make extensive use of synchrotron X-ray facilities, where there is greatly enhanced chemical and structural sensitivity for studying systems as dilute as one-hundredth of an atomic monolayer.

Bedzyk employs various conventional X-ray scattering and spectroscopy techniques, and have developed a number of novel methods for generating X-ray standing waves with differing characteristic length scales. These periodic X-ray probes are used to pinpoint the lattice location of adsorbate atoms on crystalline surfaces, to measure strain within epitaxially grown semiconductor and ferroelectric thin films, to locate heavy atoms within ordered ultrathin organic films, and to study polyion adsorption at charged liquid/solid interfaces.

BrinsonProf. L. Catherine Brinson
Jerome B. Cohen Professor of Mechanical Engineering

Office: Technological Institute, #A214
(847) 467-2347

Prof. Brinson's research interests lie in the study of advanced material systems and developing new methods to characterize and to model material behavior. The materials of interest all exhibit interesting hierarchical structural features, necessitating a consideration of length scales spanning the range of molecular interactions, micromechanical and macroscopic behavior. Hierarchical structure also leads to challenges in experimental analysis and constitutive descriptions and a reassessment of traditional concepts of deformation.

Specific current and future interests include nanoconfinement in polymers, characterization of nanoparticle reinforced polymers, the phase transformation response of shape memory alloys, nano and microscale response of biomaterials, and materials genome informatics research. The research encompasses analytical, numerical and experimental investigation. Analytical micromechanics methods, finite element simulations of scanned material microstructures, and results from molecular level simulations are combined with continuum mechanics techniques ad data mining methodsn to provide microstructurally based prediction of macroscopic environmental-mechanical response.

On the experimental side, smaller scale testing includes optical and electron microscopy of samples with in situ loading; for example, examining reorientation of martensitic variants with applied load in shape memory alloys. Nanoscale mechanical testing using probe microscopy is of exceptional interest for understanding local polymer behavior near surfaces and functional nanoparticles. Macroscopic scale testing is also performed. Experimental and modeling approaches are used hand-in-hand to better understand, predict and design hierarchical response of advanced materials.

HersamProf. Mark C. Hersam
Bette and Neison Harris Chair in Teaching Excellence
Professor of Materials Science and Engineering
Director, Materials Research Science and Engineering (MRSEC)

Office: Cook Hall, #1017A
(847) 491-2696

Nanomaterials for Electronics, Sensing, and Energy

The Hersam Research Group applies the fundamental paradigm of materials science and engineering (i.e., the development of structure-property-processing-performance relationships) to hybrid hard and soft materials at the nanometer length scale. In many cases, the objective is to apply organic molecules to inorganic substrates in an effort to increase the functionality of the resulting hybrid system (e.g., silicon-based molecular electronics and graphene-based sensing). In other instances, an experimental technique that was originally developed for inorganic materials is adapted for the study of organic or biological systems (e.g., probing ion channels and organic photovoltaic devices using conductive atomic force microscopy).

This highly interdisciplinary research is enabled by a sophisticated suite of instrumentation including ultra-high vacuum (UHV) scanning tunneling microscopy (STM), atomic force microscopy (AFM), and additional equipment for studying the electrical and optical properties of materials.

Ongoing research projects range from fundamental studies (e.g., single molecule spectroscopy with UHV STM) to applied technology development (e.g., optimization of carbon nanotube and graphene materials for electronic and optical devices).

Overall, this research has wide impact in the fields of information technology, energy technology, biotechnology, and nanotechnology.

MarksProf. Tobin J. Marks
Charles E. and Emma H. Morrison Professor of Chemistry; Professor of Materials Science and Engineering; Vladimir N. Ipatieff Professor of Catalyic Chemistry

Office: Cook Hall, #1017A
(847) 491-5658

Among the themes of Prof. Marks' research are synthetic organo-f-element and early-transition metal organometallic chemistry, polymer chemistry, materials chemistry, homogeneous and heterogeneous catalysis, molecule-based photonic materials, superconductivity, metal-organic chemical vapor deposition, and biological aspects of transition metal chemistry. 

He earned a B.S. degree in Chemistry from the University of Maryland in 1966 and a Ph.D. from MIT in 1971 in Inorganic Chemistry. He has received American Chemical Society National Awards in Polymeric Materials, 1983; Organometallic Chemistry, 1989; Inorganic Chemistry, 1994; Chemistry of Materials, 2001; Distinguished Service in Inorganic Chemistry, 2008; Organic Chemistry (Cope Senior Scholar), 2010; and Catalysis (Somorjai), 2013. He also received the 2000 American Chemical Society Cotton Medal; 2001 American Chemical Society Willard Gibbs Medal; 2001 N. American Catalysis Society Burwell Award; 2001 American Chemical Society Linus Pauling Medal; 2002 American Institute of Chemists Gold Medal; 2003 German Chemical Society Karl Ziegler Prize; 2004 Royal Society of Chemistry Frankland Medal, and 2005 American Chemical Society Bailar Medal. More recently, in April 2016, Prof. Marks was inducted as a Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors in Washington, D.C., received the 2015 Luigi Sacconi Medal, and won the 2015 Materials for Industry-Derek Birchall Award for his work on industrial application of new organic, inorganic and hybrid materials for electronics and photonics.

He also received Doctor of Science degrees honoris causa, from the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology in 2011, the University of South Carolina in 2011, and the Ohio State University in 2012.