Program Leadership

Klaus van Benthem, Faculty Director

Klaus van Benthem is an associate professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering & Materials Science at UC Davis. He holds a leadership role in the Advanced Materials Characterization & Testing Laboratory facility, where he most recently spearheaded a $10 million National Science Foundation proposal to form a Materials Innovation Platform in the area of additive manufacturing. He has actively pursued instrument acquisition through federal grants, including the National Science Foundation Major Research Instrumentation Program and the Department of Defense University Research Instrumentation Program. He has secured funding for several scanning electron microscope and transmission electron microscope sample stages and a focused ion beam instrument. Van Benthem received his doctoral degree from the Max-Planck Institute for Metals Research at the University of Stuttgart in Germany and has worked in several national laboratories. His research centers on the mechanistic understanding of materials processing. He uses a wide range of advanced (in situ) electron microscopy techniques for the atomic-resolution investigation of functional nano-materials and their defect evolution under externally applied stress fields. Through his research, he has extensive experience in using and administrating a variety of large-scale instruments including scanning and transmission electron microscopes.

Julie Auger, Associate Director

Julie Auger joins van Benthem as part of the leadership team, reporting to Cameron Carter within the Office of Research. She brings a wealth of experience and record of achievement in the operation and administration of multi-technology, multi-disciplinary academic research units. In addition to developing and managing shared research facilities in flow cytometry, monoclonal antibody production and immunohistochemistry, she has served as the institutional official responsible for the development of central administrative programs focused on cores at the University of Chicago and UC San Francisco. She has served as a reviewer at the National Institutes of Health Shared Instrumentation Grant Program, on the council of the International Society for Advancement of Cytometry, and currently serves on the Executive Board of the Association of Biomolecular Research Facilities.

Research Core Advisory Council (RCAC)

RCAC makes well-informed recommendations to Faculty Director for establishing, maintaining, expanding, and sun-setting of Campus Research Core Facilities. RCAC reviews funding requests to RCFP and makes recommendations for strategic investments.

The council convenes 1-2 times per month and develops a strategic plan for sustainable research core facility operation and identifies necessary resources (dollars, space, personnel) to implement such a plan. RCAC is asked to specifically address the following topics:

  • Establishment of suitable metrics for core evaluation, and suggestion of subsequent actions that emerge from core evaluations.
  • Definition and identification of Campus Research Core Facilities that become eligible for support from RCFP/Office of Research.
  • Review funding requests to the RCFP and make recommendations for strategic investments in and direct financial support of individual research cores.
  • Guide centralized core facilities across campus in development of business plans towards sustainable operation.
  • Assist core facilities to ensure that state-of-the-art research services and instrumentation are provided in a cost-efficient manner.
  • Define, evaluate and refine functionalities of a new software-based administrative backbone which will facilitate user management, instrumentation reservations, automated monthly centralized billing, ad hoc reporting, definition of recharge rates, online service requests, etc.

RCAC members:

  • Ingrid Brust-Mascher (VM Anatomy, Physiology and Cell Biology, Academic Federation Representative)
  • Simon Cherry (Biomedical Engineering)
  • Nicholas Curro (Physics)
  • Mary Delany (Animal Sciences)
  • Will Jewell (Office of Research, Mass Spectrometry Facility)
  • Gang-Yu Liu (Chemistry)
  • Kent Lloyd (VM Anatomy, Physiology and Cell Biology)
  • Richard Michelmore (Genome Center)
  • John Morrison (California National Primate Research Center)
  • Jan Nolta (Hematology and Oncology)
  • Jodi Nunnari (Molecular and Cellular Biology)
  • Isaac Pessah (VM Molecular Biosciences)
  • Ronald Tjeerdema (Environmental Toxicology)
  • Mani Tripathi, RCAC Chair (Physics)
  • C.P. van Dam (Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering)
  • Julie Auger, ex-officio (Office of Research)
  • Klaus van Benthem, ex-officio (Chem. Engr. & Materials Science)