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Electron Microscopy Solutions

Customer Testimonial Richard Martens

As manager of The University of Alabama's (UA) busy Central Analytical Facility (CAF), Richard Martens has high expectations for the equipment in his lab.  The University of Alabama's CAF specializes in nano-analytical and microstructural characterization of materials.  The CAF provides opportunities to utilize advanced instrumentation for training and research, which includes a QUANTA 200 3D DualBeam SEM/FIB and a TECNAI F20 from Thermo Fisher Scientific.  The CAF takes pride in being a "hands-on" user facility, offering instrument training to UA faculty and students.  The CAF hosts external academics and services the advanced manufacturing industries in Alabama and across the U.S. Southeast region.

Each day, the University of Alabama CAF hosts a high volume of operators with varied experience levels, therefore Mr. Martens must ensure that standard wear and tear, as well as accidental system damage, is resolved quickly so that all researchers have a positive experience and return to  the CAF again and again.  "Johnny Goodwin and Rob Holler are the CAF Technical Staff, and they are excellent in helping maintain the CAF instrumentation, and interacting with the FEI service engineers" says Mr. Martens. "All of us have had excellent interactions with all of FEI's service support and logistics."

Mr. Martens first interacted with Thermo Fisher Scientific at a Microscopy and Microanalysis conference in 1999.  Since that time, his career has involved our Electron Microscopy (EM) instrumentation, specifically, the FIB/SEM platforms.  Since joining the University of Alabama in 2006 he has worked extensively with the EM service organization in supporting the lab's instruments, all of which are covered by our service agreements.  Because the lab is in such high demand, he particularly appreciates the response time of the EM Field Service Engineers (FSE's). A fast response time with parts and service are highly valuable and help contribute to the facility's success.  

The extensive knowledge of all our FSE's benefits The University of Alabama CAF in numerous ways.  In addition to repairing the instruments, they offer advice on applications and advanced utilization, to ensure the lab's varied teaching, research, and service missions are successful.  During the installation of an Thermo Fisher Scientific TEM system, the FSE also provided training to several local users on executing tomography runs, so they could start running that analysis immediately and get a jump-start on research.

Along with the quality and speed of on-site service, the greater EM service organization provides additional value.  Mr. Martens particularly appreciates the logistics infrastructure- he notes that the speed in which spare parts arrive on-site is excellent which contributes to minimal downtime.  After more than a decade of partnership with the EM service organization, Mr. Martens says he definitely recommends Thermo Fisher Scientific as a service provider, and considers the quality of service and support a key factor in selecting Thermo Fisher Scientific as an ongoing supplier for advanced microscopy systems.