We are excited to announce that Dr. Nina Balke, currently a Senior Research Staff Member at Oak Ridge National Lab, will be joining the NC State Dept. of Materials Science & Engineering as an Associate Professor this fall. Dr. Balke is an internationally-recognized expert in the characterization of materials with scanning probe microscopy. She received her Ph.D in Materials Sciences from the Technical University of Darmstadt, Germany, in 2006. After being a Feodor-Lynen Fellow of the Alexander von Humboldt foundation at the University of California in Berkeley, she became a research staff member at the Center for Nanophase Materials Sciences at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in 2010. She specializes in the nanoscale characterization of electromechanical effects and electro-chemo-mechanical coupling using scanning probe microscopy in oxides and layered materials. Her scientific focus includes ferroelectrics, dielectrics, and energy storage materials as well as in-situ characterization of solid-liquid interfaces. She has published over 100 papers and holds 2 patents, and is the recipient of the DOE Early Career Award, the ORNL Early Career Award for Scientific Accomplishment, the Microscopy Today Innovation Award, and the American Ceramic Society Robert L. Coble Award, among others.