Nichole Wonderling

Nichole Wonderling

Group Leader, X-Ray Scattering

Group Leader, X-Ray Scattering

“Love what you do… do what you love.”


Materials Characterization at Penn State is all about solving problems, teaching and collaborating with students, and supporting the development of new materials.  Each and every day, our staff members are challenged to bring everything they have to the table and to consistently go above and beyond in terms of both technical skills and customer service to students, faculty and industrial clients.

My job, as both a staff scientist and a manager, is to provide the highest quality data and customer service that I can and to give employees the tools and support that they need to succeed in the fast-paced and continuously changing world of characterization.

Seeing the smile on a student’s face when they master an instrument or an analysis method is one of the most rewarding things about my job.  Witnessing their success as they use the information that I have shared with them to move their research forward excites me and makes me work harder towards the next success. 

Building relationships and solving problems with industrial clients, working with faculty and vendors to select and learn new instruments and applying that knowledge to move research forward is what I do… and what I love. 

Fun Facts

Outside of work, I spend my time volunteering in a variety of organizations including the Boy Scouts of America, the United Methodist Church, and groups associated with the local school district.  As the mother of an Eagle and a Life Scout, service to church and community is at the center of most of my free time.  I also enjoy singing, gardening, camping, baking, sports photography, and spending time with my family.

Nichole came to Penn State in 2000 as a powder X-ray diffraction analyst in the former Materials Research Laboratory.  Prior to this she held a research and development position at the North American Refractories Technical Center in State College, PA for approximately seven years.  Over the years, her role has expanded beyond powder diffraction to include micro-focus diffraction, high resolution diffraction, small angle X-ray scattering and a variety of related techniques.  Her research interests have varied over time as the scope of work and funding sources changed; examples include non-ambient crystallization and phase identification/transformation studies, quantitative phase analysis, and structure and orientation determinations.

Contact Info

Office: N-151 MSC
Phone: 1-814-863-1369