The Florida Center for Analytical Electron Microscopy (FCAEM) began as a joint effort between scientists from five major universities, namely, Florida International University (FIU: Gautem Sen, Rosemary Hickey-Vargas, K. Wu), University of South Florida (USF: Jeffrey Ryan), University of Miami (UM: James Natland, Jacqueline Dixon), University of Florida (UF: Michael Perfit), and Florida State University (FSU: Vincent Salters) to purchase electron micro-probe instrumentation, have it serve as a regional facility for all these Universities and have this facility help create a conceptualized "Interstate-4 and Interstate-95 research/technology corridor" in the Central and South Florida regions.
PI/PD Gautem Sen and Co-PI's/PD's James Natland, Michael Perfit, and Jeffrey Ryan secured a $569,000 grant from the Major Infrastructure Program of the U.S National Science Foundation (NSF) and a $244,000 grant from FIU to purchase the electron probe microanalyzer (EPMA; JEOL 8900) and scanning electron microscope (SEM; JEOL 5900LV) in 1999. The instruments are hosted at FIU because it already had an existing EPMA facility/infrastructure and FIU provided the required matching funds ($244,000). The new FCAEM facility would be operated and maintained by Thomas Beasley, a full-time engineer and FIU employee with extensive microprobe experience.
Guatem Sen (left) and Thomas Beasley (right) seen next to EPMA JEOL 8900