About Us

Our founding, story, and significant milestones.

More than worth it

The American Dream - the idea that every person has immeasurable value and that there is no limit to what is possible in this country for people who work hard and take risk - is alive and well at Montana Instruments.

Ours is a living story - a story of a group of people creating opportunity for many; a story of those who still see the wonder of creating something from nothing and believe every problem is solvable; a story of creating value for people in this great American Dream, because people is what it's all about.

We innovate so that scientists can move faster toward discovery. We serve each other because that is how we best serve the customer. When we serve our customers well, delighting them with a superb customer experience, we gain the privilege of expanding our influence and impact.

We create jobs so that others will have more opportunity, and we give back with our talent, time, and money so that people can be lifted to create better lives for themselves and their communities.

As this adventure continues to be all about people, we’ll not lose our motivation. When the dust finally settles, I hope we'll look back and see that we impacted people for good with the time we were given, and we'll say, "It was more than worth it."

Luke Mauritsen
Montana Instruments Founder, Luke Mauritsen

Our story

Growing up as a fifth-generation Montanan, Luke Mauritsen dreamed of starting a business.

After graduating from Montana State University, his first job was developing cryogenic technologies for a new application originated by MSU. During this time, he experienced many of the challenges of scientific work at low temperatures. These experiences led him to wonder if he could impact more scientists by solving these problems and re-inventing the optical cryostat.

Luke Mauritsen, Mike Simmons, and Ron Sager
Mike Simmonds, Luke Mauritsen, Ron Sager

In 2008, Luke confided in Mike Simmonds, who had become a mentor, that he intended to start a new company. Mike responded,

Well, actually my business partner Ron Sager has been asking about you. The company we started 25 years ago, Quantum Design, recently setup a world-wide distribution network for scientific instruments which we’d like to fill with new products. In fact, you can start here in my shop and I’ll help you.

With startup money and the foundational mentorship of Ron and Mike, Montana Instruments was given a chance to venture into the unknown, an opportunity to write a brilliant story of its own.

The first months were immersed in listening to potential customers talk about what they wished they could do and understanding their diverse challenges at low temperatures. This led to an exciting new design, and the idea of "Cold Science Made Simple" was born.

From there - and with the support of many faithful customers and innovative partners over the years - Montana Instruments Corporation has never looked back.

Shaping cryogenics for quantum

Today, Montana Instruments sits at the table with key national advisors and major decision makers from all over the U.S. to help shape the future of cryogenic technologies in the quantum world.

  • Montana Instruments founder Luke Mauritsen is part of the National Quantum Initiative Advisory Committee to the White House for the purpose of helping maintain US leadership in quantum information science and technology.
  • Luke also sits on the National Advisory Board for Quantum Literacy to better understand and help think of unique and innovative approaches to close the "hyper-disparity" gap in quantum literacy through new education and training modalities.
  • Most recently, Montana Instruments is partnering with Montana State University and the University of Arkansas as part of the MonArk Quantum Foundry to accelerate the development of quantum materials and devices. The foundry will assist those studying 2D materials for quantum technologies by creating tools to aid their research and infrastructure to facilitate the exchange of ideas across academia and industry.

Montana Instruments: a timeline

Swedish company Atlas Copco acquires Montana Instruments.
Luke Mauritsen appointed to the National Quantum Literacy Advisory Board.
Montana Instruments completes conversion to become a Delaware corporation.
CryoCore® - Montana Instruments' most affordable cryostat - is born.
Board member Mark Carroll hired as new CEO; founder Luke Mauritsen continues focus in QIS.
Montana Instruments becomes founding member of National Q-12 Education Partnership to expand access to K-12 quantum information science (QIS) education.
Luke Mauritsen appointed to National Quantum Initiative Advisory Council to the White House.
Quantum Economic Development Consortium (QED-C) workshop to identify cryogenic technology road map hosted in Bozeman.
Montana Instruments becomes a founding member of the Quantum Economic Development Consortium (QED-C).
The White House invites Montana Instruments leadership to QIS Leadership Summit.
First Cryostation® s100 with DC and RF plug-and-play capability ships.
First Agile Temperature Sample Mount (ATSM) allows rapid temperature cycling from 3K to 350K in less than 10 minutes.
Cryo-Optic® technology enabling ultra-stable high NA optical applications at low temperatures launches.
First NanoScale with 200 millimeter cryogenic optical breadboard platform ships.
Company moves into initial space (8,000 sq. ft.) of current location.
First Magneto-Optic that integrates a magnetic field into the cryogenic sample chamber ships.
Cryostation® demonstration systems placed in Japan, China, and Europe; sales quadruple in a year.
First Cryostation® ships to the University of California (Merced) for the study of interaction mechanisms between quantum structures.
Montana Instruments founded in 2,500 sq. ft. garage as a Montana corporation.