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The Story of TEMcompany

How did it all start?

TEMcompany was started with the goal of building next-generation imaging solutions to solve today’s water problems.

The business grew from the HydroGeophysics Group at Aarhus University, where work has focused on geophysical imaging systems for over 30 years. During this time, the limited performance of the commercial instruments available to the department caused deep frustration. The research consistently pushed for better, faster, and more robust measurements and transparency on the instruments’ influences on data. These influences are known to alter measured data significantly but are often ignored, regarded as industry secrets, or not of interest to manufacturers.

The university team consistently advanced TEM technologies but became increasingly frustrated at the speed at which the academic outputs permeated the broader commercial sector. These frustrations propelled the decision to found TEMcompany to build better, more reliable, and best-value instruments in the water sector.

In 2015, during a meeting with long-time partners in Central Region Denmark, they highlighted the problem of tracking effluent migration, which was severely hindered by an inability to image the geological layers controlling the water flow accurately.

Based on years of experience with the SkyTEM system, we proposed developing a fast transient electromagnetic towed system tailored to deliver much-needed high-resolution rapid mapping capabilities at the tens of hectares scale.

Esben Auken
CEO, Adjunct Professor

Two years later, in September 2017, after focused research, numerous frustrations, and more than a few rainy Danish field days, we completed the first surveys with our proposed system. Under an EU Interreg and Innovation Fund Denmark project, we invented what became known as the tTEM system.

Using the tTEM system, we were able to see highly detailed images of the subsurface in full 3D for the first time. Everywhere we went, the geology revealed itself to be far more beautiful and complex than anyone expected. Motivated by the incredible images being produced, we continued to develop the system further across many research projects. In parallel, we adapted the SkyTEM processing/inversion software to streamline and optimise data handling for the new tTEM system.

In 2020, it became clear that we had taken the system within the Aarhus University research environment as far as possible. We had received our first requests from partners abroad to purchase tTEM systems. We also began a close collaboration with the Poul Due Jensen | Grundfos Foundation (PDJF), undertaking several successful surveys in refugee camps and African host communities. We decided to create Aarhus GeoInstruments to commercialise the tTEM system. Launching the company during a global pandemic was a challenge! We survived and thrived, and by 2022, we had grown to four people working full-time at the company.

In 2023, Aarhus GeoInstruments signed an investment agreement where PDJF acquired a 24.9% stake in the company. The agreement is based on a shared vision that technologies enabling informed management of groundwater resources will be critical to addressing worldwide water issues, particularly the growing vulnerability of groundwater to climate change and over-exploitation.

During this time, the board appointed me as CEO. I became responsible for building a team of industry experts tasked with developing the next generation of geophysical instrumentation.

In August 2023, we changed our name to TEMcompany to signal that we are committed to taking TEM technology to the next level.

TEMcompany has now grown to 20+ employees. We are proud to offer our customers a range of geoscanners, software, and world-leading geophysical expertise.

A message from our investor

“This is the Foundation’s first direct investment, and a very special one.
We have been involved in the development of the TEM-technology through our partnership with the AU HydroGeophysics Group for years, and it has proven its worth in several climate-vulnerable countries, helping some of the world’s poorest people. We want to continue our journey with TEMcompany and improve access to water for even more people, and this is best done through an investment where we take responsibility for advancing this unique technology.”

Kim Nøhr SkibstedExecutive Director, Grundfos Foundation

TEMcompany products