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Company History - How it all started

How did it all start?

TEMcompany was founded by Professor Esben Auken and his research staff. 

TEMcompany started with a dream to build next generation imaging solutions for solving today’s water problems. This goal grew from my experiences as a researcher in the Hydrogeophysics Group at Aarhus University, where we had worked with geophysical imaging systems for more than 30 years. Over this time, we’d become deeply frustrated with commercially available instruments. We consistently found ourselves pushing for better, faster, and more robust measurements, as well as complete transparency about instrument influences on data. Influences known to significantly alter measured data, but that are so often regarded as industry secrets or not of interest to manufacturers. We have dedicated ourselves to consistently pushing these technologies forward but have grown impatient at speeds for which our academic outputs permeate into the broader water sector. For these reasons, we felt it time to found TEMcompany. Put frankly, we aim to build better instruments that sell for cheaper than everyone else.  

At a meeting in 2015 with long-time partners Central Region Denmark, they stressed that tracking migration of effluents was severely hindered by an inability to accurately image the geological layers controlling the flow. Based on years of past work with the SkyTEM system, we proposed to develop a fast transient electromagnetic towed system – a system tailored to delivering the much-needed high-resolution rapid mapping capabilities at the tens of hectares scale. Several years later, under an EU Interreg and an Innovation Fund Denmark project, after focused research, many frustrations, and more than a few rainy Danish field days, we were able to make the first surveys with our proposed system in September 2017. We had invented what became known as the tTEM system. Never had we seen such detailed images of the subsurface in full 3D. Everywhere we went, the geology revealed itself to be far more complex than anyone had ever expected. Motivated by the incredible images being produced we steadfastly continued to further develop the system across many research projects. In parallel, we adapted processing/inversion softwares for SkyTEM to be used for the new tTEM system to streamline data handling.  

In 2020 it became clear that we had taken the system as far as we could within the research environment at Aarhus University, having received our first requests from partners abroad to purchase their own tTEM systems and had also begun a close collaboration with the Poul Due Jensen | Grundfos Foundation (PDJF) involving a number of very successful surveys in refugee camps and host communities in Africa. From this we decided to create Aarhus GeoInstruments – to commercialize the tTEM system. It was difficult to launch a company in the midst of a global pandemic but we managed to survive and by 2022 we had grown to four people working at the company.  

In 2023 PDJF and Aarhus GeoInstruments signed an investment agreement, acquiring a 24.9% stake in the company. This was based on a shared vision that technologies enabling informed management of groundwater resources will be critical to addressing worldwide water issues, in particular the growing vulnerability of groundwater to climate changes and over exploitation. During this time, Esben Auken was named CEO and became responsible to build a team of industry-experts tasked to build the next generation of geophysical instrumentation.  

We decided to change our name to TEMcompany in August 2023 to signal that we are driven to take tTEM technology to the next level. We are proud to now offer our customers a growing array of instruments, software and geophysical expertise.

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 Aarhus GeoInstruments 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