Click a year above to view highlights from Canberra Industries history
  1. Overview

    by Orren Tench
    Orren Tench
    Orren Tench

    Canberra Industries was founded in 1965 by Emery Olcott and Chuck Greer. I joined the company in 1967 and have spent almost 50 years working there, the last 10+ years on a part time basis. Approaching the 50th anniversary of the founding of Canberra in 2015, I volunteered to write a brief history of the company in commemoration of the event. By mid-year 2015, I realized that this project could not be completed in time for the celebration which was to take place in September, so I resorted to the compilation of key events (highlights) for each of the 50 years. To add context for readers who did not experience this period of the company’s existence, I sorted through the top 100 song titles for each year trying to find ones that seemed to fit the situation and/or mood of the company. Many of the 5000 titles that I reviewed in this search are good matches but I cannot vouch for the lyrics. I have been told that some are offensive.

    During the past year I have worked on the narrative history of the company. I confess that it is uneven because I spent most of my career there in the detector business and this is what I know best. I have sought help from other employees and former employees to flesh out the history of other product lines. These individuals are credited as contributors on the chapters they helped write.

    Over time Canberra acquired several companies in the nuclear instruments field each having a history of its own. I solicited help from people involved with these companies in providing a pre-acquisition history of many of them. Those helping with this are credited on those chapters as well.

    Canberra History

    This is a history of the Canberra instruments business. Although the Canberra Clinical Laboratory business was a big factor in our early history it is not part of this story. Neither is Packard Instruments or Packard Bioscience which transformed the company in later years.

    It has not been easy to identify highlights with specific years so there may be errors in these assignments. No doubt there are many deserving events that have not been recorded in this work simply because memory is limited and imperfect. More importantly there are literally hundreds and hundreds of current and former Canberra employees whose efforts contributed significantly to the success of the company. I regret that it is impossible to identify all of them and to credit them with their contributions. Special thanks to Roger Conway who helped organize the material and created the website for it.

    Finally, as this work is published on line, there is an opportunity for feedback including corrections, additions, and complaints from knowledgeable readers. I welcome this and will endeavor to update the material as time and faculties permit. If you would like to be heard in this regard please contact me at this website.

    Thank You,

  2. 1965

    “We Can Work It Out” #34 - The Beatles

    Emery Olcott and Chuck Greer bought Sturrup Nuclear (Sturrup, Larrabee, and Warmers) for $35000. It was later observed that they had probably overpaid.

    Emery and Chuck got together with their investment partners to rename the company. To keep their diversification opportunities open, they wanted to avoid strictly technical names which might not serve them through diversification into disparate businesses, should that occur. Eventually they got around to place names and then to world capitals. The choice came down to Canberra Industries or Pretoria Industries and they chose the former. In retrospect we can agree that this early decision was a good one!

    Inherited Henry Webb, a technician who became a brilliant designer

    Peddled Sturrup (going obsolete) inventory

    Began design of new modules under the NIM Standard

  3. 1966

    “I’m A Believer” #12 - The Monkees

    Introduced a number of NIMs including the 1410 to compete with ORTEC’s 410

    First series of NIM SCAs was flawed and had to be redesigned

    Hired Les Daniels, Engineer #2

  4. 1967

    “Getting Better” #83 - The Beatles

    Hired several MBA Graduates (Whiz Kids) for Division Manager Program

    Orren Tench joined as Engineering Manager (April Fools Day!)

    Introduced the 800 Series Educational NIMs

  5. 1968

    “Mony, Mony” #5 - Tommy James and The Shondells

    Technical Directors hired for key divisions

    Hans Fiedler -Technical Director of The Detector Division

    Les Hammer - Technical Director of Medical Systems Division

    Gerry Matthews - Technical Director of Data Systems Division

  6. 1969

    “More Today Than Yesterday” #82 - Spiral Staircase

    Division General Managers appointed

    Sam Knoll - GM of Medical Systems

    Rick Pederson - GM of Data Systems

    Orren Tench - GM of the Detector Division

    Canberra Clinical Laboratory began with Dave Smith as GM and Hervey Weitzman as Technical Director

    Ford Motor Company invested $1M in preferred stock following purchase of a CANBERRA Data System by The Ford Motor Company Research Center. At that time Ford was actively looking for investment opportunities in small innovative companies, and Canberra, because of the DataNIM sale to Ford Research, came to the attention of the person who had responsibility for identifying and evaluating opportunities. He eventually made his way to Meriden and came back after persuading Ford to invest in Canberra “Preferred” stock, which didn’t exist, of course, but was created solely for Ford. This preferred stock sale gave Canberra a shot of much needed cash at a good time. The stock was retired under very favorable terms a few years later. So if DataNIM never became a highly profitable product line it did make a significant contribution after all!

  7. 1970

    “We’ve Only Just Begun” #36 - The Carpenters

    Ford doubled down with another $1M

    Moved to Dominel Press building, where they printed comic books, on Gracey Ave. (on Lake Gracey) in Meriden

    Bought Geoscience MCA product line and got the services of Harvey Roberts and his team of former TMC engineers. The rest is history and Harvey will forever be known as “The Father of the Canberra MCA”

    Started Computer Peripherals product line (2020 Triple Cassette Recorder) with Les Daniels and Steve Johnson

    Chuck Greer’s (back of the envelope) calculations show that 37 cents of cash is needed for each dollar of increased sales

    Divisions (except Detectors) are bleeding cash and the company is going more deeply into debt despite Ford infusion.

  8. 1971

    “What’s Going 0n” #3 - Marvin Gaye

    Hartford National Bank cancelled credit line, saw the handwriting on the wall?

    The Board of Directors dismissed Chuck Greer (officially he resigned)

    The Board appointed Emery Olcott President and put him on a short leash

    Emery re-organized the company and consolidated divisions into base business

    Introduced the Model 8100 MCA, the first in a long series of hardwired MCAs designed by Harvey Roberts and his team

  9. 1972

    “Lean On Me” #4 - Bill Withers

    The 8100 Quanta (PDP-11 based) was introduced with CLASS operating system

    Sold 45 Gracey Building and leased it back from George Philip (Board Chairman)

    Made agreement to buy out Ford Motor Company holdings under favorable terms

    Sales up 40%, Net income up 135%

    Nuclear Power cited as big growth opportunity

    Ben Campagnuolo named Export Sales Manager

    John McKinney, who was Southeastern US Sales Engineer, named Domestic Sales Manager

    Dave Hall arrived from Norden as 2nd Analog Engineer, stayed 42 years!

  10. 1973

    “Takin’ Care Of Business” #19 - Bachman-Turner Overdrive
    The 8100 Quanto (PDP-11based with Model 2020 Triple Cassette Recorder
    The 8100 Quanta (PDP-11based with Model 2020 Triple Cassette Recorder

    Year of recovery under Emery Olcott

    Sales up about 10%

    Net Income $200k vs. loss of $700k in 1971

    Established Joint Ventures (Sales Subsidiaries) in Europe including Canberra GmbH in Germany, stealing Rolf Schwall and Norbert Gnieser from ORTEC

    The Canberra Clinical Laboratory began buying up smaller labs on the way to becoming the largest clinical laboratory in Connecticut

    Dick McKernan named Engineering Manager

    Steve Johnson named Marketing Manager

    Sam Knoll named Treasurer heading up Administration and Finance

  11. 1974

    “You Ain’t Seen Nothin’ Yet” #3 - Bachman-Turner Overdrive

    Sales increased by 52%, to almost $10M

    Net Income flat

    Mike Charland (Norden) joined Canberra as digital design expert. Designed Canberra’s first successive approximation ADC, the 8080, and lots of other stuff. Became VP of Engineering during illustrious career.

  12. 1975

    “Born To Run” #1 - Bruce Springsteen
    The Omega-One and 8180 MCAs
    The Omega-One and 8180 MCAs

    Sales increased by 31% to almost $13M

    Net Income rose by 63%

    Established Employee Stock Option Trust (ESOT) and contributed $25,000 to purchase Canberra shares.

    Introduced The Omega-One and the 8180 (the first with microprocessor) MCAs

    Hired Hooks Johnston (from Pratt and Whitney) as VP of Engineering

    Dick McKernan became VP of Marketing

    Introduced the Segmented Gamma Scanner (SGS), on a tech transfer from Los Alamos, the first of many Applied Systems that followed

  13. 1976

    “More, More, More” #67 - Andrea True Connection

    Sales increased by 20% to $15M

    Net Income up by 21% to $1.6M

    Established Personnel Department

    Established Quality Assurance Department

    Contributed $50,000 to ESOT

    Added 30,000 sq. ft. of space and renovated another 40,000 sq. ft. on Gracey Avenue

    Introduced “Pure” Ge Detectors (quite prematurely as we couldn’t make them)

  14. 1977

    “Higher and Higher” #97 - Rita Cooledge

    Sales increased to $21M, net income up slightly

    Introduced the “Century” 2000 Series of NIMS, only 23 years early!

    Introduced Scorpio, a system with ADC(s) interfaced to a PDP-11 with direct memory access (DMA).

    Introduced our first Alpha-Beta Counter, the manual System 2200

    Mike Yocum joined the company, developed HPGe detector technology, and much, much more since

    George Serrano joined Canberra as Manager of Personnel

  15. 1978

    “Good Times Roll” #66 - The Cars
    Series 30 MCA
    Series 30 MCA

    Sales increased to almost $24M, thanks in part to the Three Mile Island Accident

    Net income down to $710k

    Established Nuclear Systems Division focusing on the Nuclear Power Market headed by Dick McKernan

    Hooks Johnston became GM of Instruments Division

    Glenn Waehner (from Norden) became VP of Engineering

    Series 80 MCA
    Series 80 MCA

    Introduced the Series 30 and the Series 80 MCAs

    Introduced more than 12 new NIMS including timing modules

    Introduced Jupiter, an S-80 MCA interfaced to a PDP-11 minicomputer

  16. 1979

    “Ain’t No Stopping Us Now” #28 - McFadden and Whitehead
    Orren Tench, Emery Olcott, and Gene Sengstock in China on a Lecture/Goodwill Tour
    Orren Tench, Emery Olcott, and Gene Sengstock in China on a Lecture/Goodwill Tour

    Net Income doubled to almost $1.5M

    Increased ESOT Contribution to $125,000

    China sales grow substantially, leading to extended visits by Ed Fisher, Les Daniels, and Steve Hanchryk

    Sam Knoll leaves Canberra and moves to Virginia Beach, forges new career in the supplements business

    Three-Mile Island nuclear accident leads to a flurry of activity in the nuclear power market

  17. 1980

    “The Long Run” #81 - The Eagles
    Introduced 7404 Quad Alpha Spectrometer, with advanced features
    Introduced 7404 Quad Alpha Spectrometer, with advanced features

    Sales reached $33M, up 10%

    Net income totaled $1.7M

    Contribution to ESOT increased to $145k

    Bob Kane, formerly from Hewlett Packard, joined Canberra as VP Finance

    Ben Compo established joint venture with the Chinese government for distribution and service, a doomed partnership of un-equals!

    Introduced the Series 40 MCA and the S-40 Jupiter System

    Acquired Berkeley Germanium, an HPGe crystal grower in Novato CA, a spin-off from LBNL with Georg Mraz and Scott Hubbard. Re-named it Canberra Semiconductor, Inc.

    Mike Catalano joins Canberra from Yale, designs new Mixer-Routers enroute to a highly varied career at Canberra and in various roles at Packard.

    Introduced 7404 Quad Alpha Spectrometer, with advanced features

  18. 1981

    “The Best Of Times” #30 - Styx

    Sales almost flat due to worldwide recession? Europe down appreciably

    Net Income flat

    Glenn Waehner became GM of Instruments replacing Hooks Johnston

    Les Daniels named VP of Manufacturing

    Money poured into Canberra Semiconductor nee Berkeley Germanium with scant results

    Nuclear Power Division on a roll

    Established Canberra Detectors, N.V., a joint venture in Belgium with partners Walter Schoenmaekers (a crystal grower from MHO) and Theo Bijvoets (Harshaw Holland) to make Ge detectors for the European market. Walter’s advice to us on Canberra Semiconductor, “Start over!”

    ESOT contribution increased to $150, 000

  19. 1982

    “Shake It Up” #23 - The Cars
    Frazier Bronson
    Frazier Bronson

    New fiscal year, forget 1981

    More money poured into Canberra Semiconductor, which grows a lot of bad germanium.

    Began renovation of the Meriden Hub, as headquarters. Another money pit it turns out

    Agreed to buy Radiation Management Corporation from a syndicate of 6 utilities, gaining services of one Frazier Bronson. Who knew what impact he would have on the business?

    72 nuclear power plants in operation and 58 more in construction or planned. What could be more promising?

    Sales increased by about $1M, but net income dropped by 70% (from pro forma 1981 year)

    Split Canberra-Positronika leaving Klaus Stock (the founder) with Positronika (booming PC applications business) and giving Danny Meert responsibility for Instruments in Canberra Benelux. It is believed that Danny never lost an order thereafter!

    The last Canberra Ge(Li) Detector came out of drift

  20. 1983

    “Far From Over” #93 - Frank Stallone
    Moved to Hub Building in downtown Meriden, with a river running beneath it!
    Moved to Hub Building in downtown Meriden, with a river running beneath it!

    Sales increased by 20% to $44M

    Net Income increased 150% to $2.5M

    Canberra Semiconductor still struggling to make quality crystals

    Moved to Hub Building in downtown Meriden, with a river running beneath it!

    Re-purposed the Series 90 MCA as a Supervisory Controller for the Measurement and Control (automation) market with funding from the Connecticut Product development Commission. Named the product line Industrial Measurement and Control System (IMACS). Gene Sengstock put in charge.

    Bud Sielaff, who had actual experience in control systems, joined the IMACS team.

    ESOT contribution is $255k, a record

    Nuclear Power Division going big with huge new data-base software packages for Offsite Dose Assessment (MIDAS) and HP Record Keeping (SIMON)

  21. 1984

    “Say It Ain’t So” #22 - Hall and Oates
    President Reagan recognized Canberra with the  “Excellence in Exports” Award with Ben and Emery in the White House Rose Garden
    President Reagan recognized Canberra with the “Excellence in Exports” Award with Ben and Emery in the White House Rose Garden

    Sales nudged up to $46M

    Net income plunged to $1.4M

    Nuclear Power Market slumped. Utilities didn’t want expensive database systems after all

    Sales, Marketing, and Engineering consolidated under Nuclear Products Group headed by Dick McKernan

    Gary Laskowski heads marketing for Nuclear Power and Pete DeVecchis heads Domestic Sales for Nuclear Products

    China market grows and is supported by long visits Ed Fisher and even longer stays by Steve Hanchryk.

    Detector Products Division gained on all fronts except for Canberra Semiconductor (crystal growing)

    Jerry Grader convinced Canberra management that it didn’t know how to handle IMACS and joined the company to manage this product line.

    President Reagan recognized Canberra with the “Excellence in Exports” Award with Ben and Emery in the White House Rose Garden

  22. 1985

    “ Things Can Only Get Better” #41 - Howard Jones
    Established Canberra Semiconductor (CSNV) - PIPS Detectors introduced
    Established Canberra Semiconductor (CSNV) - PIPS Detectors introduced

    Sales increased to almost $53M

    Net income fell to $1.1M, and operating income from continuing operations fell by 68%.

    “Black Friday” ensued with large scale layoffs

    Shut down Canberra Semiconductor in California (crystal growing operation)

    Established Canberra Semiconductor (CSNV) in a tax-free zone in Belgium and merged CDNV into it. Gained tax-free status for 10 years.

    Hired Paul Burger (from Enertec later Eurisys Mesures) to develop silicon (PIPS) detectors at CSNV. We recognize Paul as “The Father of the PIPS Detector”, but not the father of the PIPS. You would have to ask Gladys Knight about that.

    FBI raided Canberra because Canberra equipment, diverted from Germany it turns out, was spotted in Pakistan by Wolfgang Maier, who was working for ND at that time. Long investigation absolved Canberra of wrongdoing. Reagan did not ride to the rescue!

  23. 1986

    “Danger Zone” #42 - Kenny Loggins

    Sold the Clinical Laboratory Business, providing much needed cash

    Bought Packard Instruments from United Technologies, probably the most important event in the history of the company, certainly the most important acquisition

    Named Dick McKernan President of Packard and sent him back to Chicago where he started his career with Canberra

    Sales from continuing operations (minus lab) totaled $42M, up from 1985

    Operating income went positive to $250k

    Net income was $7M+ thanks to Clinical Laboratory sale

    April Chernobyl nuclear accident gave a boost to Instrument and Systems sales and set the stage for an expanded market in environmental monitoring

    Merged Canberra and Packard sales operations in Europe and elsewhere

    Sold RMC EMAP (Emergency Medical Assistance Program) business to Dr. Roger Linnemann, the founder of RMC

  24. 1987

    “Breakout” #66 - Swing Out Sister
    Introduced System 100, our first PC Based MCA
    Introduced System 100, our first PC Based MCA

    Sales reached $97M with both Packard and Canberra up by 20%+

    Net income reached $7M, matching 1986 (sale of Clinical Laboratory)

    Introduced System 100, our first PC Based MCA

    Jerry Grader named VP and GM of Nuclear Products who appointed his team of “Three Mikes”: Charland, Catalano, and Zebarth

  25. 1988

    “Roll With It” # 10 - Steve Winwood
    Introduced Accuscan II, a Whole Body Scanner with Ge Detectors
    Introduced Accuscan II, a Whole Body Scanner with Ge Detectors

    Sales increased to $115M, up 18%

    Net income reached $10M, up 50%+

    Introduced Accuscan II, a Whole Body Scanner with Ge Detectors

    Bought Radiomatic, adding “Flow” detectors to Packard product line

    Record year for Detector Products Group

  26. 1989

    “Hello Big Boy” #1 - Just Kidding
    Acquired Nuclear Data with its great team of engineers and sales people
    Acquired Nuclear Data with its great team of engineers and sales people

    Acquired Nuclear Data with its great team of engineers and sales people

    Detector Products, in collaboration with Larry Darken of Tennelec, produced “Big Boy”, the world’s first Ge detector having >100% Relative Efficiency, much to the chagrin of ORTEC, who had this all figured out until, SURPRISE!

    Sales increased to ~$127M, Net income up slightly

    Divested the RMC Environmental Services Division, which among other activities, trucked fish annually past a dam in Pennsylvania in spawning season, saving their customer the cost of a fish ladder

    Changed Fiscal Year (again !)

  27. 1990

    “We Can’t Go Wrong” #87 - Cover Girls
    Acquisition of Jomar
    Acquisition of Jomar

    Net sales increased to ~$146M, Net income about $8.6M

    Bought Jomar (Jones and Martin) Systems, a LANL spinoff for their neutron (safeguards) expertise, and got Dorothy Davidson in the bargain

    Introduced the Ultra-LEGe Detector, disproving the prevailing theory that germanium detectors are intrinsically flawed for energies below 3 keV.

    Consolidation of Nuclear Data operations within Canberra. This was an amazing combination of former arch enemies (especially in the sales teams) – joining the same side for the same objectives. Eventually Cameron Seely and Jim Barstow became Eastern and Western US Sales Managers respectively

    Secured CRADA from LANL for the Alpha-Sentry continuous air monitor

    ND acquisition pays off big- Nuclear Instruments revenue and profit up 50% on the year

  28. 1991

    “High Enough” #14 - Damn Yankees

    Sales increased to $115M, up 18%Net sales increased again to .$151M, Net income at $10M

    Merged Jomar into new Applied Systems Division in Meriden

    Introduced Genie PC (under IBM’s OS/2 doomed operating system) a derivative of Genie, the popular ND Analysis Software Package. Sales take off – despite choosing the “wrong” operating system.

    Introduced the ICB NIM, computer controlled signal processing modules

  29. 1992

    “November (June) Rain” #12 - Guns and Roses
    The River Ran Through It, headquarters went under water on June 5
    The River Ran Through It, headquarters went under water on June 5

    The River Ran Through It, headquarters went under water on June 5

    Shipments (of slightly damp) instruments began about a week later after massive clean-up effort

    Bought the Research Parkway facility and began move from the Hub. Convinced the town to officially designate our address as “Research Parkway” instead of “Pondview drive” – because talk of “ponds” tended to upset us.

    Sales reached $163M, thanks to Packard which was largely unaffected as their manufacturing facility was in Downers Grove

    First new detector technologies encapsulation  and Clovers
    First new detector technologies encapsulation and Clovers

    Net Income matched 1991, even including $6M of flood related expense

    Jim Colaresi, who started working at Canberra when he was about 16 years old, named Product Manager, Detector Products Division

    Lingolsheim develops encapsulation technology and exploits segmentation technology

  30. 1993

    “It Was a Good Day” #78 - Ice Cube

    Net sales dropped slightly to $159M

    Net income increased to almost $11M, thanks recovery of flood-related expense

    George Serrano named President of Canberra Nuclear following Gerry Grader’s retirement

    Growth in both passive and active (Shuffler) neutron assay systems

    Opportunities for large waste assay systems in the UK, in France and at the IAEA

    Mobile Laboratories and Mobile Whole Body Counters deployed

  31. 1994

    “Back and Forth” #24 - Aaliyah

    Cameron Seely named National Sales Manager

    Danny Meert takes responsibility for Nuclear sales in Europe

    Ben Campagnuolo focused on Russia and Eastern Europe with great success, teaching Oleg Toritzin to swear in several languages

    Decline in traditional business

    Increased activity in waste characterization, decontamination, and safeguards

    Teamed with Scientific Ecology Group, Lockheed Martin, and Advanced Systems Technology to serve these applications

    Net Sales up to $166M, net income up slightly

    Emery lost the mustache, leaving Orren as the lone hirsute old-timer

  32. 1995

    “This Is How We Do It” #10 - Martell Jordan
    Introduced the Alpha Analyst
    Introduced the Alpha Analyst

    Sales up 3% to $172M

    Net income reaches $14.5M a new record

    Great year for Detector Products, Applied Systems and Customer Service despite slight decline in total nuclear instruments business

    Introduced the Alpha Analyst and the Gamma Analyst, under the “Proline” banner coined by Mike Zebarth

    Oxford (Tennelec) replaced Umicore as primary Ge Crystal supplier

    Canberra website launched, generating much internet traffic from prospective tourists to Australia

    Loches introduces Radiagem survey meters

    Loches introduces Radiagem
    Loches introduces Radiagem
  33. 1996

    “Change The World” #19 - Eric Clapton
    Introduced In-Situ Object Calibration System (ISOCS)
    Introduced In-Situ Object Calibration System (ISOCS)

    Introduced the Inspector (Portable MCA)

    Introduced first Digital Signal Processors replacing traditional Amplifier-ADC combinations

    Introduced U-Pu Inspector with internally shielded LEGe Detector element

    Introduced In-Situ Object Calibration System (ISOCS), with mathematical calibration software as envisioned by Frazier Bronson, and written by Russian scientists

    Introduced several neutron systems

  34. 1997

    “I Belong To You” #24 - Rome
    Genie 2000 (under Windows) replaces Genie PC
    Genie 2000 (under Windows) replaces Genie PC

    Switcheroo: Packard Instruments, re-badged as Packard Bioscience goes on top

    Leveraged Recap under Stonington Partners

    Ben Kaplan, who knows where all the bodies are buried, becomes CFO

    Genie 2000 (under Windows) replaces Genie PC. Microsoft wins again!

  35. 1998

    “Come With Me” #47 - Puff Daddy
    DSA-2000, all-in-one DSP Based MCA, introduced
    DSA-2000, all-in-one DSP Based MCA, introduced

    Bought Aquila Technologies for their safeguards and surveillance technologies

    Acquired Harwell Instruments, which dates back to 1946-47, for their NDA technologies and UK market

    Shelia Webb (Southern Comfort), a specialist in Alpha Spectroscopy, joins Canberra and becomes a rabid UConn Husky fan

    DSA-2000, all-in-one DSP Based MCA, introduced

  36. 1999

    “From This Moment On” #57 - Shania Twain
    Acquisition of Tennelec
    Acquisition of Tennelec

    Acquired the Nuclear Instruments (Tennelec) Business from Oxford Instruments giving us a captive supply of HPGe material from Larry Darken’s great team.

    Got back into the Alpha-Beta business with the Tennelec LB product line that, years earlier, had our lunch

    Introduced The Broad Energy Ge (BEGe) Detector nee (for a few days) the WEGe. Guess why we changed that name!

    Y2k issues dominate marketplace, detector sales (bereft of software) plummet.

    Introduces LabSOCS, another name only a mother could love, for sample measurements

  37. 2000

    “Otherside” (of Oak Ridge) #59 - Red Hot Chili Peppers
    Introduced iCAM from Harwell
    Introduced iCAM from Harwell

    The new Millennium arrives without software Armageddon.

    Packard Bioscience IPO, April 20. Opens at $9 and trades as high as $25 in 3 months

    Introduced the InSpector 2000, a DSP based version of the popular Inspector MCA

    Harwell Alpha, Beta, Gamma, and Tritium Monitors added to product line

    Alpha-Beta Line expanded with Series 5 and Solo

    Bought new facility for Tennelec and moved crystal growing operation, with no interruption in supply, a miracle according to many!

    Introduced iCAM from Harwell

  38. 2001

    “We Fit Together” #90 - O-Town
    CANBERRA sold to Cogema, part of AREVA
    CANBERRA sold to Cogema, part of AREVA

    Canberra sold to Cogema, part of AREVA, for $170M+

    Lingolsheim and Loches become part of Canberra Nuclear Instruments Business

    Christian Petit named CEO of Canberra

    Philippe Hatron named CFO

    George Serrano forsakes “Lake George” on Pondview Drive for retirement on Lake Winnipesaukee

    Marc LeFevre heads up European Operations

    AREVA buys balance of Aptec-NRC from Ed Zieba and folds it into the Canberra organization

    September 11 attacks wake up an otherwise slow homeland security / emergency response market.

  39. 2002

    “Complicated” #3 - Avril Lavigne
    Lingolsheim introduces monolithic Ge X-Ray Array Detectors
    Lingolsheim introduces monolithic Ge X-Ray Array Detectors

    AREVA elects to keep the Canberra name – strongest brand in the industry – and avoids a substantial write-down of good will

    Lingolsheim focused on Specialty Detectors, goes head-to-head with ORTEC and wins - mostly

    Olen assumes responsibility for Silicon Detectors

    Rationalization of contamination monitors begins (Aptec and Loches)

    Canberra Japan kk, established with Sho Watanabe (from Seiko-EG&G). Great expectations for Japanese NP market in which Canberra has almost no presence

    Lingolsheim introduces monolithic Ge X-Ray Array Detectors

  40. 2003

    “The Remedy” #26 - Jason Mraz
    Inspector 1000 Introduced, aimed at homeland security market
    Inspector 1000 Introduced, aimed at homeland security market

    Expensive consultants conclude that Canberra should focus on Radiation Monitoring Systems (NRC Business)

    Radiation Monitoring Systems moved to Meriden, Dr. Pandey heading the business

    GRETA and AGATA (Gamma ray tracking) projects launched in the US and Europe respectively

    Inspector 1000 Introduced, aimed at homeland security market

  41. 2004

    “Drop It Like It’s Hot #52 - Snoop Dogg
    iSOLO portable alpha-beta counter introduced
    iSOLO portable alpha-beta counter introduced

    Decision made to exit Radiation Monitoring Systems business. Go Figure!

    Christian Petit joins AREVA in France

    Patrick Berthier named CEO, reporting to Daniele Herzog

    iSOLO portable alpha-beta counter introduced

    X-PIPS Detector introduced with much help from consultant Valentin Jordanov

  42. 2005

    “Here We Go” #99 - Trini
    Argos 3/5 Contamination Monitors come out of Canberra Canada
    Argos 3/5 Contamination Monitors come out of Canberra Canada

    Frederick Von Heems replaces Patrick Berthier as CEO

    Portal Monitors (Homeland Security) become focus of activity

    Argos 3/5 Contamination Monitors come out of Canberra Canada

    Canberra Smart Probe (CSP) concept introduced

  43. 2006

    “Say Goodby” #86 - Chris Brown
    Cryocycle (hybrid) cryostat and Cryopulse (pulse tube) cryostat launched
    Cryocycle (hybrid) cryostat and Cryopulse (pulse tube) cryostat launched

    Created “matrix” organization for most all of Canberra, eliminating “those silos”

    Orren Tench, now silo-less, put out to pasture, agrees to part-time job

    Awarded contract to develop Germanium-based Portal Monitor for DHS

    Introduced the Cryocycle (hybrid) cryostat from Meriden. It was briefly called the Ever-Ready but a certain battery company objected rather strenuously.

    Introduced the Cryopulse (pulse tube) cryostat from Lingolsheim

    Apex-Alpha Alpha Spectroscopy suite introduced

    i-Matic Alpha Beta (with PIPS Detectors) introduced

  44. 2007

    “Who Knew” #69 - Pink
    Falcon 5000 Launched
    Falcon 5000 Launched

    Canberra Portal appears to work in the fly-off at the Nevada Test Site

    Contract issued for quantities of Canberra portals, largest contract in Canberra history

    Von Heems is way out in front on the portal opportunity

    Frantic effort to secure increased supply of HPGe crystals for all those portals

    Chose SAP (certainly not ASAP) to provide ERP System, with predictable results

    Lynx, a new generation MCA product introduced

    Falcon 5000 Launched (with a lot of muscle!)

  45. 2008

    “Wake Up Call” #83 - Maroon Five
    Cronos 4/11 introduced
    Cronos 4/11 introduced

    Upon further review, Canberra portals deemed not sensitive enough

    Production put on hold and contract cancelled, leaving a large number of Ge detectors and other hardware available for scavengers

    Frederick Van Heems leaves Canberra, with portal project in shreds. Go figure!

    Cronos 4/11 introduced

  46. 2009

    “Sober” #38 - Pink
    Apex Alpha-Beta introduced
    Apex Alpha-Beta introduced

    AREVA executive, Ahmed Bennour runs Canberra on interim basis

    Yves Baumgartner named CEO of Canberra

    Jean-Paul Goslin named CFO

    Apex Alpha-Beta introduced

    Argos PB Contamination Monitor (with plastic detectors) introduced

  47. 2010

    “Right Above It” #90 - Lil’ Wayne with Drake

    Right above a ruptured water main that is. Water, water, everywhere again!

    With new CEO, a new organization naturally

    Spot SEGe gets new interest, dubbed the SAGe Detector

    Osprey (digital tube-base MCA) introduced

    Sirius 5 launched

  48. 2011

    “What The He**” #61 - Avril Lavigne
    iR7040 Ratemeter Launched
    iR7040 Ratemeter Launched

    Tsunami hits Japan and brings disaster to the Fukushima nuclear reactor complex

    A surge in business comes to Canberra, with Frazier Bronson leading the charge

    Orders from Japan increase ten-fold

    Between Fukushima and cheap natural gas, prospects for new nuclear go dim

    Introduction of SafePoint Radiation Monitoring System. We’re Baaak!

    LB4200 launched

    Argos PAB and PBG models launched

    IR7040 Ratemeter Launched

    EcoGamma, novel radiation monitor introduced

  49. 2012

    “Cashin’ Out” #92 - Ca$h Out
    Horizon introduced
    Horizon introduced

    Canberra financial results reach new highs

    Cash strapped AREVA decides to divest some assets, including Canberra. Timing is good with Canberra skiing off the Fukushima bubble.

    Astorg Partners becomes sole bidder for Canberra and gets its “nose way into the tent”

    Horizon introduced

    Prospect launched

    CP-5 Plus

    Cryo-Cycle II

    VLD Probe and Colibri-VLD

    AccuRate Anthropomorphic Correction Option for Argos™ Contamination Monitors

  50. 2013

    “Gone, Gone, Gone” #61 - Phillip Phillips
    DSA-LX introduced
    DSA-LX introduced

    Astorg gets deeply in the numbers and into the management team

    Sale of Canberra to Astorg Partners stops apart hours before scheduled closing. Top management change ensues. Any wonder?

    Paul Myers and J.B. Koehl assigned to Canberra to re-stabilize the company and set a new course

    Cronos-1 Gamma Object/Tool Monitor introduced

    SAGe Well Detector introduced with dramatic improvement in performance over conventional well detectors

    Stabilized 3x5x16 detector launched

    DSA-LX launched

    Nuclear Science Experiments with Digital Electronics Laboratory Manual launched

  51. 2014

    “Shake It Off” #13 - Taylor Swift
    RGU-100 Military Pocket Radiac introduced
    RGU-100 Military Pocket Radiac introduced

    J.B. Koehl appointed CEO of Canberra

    Reorganization into three business groups ensues, Standard Products, Specialty Products, and Services

    RGU-100 Military Pocket Radiac introduced

    Launch of WebRemote Contamination Monitor Software

    Horizon 2.0 with Contamination Monitor support

  52. 2015

    “Let It Go” #33 - Demi Lovato
    iPIX, newest version of coded aperture imaging device introduced
    iPIX, newest version of coded aperture imaging device introduced

    The “Nuclear Renaissance” is long over, especially for Areva which faces break-up

    Canberra again put up for sale

    iCAM/HD introduced

    iPIX, newest version of coded aperture imaging device introduced

    Canberra celebrates 50th Anniversary with co-founder Emery Olcott as the keynote speaker

  53. Epilogue

    To begin the second half-century of Canberra Industries, in mid-year 2016 the company was sold to Mirion Technologies which is owned by Charterhouse Capital Partners, a British firm. Who knows what the future will bring? No doubt it will mean many changes in a hurry because financial investors are not usually willing to wait out decades for a return on their investments. It will be interesting!

    On June 30, 2015, the day before the sale of Canberra to Mirion Technologies took effect, the old Canberra flag (predating Areva) was flown one last time at the Meriden headquarters building. This came about thanks to Mike Simone and Bud Sielaff.

    Orren Tench

    Later through the efforts of many, including Karen Pietruszka and Mike Catalano, dozens of current and former employees signed the flag as a presentation piece for Emery Olcott. A booklet was also created in which many of the same people wrote notes to Emery expressing their appreciation for his guidance of Canberra over his long career there.

    On March 24, 2017, an ad hoc committee of current and former employees presented the flag and the booklet to Emery at his winter home in Key Largo, Florida. The photograph below was taken on that occasion. In the interest of transparency, I must say that some golf took place there that weekend.

    Orren Tench
    Left to right: Ben Kaplan, Mike Charland, Orren Tench, Emery Olcott,
    Mike Catalano, Cameron Seely, and Mike Raicik