Montana Instruments, a leading global provider of cryogenic systems for the quantum computing industry, has appointed former Blackmore Sensors & Analytics board member and ILX Lightwave-Newport GM, Mark Carroll, to lead the company. Founder and previous CEO Luke Mauritsen will remain with the company as a board member, connecting Montana Instrument’s growth plan to a national strategy to extend America’s leadership in Quantum Information Science (QIS).
“I believe we have a significant role to play in the quantum industry, so I’m not stepping down, back, or out of Montana Instruments,” said Mauritsen, a Montana State University Mechanical Engineering graduate. “A whole new industry is being developed around quantum technologies and applications, and because cryogenic technology is a critical path, many of Montana Instruments’ customers are developing industrial applications as well as fundamental quantum materials research. Our business is central to advancing quantum computing.”
Montana Instruments manufactures high performance optical and cryogenic equipment, simplifying the experience of working at low temperatures and helping to accelerate quantum technology breakthroughs. In August 2020, Mauritsen was appointed to The White House’s National Quantum Initiative (NQI) advisory committee and has been a part of spearheading initiatives as part of the Quantum Economic Development Consortium (QED-C) created out of the National Quantum Initiative Act signed into federal law in 2018.
Cryogenics is one of several critical enabling technologies that will accelerate the pace of research and commercialization of quantum technologies. The changes that companies like Montana Instruments are making demonstrate just how important it will be for the quantum supply chain to adapt to serve these needs, as covered by TQD here. Quantum hardware suppliers will need to work together on the national stage to serve the most critical needs of the industry whilst ensuring they continue to roll out their commercial offerings. The National Quantum Initiative Advisory Committee and the Quantum Economic Development Consortium are two groups that plan to do just that.
Formerly a board member at Montana Instruments, Mark Carroll has 36 years of experience across the laser, lidar, photonics, energy, and defense industries. For over 16 years, he served as Vice-President of the Instruments Business with Newport Corporation, managing $90 million in annual revenue, and helping to lead the marketing, product development, and production of tunable lasers and photonic instruments. He holds a BS in Mechanical Engineering from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and an MS in Applied Mechanics from the University of California, San Diego.
“I’ve done just about everything there is to do in manufacturing,” said Carroll. “I started in high school as a janitor for IBM, worked on the production floor for Toyota in college, and have since led companies — including ILX-Newport here in Bozeman. But I don’t know if I’ve been more excited in my career than I am now to be CEO of Montana Instruments and to grow the company the way I think it can grow.”
Carroll’s hiring reunites him with Montana Instrument’s recently hired COO Gene Kuntz, whom Mauritsen hired in September and with whom Carroll had worked at Newport since 2012.
“With Gene on board and now with Mark here, we’re going to be moving faster than ever to make cold science simple and accelerate quantum discovery,” said Mauritsen. “Mark’s been a board member, a mentor, and a friend, which makes him easy to trust not only for me, but also for our people, since many of them have gotten to know him over the years. It’s an exciting new day for Montana Instruments that we hope will help change the world.”