14 September 2011

Apogee's Origin Story

I started working in graphic design and marketing at Apogee in June of 2010. I love the feel of working for a small business. I enjoy seeing how my work directly helps our customers. I have worked here for over a year, and I wanted to learn more about how Apogee, now 15 years old, came in to being. I did some research through website archives, talked to fellow co-workers, and eventually caught up with our company’s founder and President, Bruce Bugbee, to learn how Apogee got started.

The idea that led to Apogee began when Bruce Bugbee started making inexpensive light meters for his studies as a doctoral student at Penn State University in the late nineteen-seventies. Faculty at universities across the country found these meters to be highly useful and started to request them for their own studies.

In response to this demand for low-priced meters, Apogee Instruments was founded in the spring of 1996 in Bruce’s garage in Logan Utah. Apogee Instruments draws its name from the word ‘apogee’ which means the highest point in an orbit. Bruce had used this name before for a type of short, high-yield wheat that he and his Utah State University students developed for a potential food source for astronauts on long-term missions.

Apogee’s first product was the quantum meter for measuring photosynthetically active radiation. Other light meters and sensors followed: the pyranometer for measuring shortwave radiation, and the ultraviolet sensor for UV radiation. Apogee also developed an infrared radiometer for use in measuring the surface temperature of plant canopies and other surfaces.

After 10 years in Bruce’s garage, Apogee needed more space. In 2007, Apogee moved into its current location next to Campbell Scientific. Our new building is state-of-the art, highly energy efficient, and is constantly monitored by sensors, many of which are made by Apogee. The new building has extensive facilities for calibrating sensors both inside and outside on a secure rooftop.

Apogee is continuing to grow. Within the next few years Apogee will be releasing several new products. We are also working on improving accuracy of current products and providing all-inclusive recalibration services. Apogee Instruments is dedicated to making high-quality, affordable instruments and providing excellent customer support to back them up. We believe in higher education and support students and research through funding and donations. Apogee strives to be environmentally sustainable, both through our energy-efficient building and providing tools for studying climate change. We hope to support a better tomorrow through creating innovative instrumentation for measuring climate change, improving sustainable food production and developing renewable energy.

Whitney Mortensen
Marketing & Graphic Design

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