By Rob Campbell, President

Last week we held our annual Campbell Scientific Leadership Conference here in Logan, Utah. We had all of the leaders of all Campbell Scientific offices from around the globe in attendance. I look forward to this event every year as we have an opportunity to rekindle relationships from around the world.

Campbell Scientific leadership teamCampbell Scientific Leadership Team, May 2019

The theme for this year, “Having a Can-Do Attitude” was inspired by my grandpa, Sanford Campbell, who served as a key figure in the early years of this organization. Sanford was a “can-do” guy, and his resourcefulness and drive were gifts he passed down to his posterity. One of his favorite sayings was “Can’t is a sluggard, too lazy to try.” I don’t think Sanford knew “can’t” or ever thought in limitations. It has been said that there are people who make things happen, people who watch things happen, and people who wonder what happened. Sanford was one who made things happen and he passed that along to his children and grandchildren. The word “can’t” isn’t found in the Campbell dictionary and it certainly wasn’t in Eric and Evan’s thinking when they started Campbell Scientific.

Sanford Campbell

Sanford Campbell

Campbell Scientific was started in 1974 by my uncles, Eric and Evan, in the basement of my grandparents’ home here in Logan, Utah. Five years ago, Evan wrote an article about the beginnings of the company, wherein he writes of the resourcefulness they used in the early days:

Eric and I were familiar with the process of fabricating circuit boards and decided that we would make our own. We purchased a hot plate and two large glass beakers, along with a few chemicals and supplies. A small room in the northeastern corner of the basement was turned into a lab.
We needed an extremely bright light and a way to hold a film image pressed against a copper-clad board. Ordinarily, we would have used a flip-top vacuum table, a light and timer included. A unit like this cost about $2,000. Instead, we purchased a set of carbon electrodes from Central Auto and hooked them up to Dad’s welder. I put together a sandwich-like fixture to hold the film and board together. It wasn’t ideal but we were able to make it work, and for about $35.

Campbell home

In preparing for the Campbell Scientific Leadership Conference this year, I felt that the theme of maintaining a “can-do” attitude that was so instrumental in the early years of this organization was appropriate to share with our leaders around the world, particularly as we face a lot of change in the world.

The rate at which the world is changing—particularly the rate of change of technology—is both exciting and daunting. We see new methods of developing software and hardware, applications of artificial intelligence, drones, sensing and measurement methods, wireless communication protocols, user interfaces, voice recognition, and the list goes on. Our challenge is to stay close to you, our clients, understand your problems, and serve as trusted advisors in applying appropriate technologies that provide fit-for-purpose, quality measurements from which solid, actionable insights can be gleaned.

We are excited for what the future holds. In the coming months and years, we will be building and strengthening the Campbell Scientific offering with new data-acquisition sensors and instruments that are incredibly flexible, powerful, and connected. We foresee helping you more easily gain insights through improved UI experiences and strengthening our offering to include more services that help you more easily deploy equipment, collect data, and build actionable insight.

While none of us know exactly what technology disruption will happen in the future, there are two things I do know: 1. Change is inevitable, and because of that, we will seek to embrace it, help mold it and shape it for the positive. And 2. Thinking we can do something—in the face of change—goes a long way toward being able to do it.

We look forward to helping you solve your data-acquisition and measurement needs, and appreciate the trust you extend to Campbell Scientific as a partner when measurements matter.

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