Thomas J. Countis established Countis Industries in 1964 located in San Luis Obispo, CA, where he developed a line of microwave spinel ferrite materials that were mainly sold to US firms working in the defense sector. Mr. Countis graduated from the University of Colorado in 1949 with a degree in Engineering Physics and worked for 15 years in magnetic material development before starting his own company. Mr. Countis gained knowledge of microwave ferrites from his experience working at Collins Radio Company from 1953 to 1957 and Hughes Aircraft Company from 1958 to 1963. He was instrumental in setting up and producing the first ferrite materials used in microwave devices.
In 1977 Mr. Countis worked with his son, Thomas M. Countis, in developing garnet ferrite materials and a line of microwave dielectric materials. As a graduate from Purdue University with a Masters Degree in Physics, Thomas M. Countis worked in the aerospace industry for several years before joining with Countis Industries.
In 1978, Thomas M. Countis established Countis Laboratories as a separate business that focused on the production of garnet ferrite and dielectric materials. He leased a 2,500 square foot space to begin production in San Luis Obispo. Continuing research resulted in the development of very narrow line width calcium-vanadium garnets, as well as a unique zirconium substituted material. These were supplied to the microwave market in the early 1980's. These materials were used extensively in the newly expanding cellular market.
Mr. Countis' eldest son, James T. Countis, joined Countis Industries in the late 1970's and now holds the position as vice president of the company. Countis Industries moved into a new facility in Carson City, NV in 1982 where the business expanded from a 7,500 square foot facility to 20,000 square feet of space.
In 1988, Countis Laboratories outgrew its space in San Luis Obispo and Thomas M. Countis moved the company to Grass Valley, CA located in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. The business was growing rapidly- moving from 5,000 square feet of space to over 50,000 in the year 2002. The early 1990's saw new developments in high power materials with cobalt substitution that exhibited narrow line width compared to the conventional holmium substitution.
Currently, Countis Laboratories is a multi-million dollar company with sales representatives throughout the world. Countis Laboratories facilities have enabled the business to keep up with the high demand of the commercial cellular phone market that has created an economic boom in the last several years, as well as supporting the continuing defense industry.
Countis Laboratories and Countis Industries , although independent facilities, collaborate together to research advanced ceramic materials to meet the demands of the microwave market. The correspondence between Mr. Countis, Thomas M. Countis, and James T. Countis has made both businesses into what they are today.
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