Company Overview

Mission Statement:

Provide the highest-resolution air quality metrics to thriving communities through cost-effective sensor networks that leverage statistical methods and machine learning to enable understanding of air quality micro-climates.

Vision Statement

Empower all community members with simple and accurate air quality metrics to better understand air quality where we live, learn, work, and play.

The company was founded in 2017 as Tetrad Sensor Network Solutions, LLC. and grew from a National Science Foundation grant to develop a low-cost network of sensors to capture air quality measurements throughout the Salt Lake City valley. Tetrad focused on addressing poor measurement quality and on creating engaging visualizations to make sense of imperfect sensor measurements.

TELLUS fills the gap between low-effective air quality monitoring networks and high-cost EPA-compliant air quality instrumentation. The problem with low-cost networks is they can produce inaccurate, unreliable air quality measurements that are difficult to interpret. They can overestimate or underestimate levels of PM2.5 by up to a factor of three. While EPA-compliant systems produce maps with minimal high-quality measurements, they fail to capture local dynamics and monitoring instruments can cost tens of thousands per device.

By utilizing EPA-compliant air quality monitors, TELLUS is able to create calibration factors and produce highly accurate air quality measurements at a hyperlocal resolution. This method expands the reach of local EPA-compliant monitors and offers engaging visualization that accurately captures air pollution measurements across the entire region of interest in near real-time. The more air quality sensors that are deployed, the more accurate the pollution concentration estimates and the farther the geographical reach.

Douglas W. Later, Ph.D.
Director, President, & Chief Executive Officer

Doug holds a Bachelor’s degree in Chemistry and a Ph.D. in Analytical Chemistry from Brigham Young University. He serves as the President and CEO of TELLUS Networked Sensor Solutions, Inc. He has over 35 years of experience developing analytical instrumentation with an emphasis on environmental testing and monitoring. Doug has led several successful start-up companies, including Mountain States Analytical (environmental testing laboratory), Torion Technologies (hand-portable GC-MS), and Vaporsens (organic nanofiber sensors). He has served as a Principal Investigator on awards to these start-up companies from the Department of Defense (DOD), Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the National Science Foundation (NSF), and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Kerry Kelly, Ph.D.
Director & Chief Science Officer

Kerry is a professional engineer and an associate professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering at the University of Utah. She has a Ph.D. in Environmental Engineering and a B.S. in Chemical Engineering. Her work with TELLUS focuses on ensuring sensor performance. Kerry is committed to the translation of science to smart community and policy decisions. She served 8 years on Utah’s Air Quality Board and currently serves on the State’s Air Quality Policy Board together with state legislators. In 2018, the governor awarded her the UCAIR air quality person of the year for her service to the State of Utah. Her academic research focuses on using cost-effective, air-quality sensors to understand local-scale, air quality challenges, as well as to empower communities to address their air quality challenges.

Pierre-E. Gaillardon, Ph.D.
Director & Chief Technology Officer

Pierre-Emmanuel is an associate professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Utah. He also is an adjunct Associate Professor in the School of Computing at the University of Utah where he leads the Laboratory for Nano-Integrated Systems (LNIS). He has a Ph.D. degree in Computer Engineering (CEA-LETI, Grenoble, France and the University of Lyon, France) and M.S. degrees in Electrical Engineering (CPE-Lyon, France and INSA Lyon, France). His work with TELLUS focuses on developing the sensors and network technologies. Pierre-Emmanuel’s academic research work is focused on novel sensors and computing technologies and he has been awarded the NSF CAREER award, the DARPA Young Faculty Award, as well as IEEE CEDA and ACM SIGDA Outstanding New Faculty awards.

Carl Luft
Vice-President of Business Development, Sales, & Marketing

Carl earned his B.S. from the University of Utah in the field of Materials Science & Engineering and has experience in venture capital and entrepreneurship. He is currently completing an Executive MBA program at the University of Utah (2023). Through various business development roles, Carl has worked with early-stage companies to increase market share and develop new innovative products. He most recently worked with medical devices used in the respiratory healthcare industry combating respiratory illnesses such as COPD, Asthma, and COVID-19. Carl was awarded the President’s “E” Award by the U.S. Secretary of Commerce in 2019 for his efforts in helping Utah companies expand into foreign markets.

Thomas Becnel, Ph.D.
Director of Product Development

Tom holds a Bachelor’s degree, Master’s degree, and Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Utah. His academic work has focused on novel machine learning applications at the edge of low-power sensor networks. His passions led him to the air quality research space in 2017, where he headed the design and deployment of the first AirU Air Quality Network. Tom has since focused his endeavors on expanding the network, improving quality and reliability, and raising awareness of air quality to help local communities become more informed. Tom was awarded 1st place for his presentation at the 2019 IM FLASH TechTalk Conference and is the recipient of ASEE’s William H. Corcoran Award For Most Outstanding Article for his work published in the ASEE Journal of Chemical Engineering Education.