Company History

The History of MSE

From humble beginnings

Measuring and Scientific Equipment, MSE, was founded in 1936 by Dr Ernest Foulkes, who had moved to the UK in the early 1930s from his native Germany. Starting out with very little capital – only £500 – but equipped with expertise, ambition and determination, Foulkes established MSE to make machine tools, which were then in short supply in Britain.

Throughout World War II, MSE were appointed by the UK Ministry of Supply to act in the vital role of lease lend agents for American machine tools. At this time the name stood for Machine Shop Equipment.

A growing reputation in the UK and beyond

It was not until after the war that MSE expanded their offering to incorporate the development of centrifuges and other specialised laboratory equipment. The company soon earned a reputation for delivering efficient and safe equipment that was tailored to the specific needs of scientists using them, and we became known the world over for top-quality design and manufacture of advanced products.

With the founding of the National Health Service in 1948, MSE was engaged to develop hospital Microtomes, which until then had never been manufactured in the UK. The newly formed Atomic Energy Authority approached MSE requesting them to manufacture a range of centrifuges for use in their research. Following the change of focus from machine tool development to centrifuges, the acronym MSE was changed to Measuring and Scientific Equipment.

Game changing technology

One of the earliest centrifuges developed by the company was the Minor, also known as the ‘mushroom’, which became a huge success. It was very compact, competitively priced and could spin a variety of tubes. As the years went on, MSE added more and more models to their range. Refrigerated, non-refrigerated, small or large capacity, MSE had developed the capability to produce a huge variety of equipment types and products that were industry leaders in the UK and beyond.

Growth and recognition

By the late 1960s, MSE was the largest centrifuge manufacturer in the world. We had our work recognized in 1966 when we became one of the first recipients of the Queens’ Award for Enterprise – a prize which celebrates organizations who excel at international trade, innovation or sustainable development.

From the 1980’s until now, MSE has focused on designing higher capacity centrifuges. This allows us to offer our customers high performance products with capacity up to 7.2 Litres and soon up to 12 Litres per cycle. During this time period, and with the goal of expanding into laboratory equipment besides centrifuges, the name of the company was changed a final time to Medical and Scientific Equipment.

In 2019, the decision was taken to move the company to France to remain competitive in the centrifuge industry. This decision was deemed necessary, due to the uncertain economic climate caused by Brexit. Operating out of France, MSE’s mission to be at the forefront of innovation in the centrifuge industry and remain leaders in the field remains unchanged.



Currently, MSE is manufacturing centrifuges in Nuaille, France, with a team dedicated to selling & servicing products globally.


We want to further build on our history, continue providing the medical & scientific market with state-of-the-art, dependable products, and be market leaders in our industry.


Combining our expertise with research & developmet, our aim is to continue developing & providing innovative equipment for life science applications.