Remembering Charles "Chuck" Edwin Mullet

 


Chuck Mullett, Apr 25, 1938 – Mar 18, 2019

On 18 March 2019, Charles "Chuck" Edwin Mullett, of Santa Paula, California, passed away peacefully at age 80.  He was born in Buffalo, New York, to the late Sarah (Hill) Mullett and the late Charles Beatty Mullett.

Mullet grew up in Bremerton, Washington where his father was a naval officer. He graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering in 1960, and a Master of Science in 1962. In college, he was the president of his fraternity Alpha Chi Rho and was in several music bands. Soon after graduating he moved to Southern California where he had a long and rewarding career designing power electronics.

For more than 20 years, Chuck owned and operated Mullett Associates, Inc., a design consulting firm, and eventually worked at ON Semiconductor from where he retired in 2013. He was granted nine patents, and was a speaker of note in several professional organizations He also founded the Los Angeles Chapter of the IEEE Power Electronics Society (PELS) and served as the APEC Chair in 1996. His magamp post regulation design was leading the industry in mid-1990's.

Mullet was an active member of Santa Paula Rotary, and enjoyed sailing and amateur radio, and was known for his optimism, drive, enjoyment of people, and a zest for life. He enjoyed playing clarinet and saxophone, playing locally in six bands.

Chuck was a strong contributor and supporter of PSMA for more than 20 years serving for 6 years on the PSMA Board of Directors including President and Chairman. He was Co-Chair for the 2003 and 2006 Power Technology Roadmap Report and the author of the popular PSMA Handbook of Standardized Terminology For the Power Sources Industry. Chuck was a supporter of the NanoTechnology initiative at PSMA and a mentor for many in the industry. Chuck was a member of the PSMA Advisory Council until his passing. Remembrances from some PSMA members and supporters are included below.

Chuck was the beloved husband, for 50 years, of Vivian and we offer our condolences to her and his family. May He Rest in Peace.

I met Chuck in mid-eighties (1985?) at some show before PSMA. Both of us had our own consulting businesses: Micro-Tech Consultants, a market research consulting business and Chuck with Mullett Associates, a power electronics design consulting business. Our businesses were complementary, so we decided to 'collaborate' in bringing clients to each other with a 10% finders' fee. We did bring any client to each other, but due to our mutual interest in the power electronics business and the PSMA we remained good friends forever. We worked on some projects together and participated in many meeting. Chuck was my original friend in the power electronics and I will miss him dearly. (Mohan Mankikar, Micro-Tech Consultants, PSMA Advisory Council)
Chuck touched me in many professional and personal ways. We worked together a PSMA projects and he and his darling wife, Viviane, were wonderful hosts on the occasions when I would stay at their home in Santa Paula. A sweet, gentle man. I was blessed to call him friend. (Greg Evans, WelComm, PSMA Marketing Committee Co-Chair)

Chuck Mullett, Tony Laviano and Ernie Parker at APEC 2013 Nanotechnology Committee Meeting
I met Chuck through PSMA when he worked at ON Semiconductor and I worked at International Rectifier. We were competitors for the same business, yet I immediately found a kindred spirit who believed there was enough business for everyone and that we all benefitted from a stronger Power Supply Industry. We became good friends who enjoyed working together on projects for the good of the industry. I learned a great deal from Chuck during his collaboration on the Roadmap and his fantastic ability to proof the late versions of the total Roadmap in order to correct the punctuation and use of acronyms as well as the spacing of numbers and units of measure. His insight into how power semiconductors worked within power supplies lead the industry. (Carl Blake, CBK, PSMA Advisory Council)
Two words that summed up Chuck's approach to everything he did – passion and dedication. In all the years I had the privilege of knowing Chuck, I've never seen him without those qualities – even for a minute. I used to interact with Chuck at many PSMA sponsored activities (probably going back to mid-90's). He was one of the reasons I decided to move to ON Semi in early 2000's. After that, we interacted very frequently and it was a privilege being able to talk to him almost every day and learn from him. We have traveled all over the world together and the stories from those travels could fill pages. I remember he came to India once and he wanted to visit the local Rotary club meeting – he went and gave them a nice talk, but whatever he ate/drank there made him sick. Despite the sickness, he was game enough to carry through with other planned activities rest of his trip. At work, his passion was most evident in adhering to the IEEE writing guidelines. Outside work, he loved his music and sailing and his family. I was lucky enough to see him last October when he drove down in his Tesla to Anaheim during APEC planning meeting. At that time, Chuck mentioned that Vivian thinks that he flunked retirement! Well, he may have flunked retirement, but he definitely aced life. (Dhaval Dalal, ON Semiconductor, PSMA Board of Directors)
I first met Chuck years before his company became a member of PSMA. He offered his services and advice on a number of projects and, after he changed employers, convinced his new company to become a member. He was always ready to dig in and contribute to and lead many projects including the Roadmap, updating the Handbook of Standard Terminology, organizing the Nanotechnology Initiative, supporting APEC and making the Association stronger. I remember Chuck as an outstanding individual of high character, very smart, very high energy and over the years as a cherished friend. It was always a treat to hear about his sailing exploits and music gigs. May He Rest in Peace. (Joe Horzepa, Executive Director, PSMA)

Chuck Mullett and Joe Horzepa at APEC 2013
Chuck Mullett and I were Co-Chairs of the Nanotechnology Forum. Chuck was a true champion of nanotechnology for power supplies but not at first. Chuck was skeptical, unconvinced, and kept challenging me to show him how nanotechnology could be used for power supplies. But he figured it out. Then he asked me to be his Co-Chair of the PSMA Nanotechnology Forum to introduce nanotechnology applications to the PSMA Membership and APEC. We became a three-legged team so I would not drag my feet. Chuck saw both his visions come true. PSMA developed Nanotechnology tutorials for its members. Then in 2010 he introduced nanotechnology to APEC. I was the PSMA Nanotechnology Plenary Speaker and Chuck lead APEC's first Industry Nanotechnology Session which continued for six years under his leadership. Chuck Mullett was a visionary who was committed to the professionalism of PSMA. His nanotechnology legacy is not lost. It is in the PSMA Education Forum under Resources. Chuck figured it out! (Tony Laviano, NRAIT, PSMA Nanotechnology Committee Co-Chair Emeritus)

Chuck Mullett and Dr. Anthony F. Laviano Kicking off the Nanotechnology Forum at the 2012 PSMA Annual Meeting
I met Chuck when I took on the global applications engineering team and systems engineers at ON semi. Chuck worked for me and taught me a great deal. This was right about the time everyone was asking 'what does a systems engineer do? what does a FAE do? - you know finance and operations took over all aspects of everything during that time. Once they saw Chuck in action nobody asked what the ROI was or what does a Chuck do... ever again. Chuck made thing look easy because they probably were to him, he solved complex problems for customers, designed circuits and defined new products. He accepted nothing less than excellence in all that he did and wanted to make things better and improve the process all the time. Chuck was responsible for getting me into PSMA and involved with APEC and he also was one of the IEEE members who recommended me for IEEE Senior Member. Chuck had a great way of cutting through complexity and getting to the core issue of a problem and then setting about to solve it. He was a great mentor and friend to everyone around him. He helped me too many times to count and as an employee he always did more than expected of him. The laughs and fun on trips to China and Taiwan I will never forget the times and the stories. Chuck made a significant positive difference in the industry, in the lives of people everywhere and I benefited personally having known him. He was a great friend who I miss greatly he is probably proofreading technical documents and playing the sax in heaven and having a great time. (Kevin Parmenter, Taiwan Semiconductor, PSMA Board of Directors)

 

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