Meet Our People: Chuck, Applications Engineer
Meet Chuck Bassett, an experienced Applications Engineer from Cedar Rapids, Iowa. He joined Zuken in April 2020 after working for an aerospace and defense company for 24 years. Although he’s relatively new to the Zuken family, he’s a great addition to the SOZO team, the company’s R&D center in Silicon Valley. He recently connected with me to share his story so I could get to know him better.
From Collins Aerospace to Zuken
I started my career as an electrical test technician after being recruited by Rockwell Collins in Cedar Rapids, IA. After they had a cutback, I went to work for another company for 11 years. While there, I moved from being a production technician to a test equipment lab technician, where I was mentored in programming and learned PCB design. Eventually, I returned to what is now Collins Aerospace, where I worked as a PCB designer. A few years later, I moved into a support role, which really helped improve my programming skills. After earning a degree in programming, I took over as the PC department application engineer/programmer. Near the end of my career at Collins Aerospace a job opportunity at Zuken opened up, and the rest is history!
Creating Automated Solutions for Customers
As an applications engineer, I create automated solutions for Zuken’s customers, allowing them to execute their tasks more quickly and efficiently. Much of my work involves making customer-specific automated tasks using the automation techniques built into the CR-8000 Design Gateway and CR-8000 Design Force tools. Working here in the last year, I love that I’ve been able to learn several methods to automate tasks for each tool.
Speaking of automated solutions, recently, I’ve been working on several tasks for our customer, Lockheed Martin. They had custom requirements for CR-8000 Design Gateway that I was able to resolve with some VB.NET programs. I was also able to automate a manufacturing output process for CR-8000 Design Force to give them quick and consistent outputs. Helping customers achieve their end goals and resolve their issues is one of the most rewarding aspects of my job.
Learning the Ropes of an Applications Engineer
My day usually starts at 6 am; the early mornings are a habit carried over from my previous job. First thing, I check email and see what meetings are on the schedule for the day. Then I’ll work on whatever task(s) are a priority for the week. Often it’s a programming task, but sometimes it’s documentation or a presentation. I’m still learning the ropes of my job, so the workday is usually quite full and goes by quickly.
Independent working is usually the norm on most of my projects. Still, I feel comfortable knowing I can ask my colleagues for advice if I have any questions. Since I was hired during the pandemic, I’ve only interacted with them virtually. I haven’t had the opportunity to meet most of my colleagues face-to-face, but I know that time will come soon, and I’m looking forward to it.
Bike Riding and Wood Working
When I’m not working and the Iowa weather cooperates, I like to stay active by riding my bike. Woodworking is a year-round hobby that doesn’t rely on clear skies. My house is a showcase for several pieces of furniture I created, including the custom standing desk in my home office where I now work. I am very proud of the pieces I’ve built and hope to continue making more in the future.