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In Memoriam, Charles L. (Chuck) Weber (1937-2013)

October 15, 2013 —


Charles L. (Chuck) Weber, Professor Emeritus of Electrical Engineering at USC, passed away on August 16, 2013 at the age of 75.  He was born and raised in Ohio, and earned a B.S. in 1958 from the University of Dayton, an M.S. in 1960 from USC, and a Ph.D. in 1964 from UCLA, all in electrical engineering.  He was employed by the Hughes Aircraft Company from 1958 to 1960, and joined the USC faculty in 1964.  He had a distinguished 45 year career as a USC Electrical Engineering faculty member, and retired as Professor Emeritus in May 2008.  He was one of a group of seven communications faculty who joined USC in the early 1960s who are collectively named the "Magnificent Seven."  The accomplishments of Prof. Weber and this group led to the establishment of the USC Communication Sciences Institute (CSI) and the tremendous rise of the academic reputation of USC Electrical Engineering and School of Engineering in recent years. 

Prof. Weber's research focused on communication systems, spread spectrum processing, acquisition and tracking techniques, adaptive array signal processing, radar systems, modulation characterization, and blind equalization.  He was the author of many technical publications on these subjects and a widely-used textbook Elements of Detection and Signal Design.  He served as co-director of CSI, and was active as conference organizer, program committee member and editor for IEEE and other professional groups.  He served as a consultant for JPL, Hughes Aircraft Company, TRW, the Aerospace Corp., Axiomatix and NASA.  He received the Distinguished Alumnus award from the University of Dayton in 1988, and was honored as Life Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE).  He was most proud of his research supervision of 26 Ph.D. graduates who now hold leadership positions in technical fields, started companies, and are successful entrepreneurs who continue his pioneering work.

Prof. Robert Scholtz, a close friend of Chuck's for 55 years, commented more personally: "Chuck survived a fiery automobile accident while a graduate student, and dictated and defended his Ph.D. thesis from his hospital bed in the burn ward of the UCLA hospital.  His remarkable determination to overcome his condition in a positive way has inspired many to cope gracefully with setbacks in life.  He gave his time freely to help others and was a friend who you could always count on for support."

USC EE faculty member Alexander Sawchuk remarked: "I join the USC Ming Hsieh Department of Electrical Engineering and the Viterbi School of Engineering to express our deep condolences on the death of our friend and colleague Chuck Weber.  Chuck was kind, gentle, and a great mentor to students, faculty and staff.  He was a cheerful, positive person who cared deeply about his friends and colleagues, and always brought out and encouraged the best qualities in people.  He was a memorable person, he leaves a great legacy, and we will all miss him."