Jeff Mullikin, PE, LEED AP BD+C was always interested in engineering, math and science, but it was his college experience that really set things in motion and laid the foundation for the rest of his career.
At CU Boulder, Mullikin found his niche in the architectural engineering program and more specifically, in lighting, thanks to a particularly inspiring professor. College is also where he met his friend Jon Brooks, who would eventually become his business partner. Fueled by their passion for illumination, the pair founded AE Design in 2004 and have been delivering integrated lighting design and electrical engineering solutions to architects and clients ever since.
“It was just the two of us when we began, but we now have 33 people, and it’s been super exciting to grow this team,” said Mullikin.
Despite the firm’s growth, AE Design has not lost sight of it mission and specialty.
“The reason we founded a firm specifically focused on lighting design was because we wanted to be true to our passion,” Mullikin explained. “Everyone here shares that common passion and is excited about the projects we work on because they are creative and design-intensive.”
In fact, Mullikin likes to joke that the firm’s motto is “we offer everything in the middle of the design process,” meaning that their true strength is working out the details that happen between winning the proposal and delivering the drawings to the permit counter.
In Mullikin’s opinion, the best way to support architects is to be engaged and understand the architectural process and community. That’s why he is an active Professional Affiliate Member at AIA Colorado. Earlier this year, he attended the national AIA conference in New York and is also a member of the Materials Matter Planning Committee, which is working to develop a new program for AIA Colorado members focused on building science and resilient materials.
“With so many people coming to Colorado and the current development of a future-forward state, it’s important to be responsible stewards of sustainable design. Lighting is a huge component of buildings’ energy usage,” said Mullikin.
Mullikin is encouraged by the industry’s transformation toward sustainability. When he first began his career, fluorescent fixtures dominated the lighting space. So, the shift to LED lighting and the features that have come with it—like better fixtures, more uniform dimming and more dynamic lighting—have been very exciting to him.
When he’s not working, Mullikin’s family illuminates his free time. He loves to take them skiing or hiking, to travel and experience new places. On top of that, he likes to work on remodeling projects at his home.