Mike Birck (BSEE ’60, DEA ’91, HDR ’95) passed away early morning of Monday July 6. Dr. Birck was an outstanding alumnus of ECE, and a great friend of ECE, Birck Nanotechnology Center and Purdue. The Birck Nanotechnology Center, the ECE Headship, and two ECE named professorships proudly bear the Birck name.
Mike Birck began his telecommunications career with AT&T's Bell Telephone Laboratories and has held executive positions with Continental Telephone Laboratories and Wescom Inc. In 1975, he co-founded Tellabs, which designs, manufactures, markets, and services data, voice and video transport, and network access systems for the communications industry. In 2013 he retired from the company for health reasons. He was the company's second-largest shareholder when Tellabs was purchased later that year by the private-equity firm Marlin Equity Partners and converted to a privately-held company.
Birck was a great benefactor of Purdue Athletics as well. He served as a Purdue University Trustee during 1999-2013, and made numerous other contributions to Purdue and other causes.
Birck is survived by his wife, Katherine, three children - Kevin, Joni and Christopher - and seven grandchildren. One of his grandchildren is currently pursuing a PhD in ECE at Purdue.
Visitation is from 3 to 9 p.m. CT Friday at Sullivan Funeral Home, 60 S. Grant St., Hinsdale, Illinois. Funeral is 10 a.m. CT Saturday at St. Isaac Jogues Church, 306 W. Fourth St. (and Clay), Hinsdale.
Mike Birck will be missed.