Dr. Michael J. Birck

President and CEO
Tellabs, Inc.

Michael J. Birck
I consider an engineering career to be among the most satisfying of life's experiences. Engineers create. They learn to think and to solve problems. Life offers lots of opportunities to practice those things.

Michael J. Birck received his BSEE from Purdue in 1960 and completed his MSEE at New York University. He launched his career in the communications area with a job at AT&T's Bell Telephone Laboratories and later worked for both Continental Telephone Laboratories and Wescom, Inc. In 1975 he was a founder of Tellabs, Inc., now a leading producer of voice and data networking products. At sites in Illinois, Texas, and Puerto Rico, Tellabs produces software-controlled digital cross-connect systems, network management systems, and comprehensive digital multiplexers used in networks incorporating voice, data, and video transmission. Birck has served as president and chief executive officer of the company since 1975.

In recognition of his success, Birck received the Illinois High-Tech Entrepreneur Award in 1984 and in 1991 was named a Purdue Distinguished Engineering Alumnus.

Active in professional organizations, Birck headed the Telecommunications Industry Association in 1991; much of his volunteer time has been devoted to the cause of education. A member of Tau Beta Pi and Eta Kappa Nu, he is a director of the Purdue Research Foundation and a member of the Dean's Visiting Committee for the Purdue University Schools of Engineering. He has served on the Engineering Advisory Council for Notre Dame University, is a member of the Board of Directors of the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy, and is a member of the Board of Trustees of Illinois Benedictine College.