Karl E. Martersteck, Jr.


Karl E. Martersteck, Jr.
Karl E. Martersteck, Jr.
Sault Ste Marie, MI, USA
Associated organizations
Bell Labs
Fields of study
Electronic devices
IEEE Medal for Engineering Excellence


Karl E. Martersteck, jr. was born on August 19, 1934 in Sault Ste Marie, Michigan. He received a B.S. in Physics, magna cum laude, from the University of Notre Dame in June 1956 and an M.S. in EE, with high honors, from New York University in 1961. Mr. Martersteck served in the U.S. Navy as Engineering Officer on the USS Meredith from 1956-59.

He began his career as a Member of Technical Staff at Bell Laboratories, Murray Hill, New Jersey in 1959 in silicon transistor and integrated circuit work. In 1964 he joined Bellcomm, Inc. in Washington, D.C. holding positions of increasing responsibility with respect to systems engineering and technical studies, mission planning and analysis for the Apollo and Skylab Programs. In 1973 he returned to Bell Laboratories in Piscataway, New Jersey where he was responsible for systems engineering and design of several systems which automated telephone company administrative functions. From 1978 to 1982 at the Indian Hill Laboratory in Naperville, Illinois he was responsible for the design and development of the 4ESS Toll Switch and an operator system called the Traffic Service Position System. Since 1982 Mr. Martersteck has been responsible for the No. 5 Electronic Switching System (5ESS), the leading edge digital switch that has gained wide acceptance by telephone companies in the U.S. and abroad. In his capacity as R&D Manager and Chief Engineer of the 5ESS, Mr. Martersteck's contribution combines both development, installation, and application of the system.

He is author/co-author of several papers presented at various international symposia as well as articles in publications such as the AT&T Technical Journal.

He is a member of the Board of Overseers for the National Science Foundation Engineering Research Center for Compound Semiconductor Microelectronics at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, a member of the Board of Overseers, Armour College of Engineering at the Illinois Institute of Technology; and a member of the Board of Directors and Industrial Advisory Committee for the National Engineering Consortium; as well as a member of the IEEE Computer Society. Martersteck received the IEEE Medal for Engineering Excellence in 1988.

Karl and his wife Terry resided in Naperville, Illinois. They had six children, Karl E. III, John, Michael, William, Anne Marie and Timothy. In his leisure time Karl enjoyed tennis, camping, reading and his 1967 Olds Cutlass convertible.