James Mink passed away peacefully on November 1, 2016 at Rex Hospital following a long and courageous battle with cancer, recent heart attack, and emotional grief over the loss of his beloved wife of 57 years. His wife, Mary Jane Mink, passed away just 5 days prior and he was eager to be reunited in perfect peace with her. He was surrounded by family and friends. He was born in Elgin, Illinois to Walter and Helen Mink.
He was a graduate of Elcho High School in Wisconsin. He received his Bachelor of Science Degree in Electrical Engineering in 1961 and Master of Science Degree in Electrical Engineering in 1962, both from the University of Wisconsin at Madison. He then went on to receive his Ph.D. degree in Electrical Engineering in 1964, again from the University of Wisconsin at Madison.
After graduation from 1964 to 1976, he was a Research Physical Scientist in the U.S. Army Electronics Command at Fort Monmouth, New Jersey. From 1976 to 1994 he worked for the Army Research Office in Raleigh N.C. He held multiple positions including associate director, program manager, and Director of the Electronics Division. From 1994 to 1997 he was a full time visiting professor and the Graduate Director of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at North Carolina State University. He joined the National Science Foundation in 1999, where he served as the Program Director in the Electrical and Communications System Division of the Engineering Directorate. He was a lifelong member of IEEE.
Over his career he authored or co-authored over 90 refereed papers, book chapters, and presentations. He holds 6 patents in his field. He was the recipient of the Bronze Medal for the Issai Lefkowitz Award, two Bronze Medals for Army Research and Development Achievement Awards from the Department of the Army, the Superior Civilian Service Award from the Department of the Army, the IEEE Third Millennium Medal, a Meritorious Service Award from the IEEE MTT-S, the Electrical and Computer Engineering Centennial Medal from the University of Wisconsin, and the IEEE Microwave Pioneer Award. Jim was a US Air Force Veteran.
In addition to being a dedicated scientist and devoted family member, he was an avid pilot. He enjoyed flying throughout his entire life. During his retirement, he built an experimental 2-seater airplane with his brother and assisted many others in the designing and construction of their aircrafts at Franklin County Airport in North Carolina.