Maureen P. Quirk was one of the first women to graduate with an undergraduate degree in electrical engineering from Lehigh University. After Lehigh, Quirk attended the Imperial College of Science and Technology in London, England as a Marshall Scholar. She received her Diploma of Imperial College in 1978. Upon return to the U.S., she studied at Princeton University where she earned an M.A. in 1979 and her Ph.D. in mathematics in 1982.
In 1983, Quirk joined the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, CA where she worked for two years. She then took a position in electrical engineering on the research staff of the Center for Communications Research in Princeton, NJ, a division for the Institute for Defense Analysis. Outside of her research, she has also been heavily involved with IEEE serving as society treasurer and vice president for conferences. In those capacities she helped to organize two international technical conferences and six workshops each year with a total budget of over two million dollars. She has also served on the Lehigh University Engineering Advisory Council.
Her interest in education led her to help start one of the first charter schools in New Jersey where she has served on the Board of Trustees as Vice President from 1997-2004 and 2006-2007 and President from 2007-the present. In the early 1990s, she was a member of the Princeton Regional School mathematics curriculum committee and helped to draft the content standards for the New Jersey mathematics curriculum. She has volunteered as a math tutor and served on committees for planning Science Day and Science Week at Riverside School. In order to get younger kids interested and excited about math and science, Quirk and her husband teach kindergartners about how numbers and forces interact.