121 Emerson Electric Co. Hall
Rolla, MO 65409-0040
Phone: 573-341-6321
Fax:  573-341-4532

Areas of Interest

  • Smart sensor systems
  • Fiber optics
  • Imaging
  • Engineering education and pre-college education


Steve E. Watkins is Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering and Director of the Applied Optics Laboratoryat the Missouri University of Science and Technology (formerly the University of Missouri-Rolla).  He is active in IEEE (senior member), IEEE-Eta Kappa Nu, SPIE (Senior Member), and ASEE.  His research and teaching interests include smart sensor systems, UAV instrumentation, fiber optics, imaging, engineering education, and pre-college education.  He is coordinator of the campus Smart Composite Bridge project and is advisor to the following student groups: IEEE-Eta Kappa Nu, Tau Beta Pi, and Toastmasters.



  • Ph.D. The University of Texas at Austin
  • M.S. and B.S. University of Missouri-Rolla


Recent Publications

Selected Conference Papers and Reports

  •  S. M. Damti, S. E. Watkins, and R. J. Stanley, “Comparison of Binary and Multi-level Logic Electronics for Embedded Systems,” Smart Structures and Materials/NDE 2016: Industrial and Commercial Applications of Smart Structures Technologies X, Proc. SPIE 9801, 20-24, 2016, 21-22 March 2016, Los Vegas, NV.
  • I.P. Dugganapally, S. E. Watkins, and B. Cooper, “Multi-level, Memory-based Logic using CMOS Technology,”2014 IEEE Computer Society Annual Symposium on VLSI (ISVLSI), 583-588, 2014, 9-11 July 2014, Tampa, FL.


 Current Professional Activity

  • President-Elect, IEEE-Eta Kappa Nu, 2017
  • Editor-in-Chief for THE BRIDGE magazine of IEEE-Eta Kappa Nu, 2013-Present
  • Board of Governors Director-at-Large for IEEE Education Society, 2015-18
  • Program Chair, ASEE ECE Division, 2017-18 
  • Co-coordinator for S&T Pre-college Robotics Summer Camp



  • R. Dua, S. E. Watkins, and D. C. Wunsch, Neural Network Demodulation for an Optical Sensor, U.S. Patent No. 7,603,004 [Issued 13 October 2009].


Scholarly Activity

1 patent, 3 book chapters, 50 archival papers, and 85 other papers

For selections see: Missouri S&T Scholars Mine (Papers) 


Distinctions and Awards

  • IEEE-USA Jim Watson Student Professional Awareness Achievement Award, 2016
  • APEX Award of Excellence: 2017,2016,2015,and 2014 Recipient IEEE-HKN The Bridge Magazine (Watkins – Magazine Editor-in-Chief)
  • Missouri S&T Distinguished Advisor Award, 2015
  • Member of the S&T Academy of Electrical and Computer Engineers, Inducted 2013
  • ASEE Midwest Section Service Award, 2012
  • Missouri S&T Service Award,2016 and 2010




Applied Optics Laboratory 


Smart Engineering & Smart Composite Bridge 




IEEE Region 5 Student Activities


HKN at Missouri S&T 60th Anniversary Report