Steve Watkins


Electrical Engineering

Steve E. Watkins is the Director of the Applied Optics Laboratory at 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 (Fellow), 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.

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

  • Vice-President for Educational Activities and Awards for IEEE Education Society, 2014-20
  • Chair, ASEE ECE Division, 2019-20
  • 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, 51 archival papers, and 94 other papers

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

Distinctions and Awards

  • President, IEEE-Eta Kappa Nu, 2018
  • Editor-in-Shief for THE BRIDGE magazine of IEEE-Eta Kappa Nu, 2013-2017
  • IEEE-USA Jim Watson Student Professional Awareness Achievement Award, 2016
  • APEX Award of Excellence: 2018,2016,2015,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


Research Interests:

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



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