Dr. Bevlee Watford

Bevlee Watford, Ph.D.
212 Hancock Hall
Blacksburg, VA 24061



Ph.D. Industrial Engineering & Operations Research,Virginia Tech, 1985
M.S. Industrial Engineering & Operations Research,Virginia Tech, 1983
B.S. Mining Engineering, Virginia Tech, 1981

Research Interests:

  • Undergraduate student support programs
  • Diversity

I run the Center for the Enhancement of Engineering Diversity (CEED) . The Center for the Enhancement of Engineering Diversity (CEED) provides encouragement and support to engineering students, focusing on the under-represented population. Virginia Tech students are among the best and brightest--CEED assists them in achieving the excellence.

Mission: The objectives and goals of CEED are:

  • to increase the diversity of students who apply to, enroll, and graduate from the College of Engineering
  • to increase the awareness of engineering and other technical fields as an exciting and rewarding career path to a diverse population;
  • to provide academic, professional and personal support programs;
  • to provide support to student organizations that support our mission, including the National Society of Black Engineers, the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers, the Society of Women Engineers, and Council for the Advancement of Minority Engineering Organizations; and
  • to foster collaboration between the CEED, the University, industry, and the local community.


Watford is a Professor of Engineering Education in the College of Engineering at Virginia Tech. She received her B.S. in Mining Engineering, and her M.S. and Ph.D. in Industrial Engineering and Operations Research from Virginia Tech. Since 1992 she has been the Founding Director of the Center for the Enhancement of Engineering Diversity (CEED). She has secured more than $6.5 million dollars in funding and support for CEED and other undergraduate initiatives. Her research activities have focused on the recruitment and retention of students in engineering, with a particular emphasis on under-represented students. CEED has implemented nationally recognized programs that have enhanced the success of all students. These include freshmen peer mentoring, summer bridge for incoming freshman and residential living-learning communities.

Watford has served as Associate Dean for Academic Affairs in the College of Engineering since 1997, responsible for all undergraduate activities from recruiting to commencement. From 2010-2011 she served as Interim Department Head of Engineering Education. From 2005-2007, she served as a program manager in the Division of Undergraduate Education for the National Science Foundation, returning from 2013-2015 to serve as the program director for broadening participation in the Directorate for Engineering. An active member of ASEE since 1986, Bevlee A. Watford has served the organization in several capacities. She has held multiple elected offices in both WIED and MIND and served as Chair of PIC IV. She chaired the Diversity Task Force that resulted in the creation of the ASEE Diversity Strategic Plan as well as the formation of the ASEE Diversity Committee. She serves as an associate editor of JEE and currently serves as an associate editor of AEE. In 2010, she was elected as a Fellow of ASEE. Watford was the 2004-5 President of the Women in Engineering ProActive Network (WEPAN) and has served on the Board of Directors of the National Association of Minority Engineering Program Administrators (NAMEPA). She is currently a member of the National Academy of Engineering's EngineerGirl Website Committee.

Awards & Honors:

  • Fellow, ASEE
  • 2010 Claire Felbinger Diversity Award from ABET
  • 2011 NSBE-Exxonmobil Impact award for implementing successful research based efforts to improve retention
  • 2008 WEPAN Founders Award in recognition of her service to WEPAN and her efforts to increase the participation of women in the engineering profession.