CCEE Hall of Fame

Dan Watkins

Leadership and profound effect on the profession, local and national communities, bridge design, and transportation design industry

Inducted 2021

After serving in the U.S. Navy for three years as a naval assistant company commander, Daniel Watkins came back to Iowa State to complete his bachelor’s degree in civil engineering in 1947.

Watkins became a civil engineer for Howard, Needles, Tammen and Bergendoff (HNTB). He worked his way up from engineer to partner and chairman of the executive committee over a span of 40 years. Watkins was a registered professional engineer in 16 states. He was on the Iowa State Civil Engineering External Advisory Council as a member and chairman. Watkins authored 17 papers and gave presentations and lectures to organizations and universities across the country.

He was called to evaluate the structural adequacy of the Hyatt Regency Hotel after the Hyatt Skywalk collapse of 1981, and Watkins provided important technical engineering advice. Watkins oversaw and advised many bridges, turnpikes and structures. He was awarded the Anson Marston Medal in 1989 from Iowa State, the highest honor from the engineering college. He also received the Distinguished Service Award from the National Society of Professional Engineers and a Distinguished Service Award from the Missouri Society of Engineers.

Watkins was dedicated to his engineering profession but also charity. He served on many boards and committees for the chamber of commerce, health organizations and his church.