Watson named ABET Fellow

WatsonDr. Karan Watson, provost and executive vice president of Texas A&M University, has been appointed an ABET Fellow for her significant contributions to the organization.

The Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) accredits college and university programs in the disciplines of applied science, computing, engineering and engineering technology at the associate, bachelor and master degree levels.

The ABET Fellow Award was established in 1988 to recognize individuals who have given sustained, meaningful service to applied science, computing, engineering or engineering technology education and to their respective professions through their work in accreditation.

“The fact that only two Fellows were named for 2015 is a testament to Dr. Watson’s numerous and diverse contributions to the field and the high esteem in which she is held by her peers around the nation,” said Texas A&M President Michael K. Young. “We are fortunate to have her as provost at Texas A&M during this time of unprecedented growth and development in engineering and so many other areas.”

“Karan Watson is most deserving of this honor as her insightful contributions and leadership have made significant impacts on the ABET organization and its accreditation programs,” said M. Katherine Banks, vice chancellor and dean of Texas A&M Engineering. “Dr. Watson’s engagement at the national level and recognition by this prestigious organization brings Texas A&M great visibility among our peers.”

Watson, who is also a professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, joined ABET as a program evaluator more than 20 years ago and was ABET’s 2012-13 president. 

According to the organization, one of Watson’s most significant contributions was the recent restructure of ABET governance. Realizing that having more than 50 members was not an efficient enough structure to lead the organization into the future, the board of directors created a Governance Structure Task Force with Watson as the chair.

Watson’s leadership was instrumental in successfully restructuring the board of directors, and she has been commended by her peers on the board as being vitally integral to the formation of the new more nimble and responsive board structure.

Watson earned her bachelor’s, master’s and Ph.D. in electrical engineering, all from Texas Tech University. She is a fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) and the American Society for Engineering Education.