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Denise Wilson

Photonics and Nano Devices, Data Science
M222 ECE
Campus Box 352500
University of Washington
Seattle, WA 98195
Phone: 206-221-5238
Research Web Page: Distributed Microsystems Lab


Denise Wilson received her BS degree in mechanical engineering from Stanford University in 1988 and her MS and Ph.D. degrees in electrical engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology in 1989 and 1995 respectively. She received her M.Ed. from the University of Washington in 2008. Wilson’s interests are split between microsensor systems and engineering education research. In the sensors arena, she has developed a range of microsystems using chemical, biological and radiant sensor systems focused on solving sensing problems that require compact, low-power and portable solutions, with particular emphasis in environmental monitoring. In engineering education, her basic research is focused on the role of belonging, self-efficacy and other non-cognitive factors on academic success and persistence, and her applied research has sought to develop toolboxes for effective teaching of sustainability and professional development topics. She also conducts research on women and other underrepresented groups in engineering including ethnic and racial minorities and underrepresented sexual identities. Wilson is also managing director of Coming Alongside, a non-profit environmental health services organization whose efforts target using portable sensor systems to solve emerging environmental and public health problems.

Awards and Honors

Recent Publications

Engineering Education

  • Wilson, D., Wright, J., & Summers, L. (2021). Mapping Patterns of Student Engagement Using Cluster Analysis. Journal for STEM Education Research.
  • Anderson, M., Bai, Z., Misra, S., Kardam, N., & Wilson, D. (2021, July 26-29).  What Should Teachers Do? Faculty and TA Support during Remote Learning.  ASEE (American Society for Engineering Education) Annual Conference and Exposition.
  • Bai, Z., Anderson, M., Kardam, N.,& Wilson, D. (2021, July 26-29). Differences in Perceptions of Instructional Support between U.S. and International Students Before and During COVID-19.  ASEE (American Society for Engineering Education) Annual Conference and Exposition.
  • Hussein, R. & Wilson, D. (2021, July 26-29).  Remote Versus In-Hand Hardware Laboratory in Digital Circuits Courses.  ASEE (American Society for Engineering Education) Annual Conference and Exposition.
  • Misra, S. & Wilson, D. (2021, July 26-29). Industry-University Capstone Design: How did students adapt to the COVID-19 pandemic?  ASEE (American Society for Engineering Education) Annual Conference and Exposition.
  • Kardam, N., Misra, S., Anderson, M., Bai, Z., & Wilson, D. (2021, July 26-29).  What do Students Need from other Students? Peer Support during Remote Learning. ASEE (American Society for Engineering Education) Annual Conference and Exposition.
  • Wilson, D., Summers, L., & Wright, J. (2020).  Faculty support and student engagement in undergraduate engineering, Journal of Research in Innovative Teaching & Learning, 13(1), 83-101.
  • Wilson, D. (2019). Exploring the Intersection between Engineering and Sustainability EducationSustainability. 11(11), 3134.

Sensors and Sensor Systems

  • Chheng, C. & Wilson, D. (2021). Abnormal Gait Detection Using Wearable Hall-Effect Sensors. Sensors, 21(4), 1206.
  • Wilson, D. (2021). Chemical Sensors for Farm-to-Table Monitoring of Fruit Quality. Sensors, 21(5), 1634.
  • Denise Wilson, Courtney Chheng, and Logan Stimson, “Safety Goggle Compliance Monitoring using Hall Effect Sensors,” IEEE Sensors Letters 2, no. 1, 2018, doi: 10.1109/LSENS.2018.2805860 [ Link ]
  • Wilson, D. (2015). Arsenic Consumption in the United States, Journal of Environmental Health, 78(3), 8-14.
  • Vaidya, V., & Wilson, D. (2013). Maximum power tracking in solar cell arrays using time-based reconfiguration. Renewable energy, 50, 74-81.
  • Wilson, D. (2015). Arsenic in American Wine, Journal of Environmental Health, 78(3), 16-22.

Women in Engineering

  • Wilson, D. & VanAntwerp, J. (2021).  Left out: A review of women’s struggle to develop a sense of belonging in engineering.  Sage Open, in press. 
  • Wilson, D., VanAntwerp, J., Wright, J., & Summers, L. (2019, June 16-19). Need Satisfaction and Need Frustration Among Women and Men Faculty in Engineering:  A Self-Determination Perspective. ASEE (American Society for Engineering Education) Annual Conference and Exposition.
  • Wilson, D., VanAntwerp, J., Maynen, D., & Summers, L., (2019, June 16-19).  After #MeToo:  What’s Next for Women in the Engineering Workplace ASEE (American Society for Engineering Education) Annual Conference and Exposition.
  • VanAntwerp, J. & Wilson D. (2018).  Differences in Motivation Patterns among Early and Mid-career Engineers.  Journal of Women and Minorities in Science and Engineering, 24(3), 227-259. 
  • Wilson, D. M., Bates, R., Scott, E. P., Painter, S. M., & Shaffer, J. (2015). Differences in Self-Efficacy among Women and Minorities in STEM. Journal of Women and Minorities in Science and Engineering, 21(1), 27-45.

Community (Shared Resources) Web Pages

A wide range of information on different aspects of education, sensors, systems, and workplace research [Link]. Topics include survey tools and other research instruments for studying belonging, engagement, relatedness, autonomy, and competence as well as educational modules on topics of engineering design, sustainability, and the environmental impacts of technology.

Women in the Engineering Workplace

Stories into Solutions focuses on sharing the experiences of women in the engineering workplace including statistics regarding the representation of women in engineering work, challenges that women face including those related to sexual harassment and being left out, and actual stories of workplace experiences.