- 1994-2000: Chair of Applied Statistics, University of Minnesota.
- 1986-2016: Professor, School of Statistics, University of Minnesota.
- 1975-1986: Managing Director, Douglas M Hawkins Consultants (Pty) Ltd.
- 1978-1986: Senior Consultant, Operations Research and Statistics, Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, Pretoria, South Africa.
- 1973-1978: Professor and Head of Statistics, Witwatersrand University, Johannesburg.
- 1999- : Statistical Advisor to United States Food and Drug Administration.
- — Academic visitor to University of Sussex, England; University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC; and University of Queensland, Australia.
- National Science Foundation, Division of Mathematics and Statistics, ‘Diagnostics for Structured Data and Quality Improvement’, 1989-2007.
- National Institutes for Health, Roadmap for Medical Research, ‘Comparative and Web-enabled Virtual Screening’, Grant 1 P20 HG003900-01. Co-investigator (2005-2007).
- Air Force Office of Scientific Research, ‘Prediction of Health and Environmental Hazards of Chemicals: A Hierarchical Approach using QMSA and QSAR’. Co-investigator, (1998-2008).
- United States Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service, ‘Behavior-Modifying Compounds for Disease Vector Control’. Co-investigator, (2004-2006)
- National Institute for Neurological Disorder and Stroke, ‘Structure-activity Relationships for Anti-convulsant Drug Development’. Co-investigator, (1992-1994).
- Semiconductor Research Corporation Competitiveness Foundation, ‘Development of a Curriculum on Quality Improvement in Microelectronics’, (1990 – 1991).
- 2014: American Statistical Association Joint Research Conference honoree in recognition of contributions to industrial statistics.
- 2005: William G. Hunter Award, American Society for Quality, for ‘excellence in statistics’.
- 2004: Statistics in Chemistry Award, American Statistical Association, for the paper ‘Assessing Model fit by Cross-validation’, D. M. Hawkins, S. C. Basak, D. Mills.
- 2004: Shewhart Medal, American Society for Quality, awarded for making ‘the most outstanding contribution to the science and techniques of quality control.’
- 1998: Outstanding Manuscript Award, Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation, for ‘Individualized Control Chart for Blood Pressure (BP) and Heart Rate (HR) management’, M. S. Lee, J. Y. Lee, G. Cornelissen, D. Hawkins, K. Gaarden, F. Halberg.
- 1998: Statistics in Chemistry Award, American Statistical Association, for the paper ‘Analysis of a Large Structure-Activity Data Set using Recursive Partitioning’, D. M. Hawkins, S. S. Young and A. Rusinko III.
- 1993: Ellis R Ott Foundation annual best paper award for the paper ‘Multivariate Quality Control based on Regression-Adjusted Variables’.
- 1985: Claude Harris Leon Foundation Annual Award in recognition of consultancy and research contributions to knowledge and the community.