Stewart Edward Miller attended high school in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin, and three years at the University of Wisconsin before transferring to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, receiving S.B. and S.M. degrees in electrical engineering there in 1941. He joined the Bell Telephone Laboratories (now AT&T Bell Laboratories) after graduating. In 1980, Miller was named Director of Lightwave Research at Bell Labs, the position he held until his retirement. In his retirement, he remained active with Bellcore and continued to publish papers.
Miller was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 1973. He was also a fellow of OSA, AAAS, a Life Fellow of the IEEE, and a member of the honor societies Sigmi Xi, Tau Beta Pi, and Eta Kappa Nu. He was instrumental in establishing the annual Optical Fiber Conference, with the first meeting in 1975, and was active in many other conference and professional society committees. He received the Naval Ordnance Development Award in 1945, the IEEE Morris Liebmann Award in 1972, the IEEE W.R.G. Baker Prize Award (with Tingye Li and E.A.J. Marcatili) in 1975, the Stuart Ballantine Medal of the Franklin Institute in 1977, and in 1989 the John Tyndall Award.
Miller passed away in 1990.